Cafe 227

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

New Jack City

So last night, I was sitting in my bedroom doing some work. Both of my windows, which face T Street near the intersection of 13th, were wide open. I'm able to hear everything on the street. It's usually a wonderful cacophony of car alarms, go-go music, and Ethiopoan. Last night, it was silent.

At least it was until about 11:30pm, when I heard a loud, throaty scream. No, not a scream - a yelp? An audible grimmace? It's hard to explain - it's the same sound I imagine Carson Palmer made when Kimo von Oelhoffen mangled his knee beyond repair...

And then silence again. Something wasn't right. My curiosity got the best of me - I poked my head out of the window and saw - right in front of my house! - a short, stocky guy about my age (maybe younger) getting JACKED by three noticeably larger men. One of them was kneeling on his chest with his hands over the guy's mouth, while the other men two dug through his pockets.

My mind raced. "Why isn't anyone doing anything?" I thought. "Wait a minute, why aren't I doing anything?" I grabbed the phone to call 911. No wait, they wouldn't get to my house in time (we've tested their response time before - it takes them approximately 60 minutes to get from the police station at 16th and V to our house at 13th and T. Traffic on U Street's a bitch...) I picked up a large metal pole (don't ask). See, I had just watched the season finale of "24," and I had visions of going all Jack Bauer on their asses. But I didn't have any shoes on. How am I going to single-handedly take on three muggers who are possibly armed without the right pair of athletic shoes? So, I started digging through my closet for the proper footwear...

By this point, the three muggers were done with their victim - they had gotten what they wanted and had run away. The victim slowly got to his feet, visibly upset and addled. He kind of walked in circles for a few seconds, not sure what exactly to do. Then, with a look of sheer desperation, he sprinted eastward down the middle of T street (he clearly wasn't fucking with dark sidewalks anymore).

The whole incident left me extremely unnerved. I mean, I realize that people get mugged in the neighborhood. It's actually happened to one of my best friends. But right in front of my house? While I watched the whole thing?

And what was perhaps most unsettling was that I finally had incontrovertible proof that I am, in fact, a huge pussy. I suppose I've always had my suspicions.


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