Saturday, May 12, 2007

This is awful, and I kind of don't know where to start, and if you're someone of a fragile constitution, I advise you to switch over to and skip this post.

This was a rough week, but despite all the hardships, I feel so blessed and so lucky, so don't think I'm complaining if I tell you about something awful. I'm just kind of trying to wrap my brain around it all.

I had occasion to drive down a particular street in Dallas today where there are typically lots of homeless people, drug-peddling hang-arounders, and hookers. I drove through at about 4:45, which on Friday is a time when the pedestrian traffic intensifies as the day laborers are dropped back off by the bunk house, etc. As nearly always happens, I saw a hand-off of drugs. This pair caught my attention because they were so mutt-and-jeff. He was a large, pudgy Rerun (What's Happening?) type, and she is a skinny crack-whore type I've been seeing in that neighborhood recently. This was doubtless just another of countless scores of hand-offs that happened on that street today. What's one more?

I finished my business at an office at about 7:00, got in my car and drove up the road. I noticed homeless people standing in clusters, all looking up the street when I see the body in the road. Walking away from the body is someone who works for my company. I pulled up and a police officer had just arrived and was calling in for support. The man I know told me the guy had walked up to a silver Caprice Classic in the street and asked for a cigarette, and the driver shot him 7 times. His face was planted squarely down in the pavement, a pool of dark red spreading like a corona.

It was a terrible thing to see. The co-worker said the skinny crack whore woman told him what happened, he'd heard the gunshots and saw the car speeding away. He said he'd just run over and the guy was dead, had no pulse. I'll bet it was a transaction gone wrong, or whatver. Actually, now I feel badly that I didn't stop to see if the co-worker guy was going to be alright - I think he was pretty rattled. However, I could be of no material use to investigators, and frankly, I wanted to get out of the 'hood.

I went to dinner as I'd planned, went back to my other office and wrapped up some paperwork, and went home. I don't know quite what I think. I think I'm kind of dazed. We all know life is very cheap to some people, but other than their lack of self-respect, it's not often we see such an extreme example.

Hours later, I'm wondering if the dead guy in the road was the one I saw do the hand-off with crack-whore. Not that it matters.

I don't quite know what to think. I wish I hadn't seen that.


FHB said...

Sheesh, that's too bad. For some poor folks, life sucks and then they die. Be glad that you came by after, and not during.

They just found a woman's body in a shallow grave in the town my folks live in, and now they're lookin' for the husband.


Ambulance Driver said...

Violent death scars everyone it touches.

Speaking from experience here, what should worry you is when you reach a point where it DOESN'T affect you.

Anonymous said...

You were at the wrong place at the wrong time as I was at 19. My sister and I were driving down an old dairy road and a body was lying in the road, surrounded by police. Upon returning home I was called by the police to tell me that body was my brother. My sister and I have wondered why we were lead down that road that night, but we don't have the answer and you may never know why either.
Life happens for reasons that we sometimes don't understand.
I'll keep you in my prayers. said...

Sometimes life jumps up and smacks you hard in the face just to wake you up and give you another chance to thank God for your many blessings.

You probably shouldn't go down to that area alone, if you can avoid it. Bad things happen to good people sometimes.

phlegmfatale said...

fathairybastard - yup, it's out there and we all know it every day. Like I said on my Friday blog, I'm blessed and I'm just focusing on all the good and trying not to take the bad personally. Bad things befall everyone, and everyone has to get up and overcome the bullshit. Best to not let it drag you down!

ambulance driver - seriously, driving away from that I thought about the men and women who see that every day, folks who are police and ambulance drivers -the ones who show up to pick up the broken folks - Bless you all. I know your work is about helping and trying to salvage lives, but it must take some incredible constitution to do what you do. Bless you.

Oh, Lainy - bless YOU. That is so terrible a thing to have happen. Yes, it's inexplicable. Thank you for the prayers - I'll be fine.

mushy - Yeah, I am SO thankful. Well, I HAVE to go to that area - part of my work is there, but I'm going to get a license and start packing. Oh, and I won't be asking any homies for cigarettes.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

How awful for everyone involved. I really makes you realize that for some people life can be brutish, dirty and short.

phlegmfatale said...

barbara - and how terrible it would be to die jonesing for a cigarette!

Tam said...

"I wish I hadn't seen that."

I wish you hadn't, either. :(

Do be safe if your business requires you to be in places like that. Alertness is the best defense; everything else is for if that fails.

phlegmfatale said...

tam - True dat. I got mugged in my early 20s, and that utterly changed how I am in situations.

Kevin said...

Reading this post brings it home to me how many people are affected by a violent act like that. That's a picture you're not likely to get out of your head anytime soon. I'm sorry.

Zelda said...

That is horrific. On my way back to college from winter break, I stepped over a dead homeless guy in New York port authority without knowing it. He was lying, covered with garbage bags, in the boarding line. That night, I found out that he was dead from someone who had taken a later bus from the same gate. He said they were hauling him off just as he was boarding. I was creeped out for days.

Meg said...

Gee. Gee.... Rita, do you have to go to that area again?

phlegmfatale said...

kevin - nope, not out of my head. Now, if I could convince myself to erase it from my cell phone... (I know-- SICK &TACKY!)

zelda- Yeah, it was awful, but I think your experience was more upsetting. You had no part in his death. If you check every sleeping person in public to see if they can fog a mirror, well, you'll be disturbing a lot of folks and probably inviting an ass-whupping. That IS creepy, though.

meg - yup, almost daily.