I've been trying to process this all weekend. I still haven't wrapped my head around it, not really. I was driving to the Speedee place to get my oil changed, and realize I needed to be on Elysium rather than Esplanade, I cut through Treme, right through this neighborhood. It was really close.
You know, as this was going on - and after I'd already called her for the day - my mother texted me and asked if we were close to these shootings. It had already made the national news. I texted her back and lied, writing that, no, I was nowhere near where that was going on, when in fact, I was very close indeed.
I also didn't tell her about the guy who got mugged a month or so back on my Otis-walking route, nor did I tell her about the dude who was shot last year right down the street trying to break up a car jacking. I don't tell her that as often as not I hear gunshots, especially when I'm staying in the Bywater but also when I'm at my place in the Point. I really don't want her to worry.
This has apparently shocked New Orleans, which in and of itself is pretty goddamn shocking. This is a town that wears its inherent dangers almost as a badge of honor, and at the very least it's an accepted if regrettable part of life in the town. But this event has people angry and scared. Maybe something will come out of that. Maybe it will shake the town and the government out of its complacency and start doing something constructive. Maybe.
I remember not long ago discussing "beefs" with the lads, and how that the second line used to be one of the few places even someone with an active beef could go and they probably wound't be shot. The lads were saying how that's no longer the case, that you could get shot just as easily at a parade or a second line as you could outside the club. I guess not.
The NOPD say they have a suspect they're looking for and there's a picture and I'm sure he'll be caught soon. What were you thinking, kid, whatever convinced you this was a good idea. Could we please just stop with the guns and killing, just for a little while? This really doesn't even fall into the whole nation-wide debate we're having over how terrified some folks are that we might think their penises are tiny, it's more just a plea for a friggin' break, you gutless wonders. Stop shooting people.
Thankfully, most importantly, no one was killed.