shootout. november 26th.

i woke up in the scariest possible way this morning. after thanksgiving at kit's i came home, took nyquil, and got into bed at about 930.

i couldn't fall asleep. sometimes nyquil has this effect on me. if i am awake past that initial warm sleepy window, then i'm up for hours.

sometime around 1230, i finally fell asleep and was having buffy-inspired nightmares.

then i heard screeching tires, then gunshots. and car crashing sounds. the sound of multiple cars being hit one after another, which made me wonder, as i scrambled out of bed to look out the window, if they were gunshots at all.

i looked out, pretty blind without my glasses. it was 230.

there was a car smashed into another car that was parked in front of my stoop. a guy was outside the driver's side door. i could tell that he was black, and wearing a black jacket. he looked like an older guy, but i couldn't really see.

he looked up at me, and saw me looking at him.

i got on the floor and crawled toward my bedroom door.

i was shaking, and my heart was racing.

if there had been gunshots, and he didn't realize that i couldn't see him well at all, i totally expected there to be gunshots in my general direction. it was a crazy progression of thoughts.

after about a minute of silence, i got up and tried to find my glasses. they were in the bathroom. by the time i got back, and looked back out the window, the car was abandoned, and people were starting to come outside.

cops pulled up right about then, i saw them talking to the people who were outside, and decided to pop a halls and go out for a smoke to try to calm down and see if anyone else had seen anything.

before i went outside, i was worried that the people would come back by and shoot at us, but i guess my sleepy freakout logic overrode that with the importance of a calming cigarette.

i joined the neighbors, there were five of them. all talking and saying the same thing.

a couple had seen this before, like i had. i saw a car hit every car parked on one side of the street from the house once. and i'd heard gunshots in our old apartment.

this was crazy. the story i got from them, as the cops took notes, was this:

a white suv was driving alongside this green car (the one i saw). shots were fired, and the suv pushed the car into the cars on my side of the street. once the green car stopped, the suv drove off.

the guy i saw got out of the car, which was the point i saw him, then got something out of the car, and walked down my side of the street in the direction they'd come from. the green car was stolen.

what i noticed when i saw him was that he wasn't moving quickly. which is why being shot at seemed like such a crazy thing at the time. i thought maybe, like the other accident i'd seen, he just lost control of his car and wrecked into cars, and that there were no gunshots.

but when i came back and saw that he was gone, i thought that maybe he was drunk and left the scene before the cops showed up.

after hearing one guy say he saw the gun, but not the gun being fired, i realized that it was what i'd originally thought.

i couldn't describe anything, and because i'd gotten on the floor, i didn't have any missing piece of the story to tell.

but it was fucking scary.

what's interesting is that kit and i were just talking about our neighborhood being safe yesterday afternoon. and i had just heard an accident at the other end of the block in the afternoon on wednesday, and looked out after a horn honked and i heard the metal on metal sound. it's such an alarming sound to hear. once you hear it, you always recognize it. i was talking about it when i met kit's family that night.

and then this.

and i think the scariest thing was that my neighbor a couple doors down missed the whole thing. he had headphones on, came out for a smoke, i guess, and realized something was going on.

he was freaked out, because he had just come home from 7-11 right before the shooting, and if he'd been a few minutes later, he would've been there when it happened.

and i guess that, waking up this morning and thinking about it, that's what scares me.

this is how innocent people die in this city. being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

i have come home at 230 in the morning more than a few times since i lived here. what if it hadn't been thanksgiving and i had been out? what if i'd had a little too much to drink, and wandered into that whole thing while it was going down?

these people were not from our neighborhood. they were in a chase from somewhere else. but they came to a stop right in front of the stoop i sit smoking on every single day and night.

and when i can't sleep, i'm out there. one in the morning, two in the morning, whatever. doesn't matter.

and who knows what frame of mind that guy was in when he looked up at me. who knows if he even knows where he was when he came to a stop. i don't know if he was the shooter or if the guy in the suv was.

all i know is that it's going to take a while to get over this. i am already on edge and panicky for no good reason all the time, and now i have reason to be. it sucks.

when i came back inside around 3, i knew i'd have an impossible time falling asleep. i was too shaky from everything that had just happened. the cops rang my bell, and i stuck my head out, saying i'd just been downstairs, and that i didn't see anything helpful because i didn't have my glasses on.

they started talking, a total of six cop cars were outside at that point, and i made hot chocolate and took some more nyquil and tried to go back to sleep. i think i probably fell asleep around 4. maybe a little after.

all this after a pretty great thanksgiving.

i woke up and got online, to see that a friend said it was snowing. i thought she was kidding, but i looked out my window and it was snowing.

i'd been having a dream about thundersnow falling in huge clumps. there was a lot of other stuff in the dream, but it was maybe the third thing i wrote down about the dream when i woke up.

and it was snowing in real life. pretty odd. first snow of the year. it never sticks. but it's always so silent and pretty and magical. it snowed for a few hours before it turned to rain.

thanksgiving at kit's was pretty fun. played some wii, helped a little with the prep and helped more with cleaning as we went along. i'm usually pretty picky with food, and thanksgiving is not one of my favorites food-wise. usually at mom's the only thing i eat is turkey, potatoes, and bread. everything else is not on my list of foods i like.

but at kit's everything was on my awesome list. chicken and potatoes and salad and bread and even a savory onion/apple/pear filled pastry, which i was afraid to try, but which was awesome. and double dessert with brownies and pumpkin cheesecake. my favorite.

and beer.

i broke atkins for thanksgiving which was my goal, but need to try to stick to it. i wasn't really seeing any progress to that point, but i know that if i go back to my old ways, it will get worse, even if it doesn't get better sticking to this.

it's two. i'm still in bed. i still feel crappy. and i still have the headache i woke up with at 930.

i should probably get up and try to do something now.

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