I woke up a few nights ago to a gunshot, and another one, in quick succession. I wasn’t sure it wasn’t a car backfiring, since that’s what I try to convince myself it is at night in New York. But the hour, and the screaming that followed it, assured me that I wasn’t mistaken, and assured that I wouldn’t fall back asleep for quite a while.
The shots and screaming masses were right outside our front door. Twenty minutes later, there was another shot, and the screaming masses dispersed.
The next day I asked my Nica grandmother what had gone on the previous night.
“I heard shots,” I said.
“Oh, well there is a member of one gang on the right side corner of our street, one from another on the left corner, and then the member of the third gang is just across the street. They’re a bunch of troublemakers.”
“No the police came and shot into the air one time to break up the fight.”
“I heard three shots.”
“Oh. Well… the police fired three shots then.” And the conversation was over.
Later my fourteen year-old sister said, “The big fight is tonight.”