I had a close call last month that has really put my life into spirals for several weeks. Only now am I finally getting myself back in order. On August 22, I was nearly killed when a gunfight erupted on my street and two o'clock in the afternoon. TWO O'CLOCK IN THE AFTERNOON. A stray bullet burst through my living room wall a mere matter of feet from where I was sitting. I was struck in the head by a piece of plaster that had exploded from the wall and for what seemed like minutes, I thought I had been shot in the head. I'm sure it was only a matter of seconds that actually elapsed in the time it took me to reach up to my temple, search for a bullet wound and discover that I was, in fact, still alive. I had never been so scared in my life.
Still in shock, I called the police and informed them of the gunfire. The 911 dispatcher informed me that they've already received reports and they were looking into it and was about to hang up when I managed to blurt out that a bullet had come through my wall. She asked me if I had been struck by the bullet and a new wave of fear washed over me as I rechecked myself. Still no blood, so that was a good sign.
The next hour was a blur as police, forensics, crime scene photographers and detectives asked me a barrage of questions. Is there anyone that would want to hurt me or my family? Etc, etc. You know....the sort of shit you only ever hear on TV. After searching my entire living room, I was told that they were unable to find the bullet. They theorized that it's possible that it stopped short and fell in between the inner and outer wall, though that seemed strange due to the size of the exit damage in the wall. I was informed on more than one occasion that I was extremely lucky that I wasn't hit.
The police finished up and told me they would be in touch if they needed any further information or a statement. I haven't heard back from them since, which I suppose means that they probably don't have any leads and are not really pursuing it since no one was actually injured.
After my wife got home and I told her what happened and showed her our fancy new bullet hole in the living room wall, I decided that we did not have enough alcohol in the house and we needed to go out because I was in dire need of a drink.
It was around the time that I downed my second Jack & Coke in a 10 minute span that everything finally started to slow down and I started to process exactly what had just happened. I suddenly became acutely aware that I had just come very close to being killed. Just a few more inches to the right and the bullet would have gone through the window and directly into my head. It was complete chance where that bullet hit. I'm not usually a mystical or religious person, but I have to tell you that I feel as though there truly was someone looking out for me that day. It was not my time to go.
The more I thought about that, the more it became clear that it was a warning as well. I no longer felt safe in my home. It's time to get the hell out of dodge. And so, we decided that it was time to move and move fast. And so, the house is now being put on the market and we are moving (temporarily) into an in-law apartment with my wife's parents. I'm a nervous wreck every time I have to leave her alone in the house, and I works nights, which makes it far worse.
So the past couple weeks have been a whirlwind of activity. Hiring a Realtor, packing everything up, converting her parent's basement into an apartment, getting the old house ready for market and still working in between all of that. It's been a giant surreal fever dream.
As of this coming Sunday, we should be fully moved into our new, temporary, home. It will be an adventure to be sure, but at least I will be able to rest easy knowing the my wife is not going to be hit by some thug's stray bullet. I suspect that life will return to some form of normalcy fairly quick.....though it's going to be quite an adjustment going from city life to country life......but maybe.....just maybe it's time for a change of pace.
With a little luck Midnight Cinephile will be back up and running and eyeballs deep in Halloween goodness before ya know it!