Last night I had some car trouble and was stuck for awhile in Southeast. On a corner in the dark. I wasn't alone but nevertheless I was uneasy and anxious to get the situation handled so I can be on my way and return to the safety of my home. I've never felt that way about being outside at night in my own community. I watched as people came and went at the gas station I was stuck at. The black folks already know the business. Get your gas, handle your business and scram while other folks were lackadaisical about what they were doing and hanging out oblivious to the target on their foreheads. Now, black folks are not the only ones out here gang-banging and shooting each other, that's not what I'm saying. But in the community of Southeast San Diego we're terminating our own kind like 94 going East. Around here deaths are daily like the Union Tribune. Bullets have no name on them and while I was sitting on that corner I began questioning myself...do my kids and my family and close friends know how much I love them? When's the last time I hugged them or kissed them? I felt an urgency to send some goodbyes to some folks. Just in case. An unfortunate situation like car trouble shouldn't result in anxiety, stress and nervousness. I grew up on these streets. Walked them and rode my bike on them daily as a child. I have moved here and there but tend to return. I support my community monetarily and otherwise. I even used this community as the setting for my novel, A Little Bit of Sin. That's how endearing my community is to me. This isn't The Hills Have Eyes or some other scripted scary movie. This is real life and being reduced to an innocent bystander on Fox 5 isn't the legacy I'm trying to leave behind. Nor is that the plan for the children, young adults, mothers and fathers of this community. This past week I've been asked 'why this person or why that person' too many times to notate. I don't want to be left asking 'why?' Nor do I want anyone I love asking 'why' on my behalf. I have too many more things to do my 'bucket list.'
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Good point made. I live in SE San Diego and I have moments of insecurity as to a stray bullet just flying and hitting me. I hear the gun shots almost every night and it is not just one or two. Multiples one after another, then silence. Sometime the sirens come and sometimes helicopters fly above. I love my community, but as you said the bullet has no name on it.ReplyDelete
As a kid visiting my grandmother on E. 121st Street in Los Angeles, and hanging out in the streets. running down the street and at the corner/cross street seeing young men running away from gun fire as they were shooting at one another...any more feet unto that cross street, I could have been hit...I think I was 12.
Hearing News reports of someone getting shot in the back of the head, as they were driving on the freeway or walking on the street...has always been in the back of my mind. There is no color attached to the one with the gun.
This is my fear....Being Shot in the head as an innocent bystander.
My fear of guns go back when my brother's friend fired a bebe gun...of course, no real comparison, but I hold the trophy of the bebe in my leg, never to come out unless I want the scars of it. So in this instance, I know it only takes a second to miss a target and hit one you aren't shooting for. Ricochet, Richochet can do damage (That Stray bullet has to hit something).
Is It me? Is It You? Is It A loved one? Who?
I can relate. That's just how I was feeling that night on that corner.Delete