in the back yard of my new house the other afternoon, my room mates and i were looking around; surveying our lands and enjoying the sun. there is an abandoned elementary school at the end of our block. it is old and grey and beautiful. i'd like to go inside of it some time, i imagine others have gone in already and all i would find would be empty 40oz containers and a bad smell. but i would like to go in there some day any how. chris was standing on the back steps of the house on his tip toes looking over at the school. "poo people...talk?" he said. there was a message spray painted on the side of a small building on the roof of the school. but we could only see half of the message from our back yard. so we all climbed up on the roof of our shed to read the rest of it. to confirm that it did indeed say 'poo people talk' and then to ponder that and laugh about it later. now and then. to the company. but it didn't say 'poo people talk' after all, it said, '200 people inside' and then a date: 9/29/05.
at the other end of our block there is a cemetery. the above ground kind they have down here in new orleans since the bones push up out of the graves if you try to burry them. behind our house is a big empty lot that makes our back yard seem larger and gives us a good view of the white marble angels and crosses sticking up over the white brick walls of the cemetery. i realized after we moved in that the empty lot is covered with rectangular shaped piles of brick and debris and that it was with out a doubt a part of the cemetery across the street once upon a time. i realized a little bit after that that our own back yard is composed of one and a half rectangular shaped piles of brick and debris and that it too was once most definately covered over with a layer of no less than one and one half dead people.
it seems unlikely to me that our new back yard was ocupied by a couple of crypts as recently as five years ago, but i wonder if that empty lot behind our house was one of the cemeteries that was flooded and destroyed, crypts all busted open, ancient corpses floating around out side of their labeled boxes at once and for ever after to remain anonymous, during the hurricane.
i should ask the neighbors or look it up on line. the back door of our house is equipped with a barricade. there is a three foot long length of sturdy two by four that slides in to supports mounted on either side of the door. this came with the house. we assume it is protection against the zombies.
the neighborhood seems very nice. our block any how. every one is very friendly and the sun is always shining. there are kids on bikes and parents on front steps. it is odd to think we're book ended by such epic tragidy; such clear and maudlin metaphore.
another thing that has happened recently here, that i suppose i am disturbed that i am not disturbed about, is the shooting exactly one block from my house. i believe it was a week ago. at around one in the afternoon while i was at work, so that when i came home around three there were still a few cop cars with their lights on sitting a block up from the house. six shots were fired and two people were killed. i assume it was two young men, but that is the thing: i assume. i've only heard any thing at all about it from two of my friends and that only in passing. the most information i've gotten, the time, number of shots and number of deaths, was from a friend of mine who lives almost a block further away from the corner on which the event took place than i do. but on the same street.
any how i don't have a tv or really catch the paper too often but i don't suspect the shooting got much press regardless.
it isn't disturbing to me that i am not afraid of my block after this, what is disturbing is that it has been a week and i am only just now as i type really considering that two people are dead, and that they were violently murdered a block from my home. out on the street. in broad afternoon day light. i've never been particularly bothered by death, but most other people are. and murder, well, jesus. i am sitting here a week later finally realizing that it is not right that i've not seen any indication any where that any one is even remotely freaking the fuck out about this. not the tv, not the paper, not even the neighbors.
i don't know, maybe i am poorly informed. i am fairly self absorbed, maybe all of you reading this have already read about the shooting, watched the replay, know the names of all those involved and their next of kin and their dogs. if that is the case then fine. i am just the wierdo who doesn't notice death. but if no one noticed. god if no one noticed.