Dispatches from Suburbia

If I played an instrument, I would have a band called "The Simon Thomsen Sex Tape"; and other musings, rants, and disconnected ramblings.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A Squarish Hole

Quote of the Day: "A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand."

When I was in elementary school, there was a little yellow house across the street from the school that was notorious for gang activity. My kindergarten classroom was on the side of the school that faced the house, and I remember quite distinctly an afternoon in which we heard several cracking sounds. Then, two classmates, a boy and a girl who had been doing some class activity just outside the classroom door, came running in, red-faced and breathless after having just witnessed a drive-by shooting.

That evening, the nightly news aired a small, squarish hole in the home's cheap yellow siding, and the hole went unrepaired for at least as long as I remained at the shool. Every morning and every afternoon, my young classmates and I saw that small hole and remembered the crack crack cracks of the gunshots.

It never scared us, I don't think, in fact I remember being quite excited and eager to tell friends and relatives about the incident, as if I'd encountered something amazing and unique, and to an extent I had. But this was when there was at least a street-width distance between the danger and the school, in a pre-Columbine era.

So now I remember our reaction, our childish "Wow!"--my year in kindergarten being the same that Die Hard 2 was released in theaters. The incident perhaps offered a glimpse of certain danger that could possibly even allow me to be a hero, or at least tell my friends and family a good yarn. But now, seventeen or so years later, if I were sitting in a classroom and I heard those ominous cracks, I'd probably soil myself.


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