Gunshots at 12:30 a.m.
At 12:30 a/m as I’m sitting in my flat-
I hear a very peculiar sound outside my bedroom window.
Bang . . . Bang Bang-
and then a blood curdling scream.
A few more shots and there is nothing but silence.
I immediately think of the story from Freakanomics; a city neighborhood filled with caring people ignored the cries for help from a woman that was getting raped just steps away where any one could have intervened. It went on for awhile and then just as suddenly it stopped. Figuring it was help that stopped these shrieks, no one checked to see if the woman was okay. Infact, they all fell victim to assuming the others would call for help. The woman only stopped from being brutally raped and then beaten to death.
I told myself I wouldn’t let that happen in my neighbourhood. A surge of emotions floods my entire body causing my vision to blur. I shakily reach for my phone and dial 9-1-1. Every question the dispatcher asked is answered only by pure instinct fueled with adrenaline. In anticipation, I stumble around the room searching for a piece of paper, anything with my address or phone number on it. Going to my mac, I hastily open my address book and search. None of this information is available here either. I swear at myself for not having this information written down somewhere handy. I’m only able to spit out the street name and block number. She verifies my phone number and hangs up.
Within minutes, and I’m talking less than five, a helicopter swiftly covers the neighborhood running its spotlight along the streets.
Activity starts to buzz below my bedroom window: police cars snaking through the streets, officers on foot and flashlights in hand, more security guards from the neighboring apartments inquring about the situation. But nothing . . .no cars screaching off into the night, no cries
or unusal noise coming from any of the flats. Just your typical Wednesday night, a few loud and rowdy boys unaware of the situation, stumble from their car helping eachother home arm in arm.
I can not pry myself from my window. I begin to doubt myself and what I heard. I imagine some poor fellow inside his home, unable to cry for help. I imagine a now initiated young gang member hiding out in the shadows. I begin to doubt myself again. I remember my shooting permit and time spent at the range, the sound of a gun shot is not a mistaken one. My eye darts up and down the street; they are just shadows. My phone rings again and I tell the officer what I saw. He thanks me and tells me that everything helps in this kind of situation.
It’s been two hours and I hear the police patroling the neighborhood less and less frequently. I guess this means its safe? A ladys high-heels clicking down the pavement, a turn of a key, and the sound of a security door that locks behind her. The ambient city noise lulling the nights activities; slowly guiding the night into the slumber to which it belongs. These are my amongst my favorite city noises. A secret delight of mine. The best to drift off to sleep. So why is it that I’m wide awake?