Monday, December 04, 2006

Saturday night, a body was found two blocks from my home. This was the information on the police report.

"On Sat 2 Dec 06 an African American male was found along (address removed) in Bolton Hill. He had sustained gunshot wounds to his torso area. He received medical treatment on the scene and was transported to Shock Trauma where he was shortly thereafter pronounced dead. A blood trail indicated the shooting had occurred in the 1300 Blk Madison Ave and victim walked to and collapsed on Lafayette Ave. The victim has been identified and the Homicide unit stated he resided on Madison Ave. The motive for the shooting is unknown at this time and is being investigated."

At that time my stepdad, me, my step brother and his girlfriend Jen were sitting around the table in the kitchen drinking, talking, having a good time. Full on a fabulous dinner, Jen and I were sipping a cosmos and Jack and Dan, a martini and a whiskey. My sister, her fiance, Alec had retired upstairs, and my stepsister Chase and her boyfriend Jim, across the street at a friends' house. We'd all sat around a large table and had a great time earlier. How wonderful it was to have everyone under one roof. Until I read this, I had no idea that at the same time, two blocks away from us a man was walking his last steps on a cold night until he could walk no more. He was alone, not surrounded by family, laughter, deserts and drinks.

This didn't even make the television news, as far as I know. It's just too common a thing anymore. In order to get to our neighborhood, he would have had to cross a busy street. I'm sure someone saw him but had no idea he'd been shot several times. Just another wayward pedestrian with a wobbly, stumbling gait in the streets of Baltimore.

I was also one of those when my stepdad walked me home at 1:15 in the morning. But luckily for me, thanks to chance and circumstance, I was just happily tipsy, looking forward to a warm bed, and accompanied by someone who made sure I arrived there safely.

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