If Larabee had not been in the annual memorial funk, and spending his time wallowing in a bottle of Jack.
If Maude hadn't been in town bedeviling Ezra.
If Josiah wasn't worried about the latest report from the Sisters of Our Lady of Czestochowa and the failing state of Hannah's mind.
If Buck hadn't been juggling his usual flock of dates and keeping Chris from truly alienating everybody.
If Nathan wasn't wrapped up in the impending birth of his first child.
If JD felt more comfortable speaking up to his elders about his concerns, much less could get them to tune him in.
If Nettie had even seen him.
If he'd just thought he was worth the worry, he may have brought it to one of them. Just one would have made a difference.
But he didn't.
The only thing holding him back was THE NOTE.
He had tried to write it so many times. And each time his mental state caused his downfall.
And each time he threw out the results of his labor.
Even he could find the irony in that. Throwing out his attempts to throw out his life.
But every night after work, the ritual would start. Sit on the floor in front of the Rubbermaid tub he used as a coffee table, gun in one hand, and pen in the other.
It went on for a week. Till that Friday after he begged off the weekly saloon meeting.
As he sat there on the floor, pen in the right, pistol in the left, and a perfectly written note in front of him.
I guess practice does make perfect, he thought.
3. Dumpster Diving
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