So here’s the thing… you’re away from things for a little while, maybe even out of town. But you’re not completely incommunicado, because there’s always a computer and the Internet. One morning, you log into a popular social media website, say Facebook, maybe, and you learn that a friend has been shot. That almost requires italics. Shot. There are not a lot of details, because of course the friend is not posting them; he’s busy being in the intensive care unit of a local hospital. But the details other friends post seem encouraging, and eventually the friend himself announces, also through this popular social media site, that he’s due to have surgery but he’s lucky to be alive. So things are encouraging, even though this friend has been (and we’ll add an intensifier here) actually shot. Let’s also posit that this friend may not live all that far from you, maybe all of a mile, although you yourself may not be anywhere near there at the moment.

So you sit in an air conditioned bedroom, laptop on lap, and you wonder how this all came to pass. This sort of detail is important. See, you realize, somewhat guiltily, that you’re sitting there thinking more about yourself, now that the initial shock has waned. You think, if this was some sort of dispute, or maybe a crazy person known by the friend, it’s bad… but if it’s some stranger who might have made a different turn and ended up on a different street, not far away…. Is your safe though somewhat in decline neighborhood really not all that safe? And you can’t even give that notion much credence because you just don’t know, and you really can’t know. It’ll be awfully forward to try to find out unless the story of this event is freely told by the friend involved. And yet… and yet… it doesn’t matter, because the question is always the same: How did the world get to this point? You’ve never known anyone who has been shot.* It’s pretty unnerving.

Things and meanings will be revealed in the fullness of time. Other things will happen in the meantime that may sway the overall story one way or another. One event is important but is only a point on the timeline. An interesting angle to this is, twenty years ago you wouldn’t even know, especially from a distance of a few hundred miles, but the ubiquity of the Internet today allows you to know. It may be that answers will be available in no time at all. Or not. We may know more of the world, but the underlying uncertainty remains.

* Well, there was the one cousin, in all those years where you hadn’t seen him… another unknown story, really.

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About songdogmi

I'm a longhaired almost-hippie stuck in the inner suburbs of a major rust-belt metropolis who's thoughtful, creative, and kind of geeky. In exchange for a paycheck I run around in a cubicle maze most days. When I escape, I play music, hang out in coffee houses, dink around on the computer, take naps, and think I should be off in the woods somewhere. Every once in a while I get in my car and drive far, far away, though I've always come back so far.
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10 Responses to

  1. I could have written this Charlie.

  2. maxauburn says:

    This sad and scary. This troubles me on many levels.

    Hoping your friend will make a swift and full recovery.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’m sitting here with my teeth hanging out…may healing come quickly to his body and to everyone’s collective psyche. Fran

    • songdogmi says:

      Thanks, Fran. I’m hopeful for him. I’m not so sure the collective psyche is as easily healed, but if I dwell too much on that I won’t be able to get out of bed in the morning, will I?

  4. jjfmi says:

    Having been busy with to many things to post here, I went back through older posts and pieced together what happened – definitely high on the Holy Crap-o-Meter. Like you, I’m glad he’s making a recovery. Part of me is still dealing with the loss of one friend in the music community, as well as the near-loss of another (the latter was in surgery today in Novi, hopefully having her ear repaired from her incident).

    Has there been any progress in finding out what happened, or catching the person(s) responsible?

    • songdogmi says:

      I’ve heard nothing about those details yet. Nothing has been posted on Facebook, and I haven’t been in touch with anyone in any other venue or in person. (Life’s gotten busy with me, too.) I’d make a lousy reporter because I don’t like asking too many questions. 🙂

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