Nov 30, 2010

So...Have You Ever Been in Gang Crossfire?

Because I have! Kind of.


Yesterday, I called off work because I am getting over a residual sore throat from the weekend. However, I wasn't so out of it to be purely bedridden. My roommate and I decided to go out to one of our favorite diners, Daley's, for breakfast. I've been there about a hundred times, and, even though it's in a sort of shady area, nothing has ever happened.

As we reached the entranceway, though, a car flew by, shots suddenly rang out, and people started ducking into buildings. An older gentleman, my roommate, and I were huddled together, crouched right outside the door. The old man started saying to me, "Open the door, open the door!" So I did, and we all slipped into the restaurant.

I don't think anyone was hurt (thank goodness), but it was pretty frightening nonetheless. I mean, I've been around gunfire before. In fact, I remember being part of a summer program on the West Side of Chicago a few years ago, sitting out on the rooftop sometime around July 4, trying to figure out which explosions we heard were gunshots and which were fireworks (and, fyi, fireworks have more of an echo, gunshots are sharper). But I've never been at the intersection where the stuff was occurring. It really sobers you about what goes on in the city and what some people have to live with every day.

The cashier in the restaurant, as we scuttled in half-crouched, nonchalantly looked out and said "Are they shootin' again?"

Then today, when I told one of my coworkers (a 27 year Navy vet) about it, saying "I mean, I've never been shot at before," he responded--without sarcasm--"Really??" Sorry, dude, but I grew up in Indiana. Shooting at each other is not one of our usual pastimes.

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