[coercion]

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Coco Fusco writes in A Field Guide for Female Interrogators, “Wars don’t just happen on the ground; they take place in our minds, coercing us to believe in the necessity of what we might otherwise reject as excessive.” My father’s body is weak, lungs labored by simple tasks. He eats breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a pistol on the chair beside him at the dining room table. It is loaded at all times, but he puts it away when company arrives, locks it in a bedroom when children are near. Waking with the paranoia that someone will break in and break him is as reliable as the daily newspaper delivered to our doorstep. My father never stopped checking the locks–worrying or warring.

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