|The gun was unfamiliar in her hand and, until she had pulled it out
of her pocket and pointed it, she had no idea what she was doing.
Even as she watched the crowd around her react, she still
maintained a slight dream-like state as she contemplated her
It wasn't long before she heard the calm, trained voice of the police
negotiator behind her to her left.
"Excuse me ma'am, what are you doing?"
"Not sure," she heard herself saying.
"What do you want in order to put the gun down?"
The question was remarkably clear, unlike her thought processes.
"Don't know really."
He could hear the negotiator speak into his radio. "Standby team."
She understood from that comment that she had a little time.
She knew enough, even in her present state, that they would kill her in
an instant if they felt her to be a threat. The primary question
then arose, did she really want to die?
Is that why she had brought the gun in the first place to use it on
herself, in this public place and put herself in this situation to
find the definitive answer?
And why did she need this answer now?
The question had been with her as long as she could remember.
Why the sudden urgency?
The last few days had been very bleak indeed. Her family had dissolved
in front of her eyes, she had nothing left. They had all told her to
leave. Her last raison d'être had ended.
And now she was left alone, in front of all these people, on her
way to work, completely, at last, on the event horizon of her
existential dilemma about to be sucked in to her intellectual black
hole, seemingly preferring death to confronting the answer.
She dropped the gun and waited for the warm embrace of their arrest.