Saturday, June 28, 2008

Bang Bang, Yer Dead

This morning again, the sound of gunshots were the neighborhood alarm call. The sunlight from my curtainless window pierces the thin membrane coating my hangover, and I throw the blankets over my head to keep the day at bay.

A glass of water and another hour
, I tell myself. Or two.

The puppy roots her face through the sea of blankets and plops her lanky ass into the curve of my body. She's such a good spooner.

The gangs here have been busier than usual shooting people lately. This is the third day I've been woken to the sound of gunfire and it gets worse at night. Four nights earlier, two black men were shot two houses down the street from my flat.

Oh dammit. What the hell is going on?

What? What happened?
I could practically hear the immediate lines of worry furrow my cousin Laura's forehead over the phone.

There are tons of cops outside my house. Some shit must have gone down. We hang up the phone. Cop cars had blocked off half the street, and the neighborhood residents watch on the sidewalks in front of their stoops. Kids gawk at the big men with guns in uniform, and adults stand grouped together in evening gowns and bathrobes discussing the scene as the event unfolds. Mijo, hey! Don't go over there. Stay on the sidewalk! I manuever my soccer dad mini-van towards my flat and pulled up next to one of the cops.

Excuse me, officer, what's going on?

Two guys were shot. He casually gestures at the street and sidewalk with his thumb.

Fucking great.

Are they okay? What are you doing about it?

Yeah, they'll probably be fine. The ambulance took them to the hospital, but we haven't caught anyone yet.

Well, I live here. Is it okay to go home? The cop nods and directs my vehicle right through the middle of the crime scene. So much for preserving the evidence.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Just in Time for the Homo Holidays..

I thought I'd be dead by now, but it turns out, I'd just been living a half life.

Pupils blown and mind in outer space, the word future melts into the primordial sludge that undulates dimensions bigger than all of us. Or maybe just me. It's hard to tell anymore what's real - and what's "normal" - when all you've really got is yerself.

***** ***** ***** ***** *****
We sprawl out in the living room. Three people dogpile, half-falling, from the ratty couch. Drawing pictures. Fidgeting with gadgets. Music plays in the background, but it's drowned out by the humming in my head. I'm bundled in a sleeping bag on the floor next to my girlfriend S in nothing but my underwear. She lays her head is in my lap, laughing, staring. Laughing. Staring. It slowly occurs to me that we are all doing that. And I think we've been doing that for the past two hours. Someone giggles in the hallway. Oh.
***** ***** ***** ***** *****

This is a good time to give yerself a good, sturdy kick in the pants, the voices tell me. I head for the hills and spend time alone amongst the trees and dogs.

And then days, into weeks, into months, into a year, and I want to believe that, Yes, hallelujah! I am healed! Hah! Mind blown and eyes narrowed cynicism, the word hope melts into the primordial sludge of flight or fight, and in my manic state, I opt for the latter.

I wonder how long it will last this time, and I prepare myself for the end.