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.

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