“Get out of the lake right now, or I will fucking shoot you,” he hollers, staring down an invisible sight and into my eyes, his finger threatening to pull the trigger — a notched branch on the stick rifle he has cocked and rested on his shoulder.
None of us respond, but if heart rates were words, we’d be babbling.
Our silence exasperates him. “I am not fucking kidding. You get out of the lake right now” — he sweeps a dictatorial finger from the lake where seven of us are circled in the water and toward the pebbled beach where he’s tantruming — “… or I will fucking shoot you.”
A few of us turn our backs to him, attempting to pick up the conversation we’d been having before this agitated teen and his friend, high on unaccustomed warmth in the air and whatever’s in that vape pen tucked into that pocket, stumbled into our orbit. The gun-pointer, initially aided by his sidekick, has been yelling at us for five minutes now, a genuinely unnerving bundle of aggression in green shorts. But if there’s one thing this group of grown-ups — parents, partners, queers, professionals, grieving, recovering, regulating, growing — knows how to do, it’s ignore the todderlistic foot stamping of a heckler.