What do you do when you don’t feel “safe” anymore?
How do you deal with the continued erosion of your own self assumed ideas of “community”? Or “neighborhood”? Or “home”?
What’s the procedure when the local newspaper (or newspaper web site, just to be current) is regularly reporting increasing violence all around you, your home, and your family?
You can always call the police…Right? There is a fine line between sudden victim and informed paranoia, with dire consequences on either side.
Then, there’s the gossip, the whisper-down-the-lane-bullshit we all disregard is theory but eat the fuck up in person…They did WHAT? You think he’s beating his wife HOW? She’s turning tricks WHERE? Well, they have 5 kids, they have to provide somehow…Sucking dick is better than starving, right?!? RIGHT?!?
Your senses begin to tingle each night…It’s 1:30 in the morning…Why is there a Cadillac pulling into my neighbor’s driveway? Why is she getting into the car with this person for what seems to be an extended period of time while I am perched in my underwear on my toilet, peering out my tiny bathroom window, my giant bald head eclipsing the mild light from the Glade air freshener plug-in, making me insecure about being seen staring out MY OWN GODDAMN BATHROOM FUCKING WINDOW, I OWN THE FUCKING HOUSE I CAN LOOK OUT THE FUCKING WINDOW AT ANY GODDAMN TIME IT’S MY FUCKING RIGHT!!
More violence is reported. A young girl, 14, shot multiple times a couple miles away. My drug dealer neighbor shows up one day with his face so badly beaten he can’t see out of one eye. Another neighbor tells me a story about recent gang tags a few streets over. An increase in home invasions…What? Really?
The research, meant to make you “feel” more “informed” doesn’t help. Googling “Home Invasion” with your area code just brings up countless links from months gone by…A “team” of five “infiltrate” an apartment building and kick in doors demanding money, pistol whip one man and his girlfriend when they try to barricade themselves into their bedroom…Two “persons of interest” aged between 15 and 19 years, forcing a victim…That word, “VICTIM”….into their BASEMENT and demanding drugs and money…A recent, within the last two weeks, HOME INVASION (THEY ARE INVADING YOUR HOME MOTHERFUCKER) where a gunman (THAT’S A GUY WITH A FUCKING GUN) held children hostage for money and drugs AND THIS WAS LESS THAN A MILE FROM YOUR HOUSE. YOUR HOUSE WHERE YOU SLEEP, WHERE YOUR WIFE SLEEPS, WHERE YOUR BABY SLEEPS. You don’t have money…I don’t have money, I don’t do drugs…WE DON’T DO DRUGS. WE HAVE NOTHING TO OFFER THESE…PERPETRATORS. CRIMINALS. MURDERERS. SCUMBAGS. WHY WOULD THEY DO THIS? You hope to never know. But you prepare.
It hits closer to home, a friend or a coworker…Their brother shot during a home invasion while tackling the intruder…The SAME THING YOU WOULD DO IN THAT SITUATION, I WOULD DO, and his ass got SHOT MOTHERFUCKER. “If someone came in my house, I’d kill them.” You keep saying that to yourself. “I’d KILL them, CUT them, STAB them, hit them with a MOTHERFUCKING BRICK.” You say this because the paranoia and survival instinct kicks in, and you’re not gonna let someone harm your family, or take your shit, or your money, but you DON’T KNOW how you will really react. “It’s never gonna be the Jackie Chan scene it could have been”. And you’re no good to anyone dead, no matter what some retarded hero instinct is telling you. BUT YOU WILL PROTECT THEM.
So you prepare. And Hope it won’t happen. Plans are made…Extra locks are bought. A big ass pile of throwing knives, some butterfly-trench knives for me, some pepper spray to make her feel better, but no guns. SHE WON’T HAVE GUNS IN THE HOUSE, and I don’t entirely blame her. I’m not a gun guy…I avoided them when my friends went through their gun phases because I didn’t trust myself to not go GUN NUTS. I respect guns, I respect responsible gun owners, and the bottom line is…Guns are cool. Just not for us, at least not yet. Stun guns are neat, but fuck, we can’t afford those. We don’t have the cash…We can’t afford to defend ourselves, why would someone rob us? Practice, defense takes practice, stab someone LIKE THIS, cut someone LIKE THIS, punch someone in the face and KICK THE SHIT OUT OF THEM LIKE THIS. Fight for your life, for the lives of your family. KILL THAT MOTHERFUCKER BEFORE HE KILLS YOU.
I’m a little more aware of that car that seems to be following me while I walk the dog around 9:30 PM on a Friday…First around one corner…Then a full block…Now a second corner…WHY ARE THEY DRIVING SO FUCKING SLOW? Right behind me…I deftly (at least, I think it is deftly) slide my fingers around the chrome knuckles in my pocket, and walk a little straighter and slower…COME GET ME BITCH. I won’t show anyone fear, I won’t be anyone’s victim. It makes me feel better, even if it is completely hollow. Shit, the dog. I can’t fight anyone with the dog here.
It passes. I got home. The car followed me as far as my house, then parked. I never saw where they went, but they were gone five minutes later. Maybe just stopping for weed or a blowjob. I WILL NOT BE HELPLESS. I WILL NOT BE A VICTIM. I WILL FIGHT THEM. I WILL PROTECT MY FAMILY. I WILL NOT BACK DOWN.
Upon stressful obsession, a SHAKING, PACING, CHEST THUMPING INTERLUDE, I recall two instances where the back gate wasn’t latched, like someone came into the yard CASING THE HOUSE MAYBE?…Or just the neighbor kids getting a lost ball. I mean, it wouldn’t be an easy house to break into, unless you really BROKE IN, took out a window, something loud, we would hear, neighbors would hear, someone would do something. But why? We have nothing, not even a fucking flat screen TV like the rest of the WORLD, why would anyone try to take from us? We need better curtains, and some more locks…Can we get more knives? You really can’t have enough knives, is what it comes down to. AND SOMETHING ELSE TO HIT A MOTHERFUCKER WITH, maybe that giant iron rod with the bearing on the end? The one that came from my old job, it was part of some huge machine AND IT’LL KILL A MOTHERFUCKER GOOD.
STILL PLANNING….OK, if we hear something, the dog barks, the doors open, the floor squeaks under the weight OF SOME MOTHERFUCKING SCUMBAG then you go here with the baby and call the police, I’ll hide here and wait, like some giant visible oaf in my underwear wielding a baseball bat…It’ll be fine. I’LL FUCKING KILL A MOTHERFUCKER IN MY HOUSE. Hide a knife here, then here, the baby can’t reach them, no one can see them. I WILL CUT SOMEONE’S FUCKING THROAT OUT, AT LEAST I’M TAKING A FUCKING EYE, ANYONE THAT COMES IN MY HOUSE IS GOING TO LEAVE MISSING SOMETHING. We’ll be safe, you’ll be safe, the baby will be safe.