>Too Close to Home

      6 Comments on >Too Close to Home

>This morning I got up, just like every other Monday. Took a shower, washed my hair, got ready for work. I was walking through my little courtyard to my garage when I noticed a police car parked near my building. “Domestic disturbance” I thought as I opened up my garage door. I was on my way to dump my trash when I heard a woman yelling, “No, no, no, no, no!” Over and over again. “It’s not fair!” I thought, “Wow. It’s really sad that these abused women can’t let go of the men who hurt them.”

Then I noticed the 3 other police cars parked in the lot. I made my way in the silence of the cool morning to the dumpster. I knew this was more than just a domestic disturbance call. “Why? Why?” the woman yelled.

I dumped the trash. As I was returning to my garage, I noticed a few neighbors standing outside their garages and on their balconies observing the scene. “He’s going to pay for what he did to my brother!” I heard the same woman scream.

Suddenly, the goosebumps on my skin were not from the breeze blowing off the river. I passed a neighbor lady who was near tears, “What’s going on?”

“We’re not sure, but we think a young man who was on his way to Iraq either committed suicide or was murdered.”

I walked on stunned. How could this be happening in my apartment complex? This stuff only happened on TV. It wasn’t real. I turned to go into my garage and saw the grieving family holding each other just trying to breathe.

Mechanically, I got into my car and went to work. As I was leaving the complex, I saw the inevitable camera man, peeping in on the scene, documenting the human at its worst.

I lived in the Bay Area for 10 years and never once did something like this happen near my home. There was the occasional domestic disturbance or drunk and disorderly, but never a murder.

The grief in the air is still palpable tonight. The parking lot has 4 Crime Scene Unit trucks in it. I’m trying not to think about it. I didn’t even know the guy or his family, but I feel the tear in the fabric of the world. The energy of what occurred (apparently last night) cannot be ignored.

I will go back to my daily routine. It’s the only way I know how to deal with this situation, but I will be forever changed.

6 thoughts on “>Too Close to Home

  1. Balloon Pirate

    >Right now, my son is on his way there. My nephew, a marine, will be coming back in September.

    At least someone who has my nephew’s name will be.

    Remember hearing about those 14 Marines that were killed a week or so ago? He was in that firefight. Some of those Marines were his colleagues. Some were his friends.

    They used to call him ‘cheese.’ Because he was always smiling. Even when he was lugging a mortar around, he had this big goofy grin on his face.

    Not anymore. He doesn’t talk to anyone. He does what he’s ordered to do, and that’s about it. He’s shut down emotionally.

    I don’t know how deep the damage runs in him, but even if he comes back tomorrow without a scrape, he’s still a casualty of war.


  2. SFChick74

    >You know, Balloon Pirate, over this weekend I was thinking about the men and women who come back from this war. Alot of focus is paid to those who die, but what about those who are injured? What about those who witness the carnage?

    I would hope that our government would set up a program to help those people out. I know that’s probably not going to happen. I can’t imagine just dropping people off back home and telling them to just cope after going through what can only be described as hell. We train our troops for war, but do we train them on how to come back from it?

    I’m sorry to hear about your nephew. I hope someday he can choose to smile again.

  3. SFChick74

    >To follow up: The guy was murdered. The newspaper says he was shot. I think he was at a friend’s house when it happened. No word on if the friend did it or a random psycho. The story is very strange. The victim’s wife said he went to see a friend late Sunday night and that was the last she saw of him. I still can’t believe this happened in my own apartment complex.


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