No Taming This Shrew



My beloved Hermano was almost shot outside his surprise birthday party Friday night in San Francisco. He wasn't hurt, although it scared the living hell out of him. He and some friends were getting out of a car and walking into a house, and as they were walking back to the car a few minutes later (to get the cake for the li'l brother) four dudes were jacking it and peeling out. Hermano & Co. all ran out yelling after them, and the car screeched around in a U-turn and started heading straight for them and two guys were leaning out of the window with guns, firing. They chased my brother and his friends until they hit the dirt behind some shrubs or in some neighbor's garage. This is the second time my brother's come up against a gun in SF and he's lived there less than three months.

I live in the Murder Capitol of the US, although Detroit and Atlanta like to think they're getting in on something. I have staggered through unfortunate neighborhoods late at night, I have driven into drug busts by accident, I take the subway when I shouldn't to places I shouldn't go. In other words, I'm a lucky idiot in a bad bad city. Mon frere goes to the happy hippy picturesque gay-o-polis and gets gunplay.

My first response to this news was to put on my spurs, saddle up the ponies, and head west to kick somebody's ass. Since I have neither spurs nor horse I've been mostly spitting mad. The last time I felt this shaken was when my college roommate was brutally raped and beaten when we were on summer break from Woof U. I had dreams for months about finding her rapist and killing him with my bare hands. (I still think about finding him when I head south to her town...I still might kill him given the chance. She was never the same again.)

Little Bro is considerably younger than I am, and I have always been his self-appointed protector. When he went to China, I was constantly worried but exhilarated when he decided to have himself an adventure. (I was more relieved when the Peace Corps sent him home for his own safety.) Now he's moved to a place far away on "the left coast" where he has friends and a place to live and he's so happy and HE'S ALMOST GOTTEN SHOT TWICE! I don't know whether to rail against gun lobbies or crime legislation or San Francisco or what.