I live in a residential hood. I'm okay with that. The dudes up the street like to hang on the block. I don't like it, but I can deal. In the early hours right before dawn, I can hear faint gun shots. Some of them "pop-pop-pop" like a standard 9 millimeter; others sound like "blauw-blauw-blauw" or "rat-a-tat-tat", the spray of more powerful machinery. I don't like it, but I'm used to it.

It's unnerving how desensitized I've become to what has become common occurences in areas that have little hope, broken families and displaced dreams. It's a way of life. For this reason, I was unable to empathize with my boss regarding the 8 year old girl that was killed by a stray bullet in North East, DC, just a few streets away from me. It's unfortuante this child's life was taken from her because of a petty argument some dudes were having. That's how life is lived in hood. My heart hurts because it isn't impossible for that to become of my daughter one day, possibly playing in the streets or watching tv as some ignorant men (or women) skwabble over an insignificant point. I do fear for my children. I'm used to it. That's how life is lived in the hood.

My boss, in her upper middle class glory, suggested I move to a safer neighborhood. Safer? Boss Lady, I know you mean well, but you know better. You understand the fuction of economics. You understand the function of class. You're also aware of my salary, therefore, your suggestion is futile. $14 and blah blah cents an hour ain't gonna take me to far. Georgetown don't want me. Kalorama don't want me. Dupont Circle don't want me. I'm in the hood where I belong. I don't have a partner with an income similar to mine who can offset my financial shortcomings. I can't just pack up and move when the block gets hot. I'm used to it.

12.May.2004    09:39 AM     Commments: 7

7 comment(s) » add yours

I was so sad to hear about that little girl... But unfortunately that is the America we live in today... Your boss just doesn't realize how fortunate she truly is...

posted by Rocka | 05.12.04 11:56 AM


Girl I totally know what you mean. You know I'm straight up in the hood, even though it's in the suburbs and the crime rate is relatively low. But the sense of hopelessness is alive and well. I feel it everytime I walk out the door.

Sometimes we become temporarily resigned to our fates. It's really the only way to keep from going crazy.

posted by Lisa | 05.12.04 06:08 PM


Boss Lady opened herself up on that one. I would've milked it. She should choose her words better next time.

posted by nOva | 05.12.04 09:50 PM


Just move huh? Why didn't you think of that? You should've asked your boss for a raise.

posted by rochelle | 05.13.04 10:09 AM


Girl, I feel you on living in the hood. I used to live in an awful place. Forget the faint gunshots, I would hear them directly outside my bedroom window. Luckily, I had no children at the time. Actually, I was practically one myself. There's only so much you can do to prevent certain things from happening in areas like that. Why don't you just move? lmao..lemme stop. Ole Boss Lady is a fool. Like Rochelle said, I woulda asked for a raise. That was the perfect time to do it. And if she said "no", you coulda been all "Then how I'ma move, bitch??". lol.

Anywho, I'm out.

posted by Blu | 05.13.04 05:01 PM


Humphhhhhh I feel ya on that one.. I'm in a nice family-residential type block myself, but that ghetto element raises its ugly head far too frequently for my liking. Gunshots, robbery, break-ins, ect.. and shame on your bosslady. I woulda rode that one till she apologized for suggesting it.

posted by Pam - Reddy | 05.13.04 07:27 PM


i remember that so well. when i FIRST moved out on my own, i moved into some apts in the bad side of town. against my better judgement, i stayed there because i didn't really have a choice. credit was shot and i wasn't making a lot of money. that place worked out for me financially.

i witnessed a lot of stuff there. it grew me up fast. i saw this one couple across the way fight all the time. then one day dude broke the window, climbed in the apt and throw the girl out the door. it was scary to say the least. i got immuned to the gun shots and the crack deals on the corner.

I'm glad that hard times don't last always. that was 10 years ago and God has blessed me to MOVE ON UP TO DA EAST SIDE! LOL i went to a community meeting last night and it was refreshing to know that i pay a mortgage and i can be safe and have neighbors that care about the condition of their yard and houses.

so that being said, NOVA, when it's time 4 u 2 move..... it will happen. and it will be even better than u expected.

posted by j.o.y. | 05.14.04 10:57 AM


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