Monday, November 12, 2007

It's like a freak show in your neighborhood

I hear it was quite freaky in the TobyMac freak zone this weekend. :)

Speaking of freaky, I started thinking about freaky stuff happening in my own life. I've got a list, but we'll start here...

As I sat in front of the computer the other night, a television was on unwatched in the other room, and it was a little loud. I don't know what was on the TV, but the sound of gunfire reverberated through the house.

It brought back some memories. I wanted to run something past you. I've been going over this again and again in my mind for the past several years. Maybe you can assist me in understanding how freaky it is.

Who knows, maybe it's not freaky at all.

I was living down on Galveston Island several years ago.

Something began occurring there that I haven't been able to process completely. On several occasions (maybe as many five times or more), there was the sound of gunfire right outside my condo in the middle of the night.

Once it sounded like a shotgun. But every other time it was the same. Four or five rounds from a handgun, squeezed off in rapid succession. Frankly, it sounded like someone was being executed in the courtyard.

BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!

Trust me, that will sit you up in bed real fast.

The thing is, I didn't live in a bad neighborhood. I would venture to say that the area around The Oceanfront Apartments (then called Seaside Point) on Seawall Boulevard is what folks on the island would call a relatively nice part of town.

Gunfire in that neighborhood should be very unusual. I experienced it many times, including the very last night I stayed in Galveston, ironically. Not the kind of memories I wanted to take from a place I enjoyed so much, but I understand some people need Jesus.

Other than the gunfire in the complex, this was a fantastic place to live. Sand volleyball and tennis courts with a pool and hot tub in the center of the units, all right across the street from the crashing waves of the Gulf of Mexico.

Just look at how nice the complex is by clicking here. Doesn't look like a "gunfire" neighborhood, does it?

Please don't let anything I'm saying here dissuade you from renting there. It's wonderful. And I know for a fact that when criminals aren't firing guns, it's a civil place and a nice area to live in and visit. I used to have a bunch of people come down to the island on holidays or long weekends. We'd BBQ and get in the pool, get on the seawall and hang out all day and into the night. Good times.

Oh on another note, please check this guy out. He's got a great singing voice, and it's one of my all-time favorite songs.

Anyway, I dismissed the gunfire as a fluke (or thought perhaps someone in the neighborhood wasn't making friends and influencing people correctly), and ended up moving into southwest Houston.

Guess what? I must have a knack for ending up in areas prone to gunfire. At that residence, I encountered the same thing. On multiple occasions (at least three or four). They were always in the middle of the night. It wasn't just one or two rounds, either. Four or five rounds fired off very quickly, right outside.

BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!

Freaky?

I'll say.

Have you ever been awaken in the middle of the night by gunfire outside your place? It's terrifying. How about 8-10 different occasions over the span of two or three years? At different residences? In neighborhoods where that shouldn't be happening over and over? It's odd. And frightening.

You tell me. Weird?

I like how Laura Elder and Leigh Jones sometimes ask questions at the end of their blog to spur conversation or get people thinking about an issue, so I'll try it here as well.

Would you find multiple gunshots outside your apartment or house, more than say, five times in a 12-18 month period, odd?

What if it occured at two different residences? When was the last time you heard gunfire at your residence? Have you ever heard shots twice in a couple months, or three or four times in a year?

Maybe you all are encountering this as well and it isn't strange at all. Please let me know how rare this really is. I'll see what you all think about it, and maybe we'll talk more about it in a later post.

Who knows, I may just do a series on "freaky."

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