When I saw a message from my ex-boyfriend La Moustache in my inbox this afternoon, I knew that something terrible had happened. I thought first of his dad, or his mom. Maybe his uncle, who still sends me occasional sweet messages.
But instead it was our friend and former landlord in Brooklyn, Big Guy. I should have known: of COURSE a 34-year-old black man who lives in Bed-Stuy is at more risk than 60-something, white French people.
Big Guy was one of the kindest, most generous men I've known. He was always available and happy to help; even before I moved in he offered to drive over to my old house to pick me up so I could sign the lease. He brought me to work when the subway wasn't running, and loaned us his car when ours crumpled to its death one day on Atlantic Avenue. He'd try a taste of any food I offered him, but his favorite was my mom's apple cake recipe. I started baking one for him every fall because he loved it so much. He'd come in for a piece or two, then ask for one to take downstairs to his place so he "could really get into it." I pictured him diving face first into the apple cake, crumbs flying in every direction à la Cookie Monster.
He didn't deserve to be shot in the chest by a drunk man accosting a woman who Big Guy was attempting to protect. He certainly didn't deserve to have his arrest record published in the Daily News in an article about his murder -- how is it in any way relevant to what happened that he drove without a license a few times?? Needless to say, his three children don't deserve to grow up without a father.
I don't know anything about the man who shot him, except that it was his birthday and he was drunk. But I imagine that it's possible that when he woke up this morning, hung over and in jail, he regretted his terrible, impulsive action, whether it was for Big Guy's sake or just his own. I hope Obama is able to do something to make it harder to get guns so that a drunk guy doesn't have the option of pulling out a gun and shooting someone in the chest. It's just so... senseless.
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