I didn't have too many encounters with guns growing up. Seemed they were reserved for robbing banks, and adult crime activity. They weren't popular on the streets. I grew up in west philly. We weren't aware of it, but some of the men we looked up to, men who would often give us change, men who wore silk and wool pants, Italian double knit sweaters, sun glasses and processed hair, were members of the infamous "Black Mafia". I was shocked a few years ago when I was in Walmart, fishing through the budget movie bend and came across a crime series dvd about "The Black Mafia". On the cover were men I recognized well, men I'd rather not name.
Aside from getting befriended by a gun collecting Peavy exec in Meridian, Mississippi who would invite me to join him on the shooting range, I've only seen a gun twice or should I say, I've only had a gun in my face twice.
At the age of seven, I had two brothers, Greg and Alvin and a sister Pat. Alvin was the baby, he was three. One morning he was standing on the top of the stairs point ing a gun down at me. He must have gotten the gun from my uncles room (that's another story). I freaked. I dashed up the stairs and tackled him. Yes, it was loaded.
It was terrifying, but fortunately no one got hurt. You never hear me talk much about my baby brother. He died later that year from spinal meningitis.
Then there was the chinese food incident.
Our teenage Friday was a trip to the chinese joint around the corner, grab some food and pepsi's and go to my house. There we were, Darnell, Joey and me. No one else was in the place. "Wa u wan?" "Lar shrim n' rice, egg foo yun and Lo mein wit chicken and 3 peps." "Wa u say?"
Then someone else entered. He didn't live in our neighborhood, but we recognized him. He pulled out a gun and asked us for our money. I was confused. I didn't understand why he was robbing us and not the chinese store. Clearly they had more money and soon would have most of ours.
There was no one behind that bullet proof window. They disappeared.
Ahhhh of course, bullet proof glass, that's why he's robbing us and not them. Hell, he could have shot through the wood. Anyway the robber was getting anxious and decided to step it up, he stuck the gun in my face and demanded that we hurry.
While shaking and staring at the gun, I noticed that the gun had a cross brace in the barrel. It was fake. I started laughing. Joey and Darnell thought I had gone mad. They found an opportunity to jump the perp. He ran out of the joint. We chased him. I don't know why we were chasing him. What were we going to do if we caught him? He got away. Phew. Good.
We went back to the chinese joint, and there they were standing behind the bullet proof glass handing us our food and soda. Now that's service.
As we exited the store the perp returned with a gang and chased us until we lost all the food trying to get away. Now I've got a taste for some chinese food and a pepsi.