When I was a younger man had a parlor trick I would use on dates. Late at night, morning without light really. I’d pretend to be lost, just outside of downtown. I’d navigate us down to Mission Road, where I knew exactly what time the street lights were timed to go off. I’d open my window and pretend to shoot them out with my finger pointed at them like a gun. She, whoever she was at the time, would be shocked and moreover, impressed. But this night, the trick didn’t work. The lights just kept on beaming down. So in anger, I took the .45 I kept under the seat and shot the closest one out. She, whoever she was at the time, recoiled in horror and screamed. I pulled over to curb to calm her down, while the dogs in the salvage yards began to bark and howl. I sped on to the freeway, where we drove in silence for miles across empty asphalt and broken trusts. She asked me to drive to an old apartment building in Gardena. She quietly gave me the directions until we arrived at a rundown building with bikes and toys left littering the front yard. I, whoever I was at the time, asked her where we were. She said, “This is where my father killed my mother”. I sucked in a hard breath of air and said that I was sorry. She stared out the window while I stared at the floorboard. Lighting a cigarette, she whispered, “I don’t know why she stayed…she should have taken her own advice”. “What was that?”, I asked. Flicking the butt across the lawn, she said, “Leave before the magic stops, because men are dangerous when their tricks don’t work on you anymore”.