"This is Friendship Heights. Welcome to Washington."
I got into my car this morning, intent on driving to Shady Grove. Shady Grove is the closest Metro station to the place we're staying; Willy's parents' house in Maryland, in a town called Damascus. I hate it there. Willy would be fine with living in a little town like Damascus. My home town, Forestville, was also a suburb. I guess the difference was in it's closeness to DC. We were literally a walk away from Pennsylvania Avenue; the same Penn. Ave. that the White House sits on. It goes all the way from DC, into my home town. if you drive it, you'll end up going past my old high school, and into the district within five minutes.
In my home town, we've got guns, violence, drunks and drugs. In Willy's home town, they've got drugs and drunks. Not so very much violence, but a lot of bored white people who drink a lot. It takes at least 50-60 minutes to drive directly into the city, which means I need to use the Metro to get there, and even then I need to wake up at 5:00AM, at the latest, to get in to work on time.
This morning, I turned on my radio and learned, to my horror, that two more Metro workers have died. I'm not sure if there is some strange irony at work here, but it seems that even our public transportation is becoming famous for killing people. Even our basketball team is carrying guns to practice. They re-named our team "The Wizards" because "The Washington Bullets" was too violent sounding. Right.
As far as your typical DC tradgedies, my dad has gotten the brunt of it in our family. My dad was injured building Metro. A steel beam fell on his foot and crushed it. They managed to rebuild it, and after two or three years of painful recovery, he was able to walk again. He still works. He's been knifed by a guy, before. While at one of our many liquor stores, some dude attacked him with a knife and nearly sliced off his ear. A police officer arrested him, thinking he was drunk, because he was going to buy beer with red eyes.
Sorry, officer. I've been up since 3 AM this morning, working at the Virginia Department of Transportation.
My brother had a tiny little run-in. While taking a girl to a dance at Suitland High School, the same place I ended up attending, he and his date were attacked. His date's face was sliced open with a glass bottle.
My sister has been shot, before. She says that it was someone trying to car-jack her. She asked only that she be able to remove her baby from the car, first. This happened at her house in DC.
So I'm thinking, today. With all of the shit that's happened, why do I still hate living in the suburbs?? You'd think that after seeing the violence, the guns, the drug runs, I'd be running and screaming for some peace and quiet.. but I just can't get used to it. As soon as I hear the soothing voice of that Metro operator, welcoming me to my beloved city, I smile inside. I'm home, and I'm very lucky that a slight delay in Metro services is all the inconvenience that I've been given.