My longtime OS buddy, Matt Paust, had gone and written a book about guns, was my impression. After flipping through the book before settling in with it, I saw too that there were essays about sports. Football, to be more exact. More closer inspection made me see that there was so much more here than that.
The forward to the book does not lie when it says,
"If you like the way I tell stories but don't like guns there's plenty for you here."
There was also a vast and literate assortment of essays and fiction pieces about death, urination masterization, and all sorts of exciting peeks into the life of someone I have been curious about. By book’s end I learned about BMG’s, Guttmans, and got to read about the life of a man with a love of writing and an uncanny ability for getting out of scrapes in local or exotic locales. I sat rapt as I learned about his father and mother and friends and tried to master his mantra," Be still. Be patient. Be brave. Abide. Forgive. Love."
His mediation on this recently discovered chinese fortune cookie wisdom was one of my favorites. Though this piece was labeled as fiction I supsected that it was thinly veiled non fiction and so found it even more personal and interesting.
I’d already had the pleasure or reading some of these stories since they were posted on Open Salon. But, there were plenty more that were completely new to me. And, each one provided some fine writing and interesting antecdotes from an interesting and adventure rich life .
Guns and football are things that I’ve heard about but have no personal experience with.
I have never owned a gun or watched a single game of football. This might change after reading his book of essays, IF THE WOODSMAN IS LATE.
With guns, I can now see the arguments, if not the allure. Matt, clearly a man of olfactory proclivities makes me want to own and shoot one just to award my half dead nostrils, such a supposedly exciting smell as gunpowder.
I now know that wolves can come at your door and take you away . Even before reading this, I began to viscerally understand the need for a gun or the want for a gun . The cover image really was inspired.
What if Red Riding Hood was armed. What if all fictional victim characters were packing heat?
It strikes me as uniquue-- a first hand account, of one man’s relationship to guns and gun ownership in America. I, at least, am not aware of any book on this subject.
I’d seen and even held guns, belonging to my soldier cousins, in Israel, but that is different. The American does not fear existential annihiliation if not armed , and so the gun debate will rage on indefinately.
I'd never discussed guns with anyone . To read about Matt's experiences and love of guns from early childhood, then in the Army, and overseas ,and then as a reporter was a treat.
We get to learn about how Matt, out of righteous indignation, signed up for the army, rather than succumb to the allures of Nepotism, promised by his well connected father. His mother, Gert, goes to battle herself, in this very interesting chapter. " I don't think so, Mr Guttman."
This act of integrity led to years of learning hard to learn langauges , and being present in such locales as Germany and almost even Libya(You'd have to read the book to understand.) Matt is also persona non grata in Ibiza. Not everyone can say that.
Matt has not only traveled the world but has gone on strange unsolicited LSD trips, and then had the presence of mind still to watch the races and drive home and try to get his editor to agree to a scheme!
To have a clue as to what that was about and why Matt Paust had to flee to Majorca, you'll need to order a copy at:
Guns play a pivotal role in Mattie and then Matt Paust's life. It starts in small town Wisconsin(as he enjoys the cops and robbers type play with his friend, Mark) and comes a horrible full circle when we learn that an unarmed Mark, and his wife, were to be murdered by guns, in a distant future.
Though Matt speaks of being slight of build(To my surprise. I thought he was a big and burly fella!) , this book is full of testosterone. Nary an ovary can be sensed, except in a very few stories. But it is not only manly men who will enjoy it.
Womanly ladies and boyish girls , and a whole spectrum of gender ambiguities, will find much here too, I promise.