There they stand. Nonchalant. Implacable. Disreputable. And they could care-the-heck less.
Symptomatic of our times.
The final four, as laid down a couple three-thousand years ago: “Wickedness, contempt, dishonor and disgrace.”
It’s how it all goes down. Always does.
In that order.
Choose your villain. They are all the same.
Desperadoes of deceit. Compadres in crimes of culture. Hombres swaggering through the barroom door and out into the middle of the dusty, deserted street.
The blazing sun creates shimmering images of non-existent pools of water.
Windows in houses overlooking the scene suddenly are shuttered with a bang.
Hands hover at his hips prepared to draw and fire; another already has his gun in hand, calmly, nonchalantly twirling the revolver on his finger; still another reaches up and flicks away a cigarette that had been hanging from the corner of his dour mouth, pulls his sombrero lower to shade his eyes, scowls and snarls “We own this town!”
But no one answers.
Tombstone-like, Boot Hill silence greets the challenge.
Victorian sensibilities are shot through as if somehow, we’d returned to the long-simmering feuds and dusty streets of the Old West.
Who, armed by rule of law, or even human dignity, hunkered down behind the barricaded door will step out from behind to meet them?
Who will rise?