Thursday, June 23, 2011

When Horror happens on your doorstep.

Last weekend, my building got put on the news.

A woman stabbed a man on the street then ran off.

That was bad enough. The fire department had to come and wash the blood off the street. But if you look at the events leading to the stabbing, more horror comes to light.

The people involved in the stabbing were well known on our block. Constantly fighting. Constant partying until 3am. Cops are called to the house at least four times a week. The disturbances are so commonplace, you can set your watch by them.

I won't say the rest of us on the block have become callous, because at least one of us called the police, when these things happen. But I found myself rolling my eyes and closing the windows when the fighting started.

So that night when one of the couples from this house were outside my porch screaming at each other about something. I can't remember what. They have argued about everything from who smoked all the pot to who owns the dog. So I didn't pay attention. They went around the other side of our house.

Thats where the stabbing happened. In a twist we found out the next morning, the woman stabbed the man. Stabbings are very common right now in my city. This is the first one this year where the woman did the stabbing.

Cops come, with detectives. They are looking around our place for the knife. My son comes home at that time. He hurries to our porch while one guy is screaming and pointing. "Arrest that!"
Fire department comes. My husband goes out to see why. He sees the blood. He comes inside.

"There is a lot."

We stay inside and peek out once in awhile. A crowd forms to watch the events. People are gathering in the alley behind our house to gawk. We felt like prisoners at this point. The event ends. The cops and fire department leave. The news crews leave. The street returns to silence.

What was the real horror? The stabbing? No.

How people can live such destructive lives? Yes.

We could have intervened. We could have tried to stop these events rolling into this stabbing. But we didn't, why? Because some people do not want to end the horror they are in. I know that sounds horrible. But think about it. If the cops were called to your house every other day, a normal person would wonder what is going on in their life that is causing the calls. They might move out. They might seek help.

But some people, blame the cops, blame the neighbors "for getting in their business", blame everyone, but themselves.

People have tried to talk to them. I overheard a great conversation one night. (It was right outside my porch, I couldn't help but hear it.) "Look, you are complaining what is happened at your old home, is happening here. What changed? The location? What didn't change? You. Maybe you are the problem."

Of course they didn't listen. Who wants to be told they are the problem. That something they are doing, or allowing to be done, is causing all the drama. They might even think that they are in the right. Or that they think everyone lives like they do. They don't see the danger until real late.

This is the real horror in life.

I rather stay with my fiction.


  1. Wow, it must have been scary to see all that unfold right in front of you. And you are right, the real horror of it was that it was brewing for so long -- like a real slow-motion train wreck.

    I think everything you said is true, regarding the reasons people stay in that situation. Sad and horrible and terribly predictable, all at the same time, huh?

  2. Wow, that must have been scary to be around. can't stand for people that don't want to help themselves. There's really nothing you can do for them. It's a shame.