Last night a 27-year-old man was shot and killed just around the corner from our house. I was just thinking about it, and have been all day. Standing outside with a few neighbors last night as the commanders and detectives and the SWAT team and several cops rushed about, with the circling copter and its powerful spot brightening and darkening everyone by turns, was a surreal experience, like the Do Long Bridge in Apocalypse Now.
When I was 27 I went to Singapore for 3 weeks to help a Borders which had opened and been immediately swamped by unprecedented traffic. I stayed in an executive suite at the Marriott. It was only my 3rd foreign country. I trained staff on inventory procedures, I helped catch up deposits in the cash office, I enjoyed free drinks in the executive lounge. A maid brought me complimentary papers in five languages each morning.
When I was 27 I’d been married only a couple years.
When I was 27 I started teaching in the English Department at Towson University.
When I was 27 my wife and I went to Europe with friends. We rented a Scudo van and drove around multiple countries.
When I was 27 I got really fit and stayed that way into my early 40s, when injuries started slowing me down.
When I was 27 my wife and I owned a house in Towson. I walked to work.
When I was 27 I was brash and confident about my beliefs. I knew nothing, however…I was still a child in many ways.
I sat on the stoop today and thought about what a beautiful day it was to not be dead during. I thought about bleeding out on the asphalt of Whitelock Street, and what that might be like. Quite a few souls have bled out there over the years. When I was 27 I was not shot, and I did not bleed out on Whitelock Street. I wish that were true for everyone.