Paul Cantor
Apr 26 · 2 min read

I was walking down a normal block in a seemingly normal neighborhood, minding my own business. My car was parked there, and I was standing in front of it, digging into my jeans in search of the keys, when a person I wasn’t paying very much attention to came strolling down the sidewalk.

He was in his late twenties, wearing a hooded blue parka and light blue jeans, and appeared to be on his way to wherever it was he had to go. But when I looked up he looked straight at me, kept looking at me in fact, and when he got within arms reach I saw that in his right hand, pulled up around his chest, he held a black gun, pointed in my direction.

The man smiled a devilish smile, his teeth bright as anything I had ever seen before, and his eyes were wide, bloodshot. In a way he seemed incredibly happy, as if he were playing a kind of game, a simulation.

I froze, put my hands up — don’t shoot — and the man kept walking, slower now, turning his body as he inched by. We looked each other right in the eyes and in that moment I hoped he could see I was not a ghost or a machine, that I was just a man, flesh and blood, alive and breathing, no match for the power he held clutched tightly in his hand.

It had to have been only a split-second, a snapshot of history so short that in the narrative of my life that plays back now like film it would have barely filled a frame. And it was in this split second that his face dropped and his arms fell and like a predator sniffing prey he lost interest in the kill.

Then he looked up, his long arm extended and he shot me right in the face.

Paul Cantor

Written by

Writer, Editor and Music Producer. Creative work for: Apple, Instagram, VICE, Warner Brothers, Verizon, Universal, Rolling Stone, Esquire, Hennessy, others.