Friday, June 20, 2003


One point five miles. That's how far it is from my home to the carwash around the corner. It's nestled behind the auto repair shop that Amy and I have helped finance over the years thanks to busted belts, ailing alternators, hopeless head gaskets and the like. Close enough to walk to with my Visa card in hand to pay the mechanic if need be.

I measured the exact distance on my way home from work today because that's where a young man was murdered this morning.

He was 21. He also lived a few blocks from the carwash. He was gunned down in the carwash bay standing behind his truck at 2:45 a.m., the exact same time that I was gunning the engine of my oft repaired car in order to drive to work...and report that he died. The phone was ringing when I walked through the office door. It was Henry saying, "We've got a DOA".

This young man's last moments of life consumed my first moments of the day.

We had a neighborhood, the night and a carwash in common. This morning we obliquely shared fragments of time.

I don't feel especially close to him....but right now he seems too close to me.

My vacation starts in five days...that's not close enough.