Saturday, December 13, 2008

Just Another Night In Bed-Stuy

I was setting down for a night in. Watch on movie, eat some junk food. Well a lot of junk food. Anyway next thing you know, the distant clipped bang of gunfire. Maybe seven times in total, although I wasn't really counting. It would go a couple of shots followed by silence followed by more. I'd like to be all hard and say that I'd gotten used to gunshots after living here awhile, but I'd be lying my ass off. Besides they've been getting less frequent, although it feels as if there's been a recent upswing. Or maybe it's just always been there and I'd been doing a pretty good job of ignoring it.

I look out my window to see any reaction because I might have mistaken it for fireworks or something, even though I was pretty sure I wasn't wrong. I knew it was gunfire. You can just tell. In the distance, a block away a crowd was gathered behind a car. There was a shape on the ground. I couldn't be absolutely sure as I squinted, but deep down I knew what it was.

A few minutes later, a chorus of sirens. Ambulances, police cars inbound. Cops dismounted and fanned out, entering the projects where the gunfire had come from. A stretcher, the body's rolled into the ambulance. Feet of police tape were unfurled as more cars arrived. I'm not sure if the person shot was dead or alive, but the seeming lack of urgency seemed to confirm it. As I keep looking I hear the beating rotor blades of an overhead police helicopter, a focused piercing blue beam of light penetrating the cloudless sky. A short term show of force for an event that won't make the evening news.

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