The post that was supposed to go here was already written, and scheduled to go up later tonight. It’s a light-hearted one, good for a Friday.
I’m not in the mood for light-hearted right now.
I found out today that an old classmate of mine was murdered. They found him yesterday. He was shot to death not ten minutes from my house. The news said there’s been a lot of gang activity in the area. Neighbours reported hearing gunshots several times before; police had been called to investigate gunshots heard the same night he died. No one found him until the next morning.
He was shot and his body left right near an elementary school. I met him at my own elementary (in grade six? Seven?) He was tiny, and blonde, and quiet. He was smart, so we thought he was a nerd. Kids are stupid like that. He once took the mic at a dance in the gym, got down on one knee, rose in hand, and asked out a girl in front of everyone. Our own awkward adolescent brains didn’t realize what kind of guts that took.
I didn’t know much about him. He didn’t stand out, he wasn’t a trouble maker or a heartthrob. He was just there, a nice enough kid. I lost track of him after that.
I like to think of my city being a good one. When I think of “gangs” around here, I think of the boys who acted tough and formed cliques in high school. I don’t think of guns, and I especially don’t think of murders. The police haven’t said for sure whether they believe he was part of that scene, but does it matter? It matters that someone I knew has died violently. It matters that I didn’t know him better.
I’m sorry, Jon. Rest in peace, buddy.