Monday, March 13, 2006


today i went to my friend from college j's housewarming. it's a beautiful place overlooking the lake, decorated in part by his lovely girlfriend. my roommate from college, pp, and her boyfriend were there, as were a lot of j's family and other friends.

it's amazing that we used to party with some of these people back in the day. late-night bashes in dark, dingy clubs or houses, sipping jungle juice out of plastic cups and jamming to bass-heavy music. these days, parties where i see them are usually during the day, in people's living rooms or back yards; we're chomping on burgers or potato salad off of plastic plates and the tv or radio is drowned out by the sound of playing kids.

amazing. it's only been a couple of years.

a was there. true to form, he brought his wife and baby boy and his daughter from before, who is probably about 6 or so. there were a few other kids, too, and they were running around, doing somersaults and giving 'the tour' (which was always a riot. they loved the part about showing people how j has a television in his bathroom).

i spent a lot of time watching the kids. not that they needed more supervision, but they were just so watchable. i was catching up with pp, but i couldn't stop looking over at the little ones. it was really amazing to look at a's son, who can't be even a year old, and see a's direct gaze, his same nose, and that cute tiny mouth, which he couldn't seem to keep closed.

and three of the little girls were playing 'concentration' with their aunt. you know, you clap the rhythm and at the pause someone has to say something in the pattern? so the aunt is like, 'okay, let's do p's!' and she says [clap clap]'purple!' and these little children are coming up with words like [clap clap]'pleasant!' and [clap clap]'platinum!' that just blew my mind. did i know words like that at that age?

at the end of the afternoon, i was stuffing my face with mini lumpia (j's girlfriend is filipina) and kabobs, trying to distract myself from the fact that i had to leave for work. a's daughter started crying when she saw her mom, who had come to get her. because she was having a good time and didn't want to leave. i mean, she was really crying. and nothing would console her until pp suggested she show her mom the tv in the bathroom. worked like a charm.

i was still smiling about those kids when i was trying to pay attention at my meeting later on in the evening. and then someone was talking about did you hear, a ten-year-old was caught by a stray bullet yesterday in her own home. again. yeah, not too far from where the 14-year-old girl getting ready for school was shot last week by a guy looking for his girlfriend's ex with a high-caliber rifle converted to fully automatic so that he could spray the entire block with 29 rounds in a matter of seconds. but this little girl was at her own birthday party. there were thirty kids in there, running around, yelling and tagging and playing concentration and somersaulting and pin-the-tail-on-the-donkeying or whatever it is that kids do at birthday parties these days. an aunt saw a car drive by slowly and open fire, and managed to get everyone down. but the little birthday girl, who would have been 11 on monday, panicked and stood up real quick to try and make a run for the back room when a bullet caught the back of her head. they didn't even get to cut the cake. both of those girls died.

i feel sick.


piu piu said...

is ever a country needed to ban firearms and have a total zero tolerance amnesty its america

Guyana-Gyal said...

I know exactly how you feel watching the children [they're so watchable], and about the shooting.

I thought it was only in the Caribbean that kind of shooting happened.

These kind of guns are here in my country too, and in Jamaica, Brazil, Columbia.

Ale said...

EWW- there is a reason i stay away from the news!!!!!

Lia said...

I was really enjoying your description of the housewarming; what a shame that it had to end on such a note. It's really horrible how much pain and suffering there is in this world. And how hard it is to enjoy the pleasant things in life when you think about all those people who don't have it so good.

Obviously it's not right to totally ignore the suffering and just enjoy your own life; it's really important to feel for others. But isn't it okay once in a while to just enjoy the good times without feeling guilty?

Jon said...

It’s scary how often something in the news directly applies to what you may have been doing that day/week and how crappy it makes you feel…