Saturday, December 27, 2014


Here, while I'm trying to get something together, have a re-run. It's a post from 2011 on the fascinating topic of inner-city violence, intravenous opiates, and the virtue of running:
'Way back in the summer of aught-aught, when I was recovering from all the surgery they had to do to stick me together after my motorcycle accident, I had a double occupancy room at the Big City Public Hospital.

My roommate was an African-American woman who I thought of as "middle aged" at the time, but looking back, she seems to have gotten much younger; I mean, she probably wasn't much over thirty-five. Funny how that works. Anyhow, she was recovering from a gunshot wound in the arm.

She had friends and relatives in and out of the room nearly constantly, which should have annoyed me, except that I was curled up with an on-demand morphine drip and was consequently pretty much out of my head on opiates for most of our joint tenancy. During one of my more lucid periods, I asked her story, and received the following amazing tale in response...

Our heroine was standing at the bus stop, minding her own business. (This, as everyone knows, is one of the most dangerous things you can do in the 'hood.) The bus stop was slightly elevated from street level by a low stone retaining wall. All of a sudden and for no reason, as these things so often go down, the man in the house across the street emerged with his girlfriend, started shouting death threats at her, and the pair proceeded to hop in his car and try to run her down.

They were unable to reach her with the car due to the retaining wall, so the crazy guy leapt out of the car, leaving his girlfriend at the helm to continue playing Death Race 2000, while he shouted that he was going back across the street to fetch his gun and come back and shoot her.

"...and so he did," said my hospital roommate.

"Wait," I replied, confused, "you saw him run into his house, come back out with a gun, come back across the street, and shoot you, and you just stood there?"

"If I'd'a ran, he'd'a shot me!" she retorted, looking at me as though I had a screw loose.

"Looks like standing still didn't work so hot, either," I said, returning to the joys of the electrically-dispensed poppy.