It's about our community and our spirituality!

Knee Jerk Reactions

I feel like a slacker.  I haven’t been keeping up with my writing like a good blogger should.  And it’s not because nothing has been happening in the news or on a personal level.  With all the happenings in politics and in the community at the local, national, and global level, if anything the world has kicked into hyper drive.  The only problem is that my world has kicked into hyper drive as well.  The job is getting ready to do everybody’s annual review so it’s super important to get those goals planned last year done.  The weather is nicer and so work on getting that pile of bricks I call my house into some kind of livable condition.  And I still need to find the time to be with family and friends.

And I still need to do my blog.  Unfortunately, in the grand scheme of things, the blog is the least of the priorities and will be the one that suffers the most.  Not that my blog isn’t important to me.  But getting a roof over the immediate family’s collective head and keeping a job so I can afford to get that roof are much bigger priorities.  Eventually, the blog will bubble to the surface of the priority list every now and then.  I just can’t make much of a promise about keeping it as regular as it used to be.  Life is just a little full right now.

And speaking of the house, it is coming along very well.  It’s still a gutted hovel.  But it’s a gutted hovel with electrical wiring, new water and gas plumbing, duct work for the central air conditioning already ordered and scheduled for delivery in about two weeks time, a new roof, windows, and doors, and all the walls moved and reinforced and ready for inspection.  We had a carpenter helping us.  But our budget took a serious hit a couple of weeks ago and had to kick the carpenter to the curb.  So now that we’re doing a lot of the framing and other carpentry ourselves, things just aren’t moving as quickly as they should.  Doing it ourselves, we’re not the quickest repair crew on the market, but we’ll get the job done eventually.

And it didn’t help when somebody broke into our basement.  We were thinking that it was another attempt by someone to get some easy access copper pipes.  But we’ve been doing all the water in PVC which is pretty much worthless as salvage.  But the additional damage done to the basement door already damaged didn’t help things.  Securing the basement stairwell with something much more secure instantly jumped to the top of the priority list.  Instead of just replacing the door the door at the bottom of the stairwell with another day that could be kicked in, we went with the angled cellar door type of arrangement at the top of the stairwell that would help keep water from collecting at the bottom of the steps as well as prevent a would be burglar from simply kicking the door in.  Buying the door and having it installed would run about a thousand dollars.  We decided to fabricate something out of pressure treated wood.  It took us about six hours to put it together, but the basement, and therefore the house, is now much more secure.

After the work was done the misses and I was exhausted.  We went back to our room in the basement of my mom’s house and cleaned up.  It was late in the evening.  But even though we were exhausted, we were still a little too keyed up to just go to bed.  We went to the front porch for a minute to wind down.  Even though it was just before midnight, it was a weekend and so a lot of people were still walking up and down the street.  Three young black men emerged out of the alley and started walking down the street.  They were walking with a purpose and talking loudly like many people do when they have no idea of any sense of discretion.  Suddenly they turned and started walking down the gangway between my mom’s house and her neighbor to the west.  They walked behind the house as if they knew exactly where they were going and as if they owned the place.

The misses asked if they needed help.  Two of the guys jumped as if startled and quickly turned around.  They continued their walk down the street.  The third stayed between the houses.  I got up to see what he was doing.  The misses followed.  The young brother was pissing on the side of the neighbor’s house.  I was flabbergasted.  I yelled asking him what the fuck he was doing.  He zipped up his pants and turned around explaining that it was okay because he only pissed on the neighbor’s house.  I asked what fucking difference did it make, that shit was going to make both houses stink.  The pisser ran to catch up with his friends.  I yelled after him, it’s people like you that make this place the shit hole everybody thinks it is.  The nasty trio continued walking wherever they were walking to.

For a brief second I hated my neighborhood.  I hated the fact that people think they can simply walk up to somebody’s house, whip their dick out and start urinating at their convenience.  I hated the fact that people see a house being rehabbed and think that they are entitled to break down doors and steal pipes or whatever.  I too wanted to put this shit behind me.  But it was only for a brief second.  By the time we went to bed we were laughing at the pissing trio.  We were thanking the guy that kicked the door in who reminded us that we had a weakness in our house.  We took the steps necessary to correct it and now our house is better for it.  It now has a burglar alarm as well.

I was reminded that our neighborhood is just like any other neighborhood.  There are people who will make the place better.  There are people who couldn’t care any less if our neighborhood smelled like somebody’s piss.  A lot of people would see these problems and think that they need to pack up and leave.  But that’s just a knee jerk reaction.  I went to sleep thinking that it was way too easy to fall into that pattern of judging the entire neighborhood full of black people on the behavior of a few knuckleheads.  Hopefully I won’t be so quick to forget this lesson when I encounter the next knucklehead in my neighborhood.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010 - Posted by | African Americans, Black Community, Black Culture, Black People, Life, Racism, Thoughts

1 Comment »

  1. Are you trying to shatter stereotypes now??? For God’s sake Brother P, when will you ever quit trying to cloud peoples judmental tendencies with facts?

    Glad the people who kicked your door in didn’t go any further than that. Good luck with getting the house up to snuff!

    Comment by mike lovell | Thursday, April 22, 2010 | Reply

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