Sunday, March 21, 2010
POW - POW - POW - POW - POW!
It was 1:45 AM on Saturday morning. I was on call for work discussing a computer issue, and had just hung up the phone. The house was dark, I was sitting in the bed, Mr. Bryant and Gizmo were both sleeping soundly. And then I heard the unmistakable sound of gunshots. Five. Right in a row. POW - POW - POW - POW - POW!
Mr. Bryant hopped out of bed but was still sleepy, looking around. "That doesn't sound good," I said, wide awake. "No," he yawned, "that doesn't sound good." He made sure the house alarm was on and came back to bed.
I was lying in the bed as he checked things, sending my best thoughts and all my heart's calm out into the night, racing over the fields and houses, wishing everyone well. I was thinking about how, on the warm summer nights, young adults ride their bikes through the neighborhoods because they don't want to drive cars. It wasn't warm yet, but people were surely still out. I was thinking about how people are out having late dinners, maybe walking home. About how people might be over at Amelie's, having a coffee, just driving home now. About how I do that sometimes when I can't sleep. About how I wish with all my heart for everyone and their dear ones to be safe.
Mr. Bryant had told me the week before about a women he rides the bus with being held up by a young man with a gun, in broad daylight, at an ATM machine. The woman was in her car, and the young man - who was most likely even more scared than she was - demanded her money. She handed him the money from the ATM ($40.00), and he said, "Give me your money! I know you have more! I am going to kill you!" She, desperate, pushed her purse out at him through the window crying "No I don't! No I don't!" and she stepped on the gas, driving away terrified as he reached for her purse. I said a prayer then for that young man and the woman driver, and I said another one now.
"Should we call 911?" I asked. Mr. Bryant said, "Do you know what direction the shots came from?" "No." "It was probably a half a mile or more away. Have you heard anything since?" "No." "Then no, just go back to sleep."
I tossed and turned. I sent out my hearts best wishes. I texted my daughter. I love you, be safe. I put the phone on the bedside table and rolled over. A few seconds later, Chirp! I picked up the phone. I am safe! I am in bed, reading a good book. Love you mom.
I relaxed a bit, and prayed then for our city, for the young men in our society, for the people with little to lose. I prayed for those caught in webs of despair, and those without guidance. I prayed for all mercies and all graces to be shared, to find the way to bring goodness, fairness, and civility to our land.
I looked at the clock. 3:32 AM. I said a prayer of thanks for all of us and finally drifted to sleep.
Note - the image above, of my favorite ray gun, is from RyanNagata.