Sleeping lightly

When car alarms go off for 20 straight minutes at the time when the bars close, I wonder if it’s because people are too drunk to be driving home, or if they’re drunk enough to try something stupid. Either way I’m awake.

Just a few weeks ago I emailed the neighborhood association because I walked past a guy returning to his car around dinner time to find his window shattered. On the way home, I passed 4 other piles of shattered window glass. That seems a lot for one block in a short time.

When I was a kid, all my neighbors complained about this one bar. Every night you could hear groups of young  guys stumbling home and shooting. Occasionally they would smash windows, but mostly they were known for. cutting people’s car radio antennas. You could tell who was rich because they had removable radios  antennas. Everybody else had broken antennas and bad reception. I don’t really get the purpose, except maybe it was easy vandalism? 

Summer is the worst, because my bedroom window faces the street – yes, that means you can serenade me when I’m famous – and everyone is out later. That’s when I get woken up around 4am by people excitedly talking much more loudly than they realize. Occasionally they shoot, have arguments, or break up. I’ve been those people too, though I’ve always been pretty quiet if walking alone.

I had moved away for school when a woman down the street was murdered by her ex, and her teenaged neighbor was hospitalized for trying to intervene. He was okay in the end. I don’t know if they ever caught the guy, though. Apparently the whole street came together for a big memorial. The incident really affected a lot of people.

It’s not like I’ve missed all the gruesome events near me. During my first time living with someone, I woke up to what I thought was the sound of gunfire – still pretty uncommon both there and where I live now – which was confirmed in the news the next morning. I was in the middle of flunking out of teacher’s college, and had to wake up way too early. I don’t know that the whole story ever became public, or if there was a trial. I seem to recall that it was drug-related, and these rich kids got gunned down in their car, but a young woman survived the whole thing.I guess I did miss that.

I also miss being able to wake up only long enough to write down dreams. I trained myself shortly after leaving teacher’s college and breaking up with my unsupportive girlfriend. It’s been years since I’ve been able to even remember a dream, though. I’m going to try tonight. Right about now.


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