It’s deer season on Coburn Mountain.

If it’s not officially deer season, then it’s close.

I know this because for the last two hours my neighbors have been reenacting the Battle of the Somme in their backyards, fine-tuning the sights on their high-powered rifles.

After six years, I wish I could say I’ve gotten used to the annual outbreak of gunfire, but, hey, it’s gunfire.

There’s no law against it out here in the county. The nearest municipality is miles away.

If I owned an AK-47, I could go out in my backyard right now and shoot up the barn,which would probably make it fall over in slow motion, like Bob Johnson does when I scratch behind his ears. (New readers: Bob Johnson is a dog.) And no one could say diddly-squat.

This is where I’m supposed to mention that some of my best friends are hunters and gun enthusiasts, and follow that up with a portion of pablum about different strokes for different folks, and so on.

But screw that. If you’re firing a 30.06 close enough to my home to make the windows rattle, you are a king-hell jerk, and I hope you get poison oak. I hope some highly-motivated deer gang up on you and kick your hillbilly ass, and it goes viral on YouTube.

(Okay, I just had to get that off my chest. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the rest of this piece.)

I haven’t been on a date in a long time.

A really long time.

Maybe that’s because I live on a mountain in the middle of freaking nowhere.

Okay, so there is a connection between my intro and the rest of this piece.

I’m not surprised. Everything is connected to everything else, they say, and when was the last time they were wrong?

Lindsay Lohan and I.M. Pei? Connected. Alger Hiss and the Backstreet Boys? Yep.

Wheels within wheels … However, I stray from my purpose – to kvetch at length about my miserably dateless existence.

I’m a divorced guy, no kids. It’s just the way things turned out, and I don’t worry about it too much.

I do, however, think about it every 30 seconds or so.

I had a good run. That’s what I tell myself these days when I start thinking about women.

I’m on excellent terms with my ex-wife and several of my former girlfriends. These are all platonic friendships based on shared appreciation for music, art, literature, types of humor and so on.

I am amazed by these lovely, talented women and their willingness to forgive me for all of the mistakes I made.

Yes, mistakes were made. Some were egregious and others were … more egregious.

Sorry about that.

I’ve learned some things from my relationships. Yes, by Jove, learning has taken place:

1) Love is great, fantastic. It exists. It’s a powerful force in the universe.

2) Being a good partner often requires hard work. If you don’t do the work, you shouldn’t expect good things to happen.

3) The kind of love (part of love?) that keeps couples together doesn’t always last. Mutual respect and affection, however, seem to be resilient in the long run.

4) I am a slow learner.

Writing about one’s miserably dateless existence is a rather dangerous venture. One does not wish to suggest he or she is, in fact, undateable.

(Once again I’ve parachuted into a harsh internet environment. Chest-deep in blog, wet, freezing, night falling quickly, only a few precious paragraphs left … Think, damn it!)

On the other hand, being single isn’t a tragedy. No one’s running around with a bloody dagger or drowning in a brook.

Being single is, if anything, a comedy. Desire and yearning make for a load of laughs.  Which reminds me …

5) Someday, this will all seem funny.

John Hicks lives outside the city limits, where eagles dare.

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