Monday, January 16, 2006

Where is the neighbor in the hood?

Last night assholes again broke into my friends house.
I can't imagine the violation she must feel.
Makes me think of neighbors and communities and the old days when you needed something folks rallied and saw that you were taken care of.
When I was a child I remember in the streets of St. Louis, when strangers walked our block, everybody noticed.
The woman and her son who lived down the street left home in a rush forgetting to close the door. Returning home to find nothing missing, because the neighbors had each other's back.
Friday nights on the block would find every child playing a neighborhood game of hide n seek, kick the can, and double dutch.
We've traded in the neighborhood for sprawl.
We have given up on each other for the convenience of a fucking Starbucks and some fake ass smiley face who rolls back prices while he, she, they, it rolls over and completely destroys the concept of neighborhood, neighbor, and neighborly consideration.
When I was a child I knew all my neighbors.
When I got in trouble down the street old Miss Hanna ( who is quicker than she looked) chased me down the street smacking me upside the head with a rolled up paper. Sat on my porch and waited so she could be the first to tell my mother.
Watched smiling on as legs got swatted or if god forbid I had to go pick the switch that would beat my ass.
The ultimate test, too big a switch and damn,
too small and damn.
Those days were golden.
Those days are gone.
My children have never played neighborhood games, a community rights of passage denied.
Because in this world today we are far more concerned with how much we have or how quickly we can take it from someone else.
We've had to trade in or neighbor down the street for an alarm system to protect us from our neighbor down the street.
No one sees anything, anymore,
no one hears anything.
Windows broken,
secure feelings shattered,
no one comes to help,
and the cops don't even want to dust for fingerprints.

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