Smallhouse Log

Monday, Fourteenth Week in Garfield Park "Arts District"

It's been a busy weekend. Both grandpas were in town for double birthday, starting with dinner at the restaurant. It was really cool to learn that all the things my dad liked best on the menu were the same things I like best. It made me feel connected with him in a way that's not as easy to obtain as it used to be.

Of course, our fathers get along beautifully, and all I had to do, during the one awkward pause in conversation, was to mention that the Cards were the best team in baseball right now, huh? and we were off to the races for the next four days.

The low point of the weekend was having a bullet fly past my shoulder on the way back from the community garden. I thought it was fireworks at first, until all the yelling started. I didn't want to think it could be otherwise, and as a result my reaction time, even with Claire yelling at me, was not ideal. I don't want to say, "Next time it will be better," because I don't want there to be a next time.

I wasn't particularly upset at the time, and as traumas go, it's certainly not the worst I've suffered this past year. But it was the most impersonal, the one hardest to see coming. And, of course, it could have been the most fatal. If I had been hit? If one of our dads had? The babies? Hours and days later, these scenarios play through my mind in idle moments. I'm not scared, exactly, not nervous, but I am upset. Disappointed, distraught that the neighborhood I chose to live in is not as safe as I want it to be. Embarrassed that it happened in front of our parents. Angry that someone could be so cavalier with a deadly weapon, bullets flying and striking buildings a block away.

Weary from thinking about it, replaying those alternate futures in my mind, trying to not let this one event color my perceptions of my neighbors.

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