h&f 0020 They licked off shots at 9am

I walked to the corner store, got the breakfast of champions as recorded in the New York encyclopedia of being:  bacon, egg, and cheese on a (kaiser) roll.  It wasn’t as good as usual – the bacon was spongy.  yuk. next time I’ll be sure to tell my man to burn it before burying it in the hallowed confines of such a beautiful sandwich.  Anyway, it was bad.  I should have taken that as an omen.

I exited the store, looking right, and what did I see but a hand raised to the sky and then blap! blap! blap! three bullets launched skyward, sounding nothing like the fireworks that have filled the night soundscape over the past two weeks and caused the new gentrifying gentry (black, white, other…) to ask, “Were those fireworks or…?”

It caused one girl to dash into the subway.  If you had been as close as she was, you would have performed your own version of panic …or fateful resignation.

It was over just like that.  People passing the shooter had no idea what had happened as he tucked the small caliber back in his pants under an oversized white tee.  That moment made for a scene of 6 simultaneous realities:  1. the girl who ran  2. the people who dashed from inside a building to the balconies of their workplace to see what had happened 3.  the passersby, including the police, who walked in the epicenter of the unfolding scene just after the three licks, totally unaware of what they were in. 4. the guy who seemed to be involved, who trailed the shooter for a bit while dialing on his mobile, who then doubled back and saluted a friend on the block who also seemed in the know, who then crossed the street while still dialing, apparently unable to reach his party.  5. the shooter who, walking with a friend, seemed not to sweat in the least who might have seen the doing (both walked calmly) and 6. the person who saw the whole scene (me), all of the aforementioned realities.

this is neighborhood.  not fully neighborly.  not fully ‘hood …the active intersection of gentrification.

I wondered, as I stood there eating that bad sandwich.  ..about nothing.  If I run, I draw the wrong attention, being so close (about 70 meters from the action).  So, I stood there.  No, I had no phone.  Whom would I call upon, anyway? shotspotter would have added to the intrigue.

The two faded down the street and life continued.  Thankfully, LIFE continued.

All that at 9am.  It’s not to fear.  Walking around like that would mark you as the easiest target, given the randomness of the incident and the odd hour in which it took place.  It is an insult to walk in fear.

No, not to fear.  I was in a sort of defiant resignation, acting as if that were normal.  But, it’s not normal to lick off three shots to the clouds at 9am.

But guess who saw it coming anyway, …  Lewis Carroll, in the year 1871.  “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

That is life, the ever present idea of death. I won’t call it possibility because I’ll never know how close anyone was to catching the leaded End.  But I’ll be danged if the idea was not very and palpably present.

I finished my sandwich and watched the tail end of the curiosity – people approaching the balconies and pointing.  Reminded me of the Lorraine.  The idea became possibility became reality in that case.

And then I just went to work.  Tomorrow won’t likely be the same …in so many ways, except for that one Idea.

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~ by ericjhenderson on July 17, 2008.

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