Today is 3/21/10, the first day of spring.
Today, I was in a shootout, real live gun firing, in action. The day was amazing; work was brilliant and fleeting. I had a last break and was bullshitting my way out the door. I went to my car and drove home. Effortless. I made a sandwich. I ate the sandwich and attempted some homework. I looked at my bike, and after about an hour of deciding I was on my way out of the house. I was biking to get the air pressure in my tires up to the correct PSI. I needed an air-pump. Where are you air-pump? I thought in my outside air-filled mind. My front-tire was basically flat and squished to the ground with every pedal of my feet.
I felt like a pussy, because I did not want to get my tire filled up at the bike shop for fear of them thinking I am a weirdo that always hangs around. I know no one at the bike shop, and I could care less if they know me. I was just in a state of mind that was very judgmental of my decision to pump my tire up.
I turned onto West Lake Street. The sun was bright directly in my face. I looked up and saw no bike path. I was forced to ride on the sidewalk. The bike lanes were not going South and I did not see any bike lanes as it were. I was going to go one block and turn back but I decided to check around the next corner. I think it was a CVS Pharmacy or some sort of store like that. A woman wearing a baby-blue hoodie and acting tough weaved in front of where I stood. She trudged forward. I stuck to the right avoiding her as she mouthed, or rather yelled, “Where’s the fight at?” I rode past the woman and noticed more people walking faster and seeming in a hurry. I was looking for an air-pump. I turned to the right and noticed a parking lot, an entrance to a store and a shirtless man running about 10 feet in front of me. I focused in the distance past him. I was walking my bike at this time, and saw the man he was running towards holding a black piece of something. The man in the distance stood defiantly as the shirtless man ran at his proxy. Pop, the explosion, up close, doesn’t sound as loud as you would think. Pop-pop! The adrenaline drowns it out. Your heart beats fast. The cars in front of where I stood abruptly stopped and their passengers flinched. I was sort of behind a mini van, sort of in between the man holding the gun and the shirtless man. I was sort of in danger. I ducked and looked again. I hoped that the mini van was as bullet proof as a tank because I wanted to wear nothing other than my clothes. I thought of blood. Oh god, I had no idea what to do. I froze staring blankly. I looked for the man holding the gun and the shirtless man. They had disappeared. I looked at the people who were on the sidewalk they had also disappeared. I paused. I could not move. I stood on weak legs wondering if the next thing to happen would hurt. I walked onto the sidewalk where the shirtless man had run past. No one was there, except for honking cars. I saw brake lights, reverse lights. I saw people turning, I heard people yelling. I stood. I looked left. I looked right. I got on my bike. I saw a cop walking about, and I saw people running across a street. I looked to my left, an open sidewalk. There was a jacket lying on the ground without a companion. The block was completely cleared except me. The crowds had gathered at the edge of all four ends of the parking lot and around the area. People were still running. This had been roughly 30-second span of time. I feared for shots. I shouldn’t have come out. I guess I should have just gone to the bike shop. I biked at least five blocks away and got a phone call. She was frantic and asked me if I was okay. I couldn’t breathe. I needed to go home and do homework. I looked at the ground and found a blood-speckled penny. This was my lucky day. A sound to my left. I looked to my side over a short white picket fence. I saw a man lying in the bushes next to where I stood; he lay motionless.