Today my 5th graders were supposed to have a field trip to Peter Piper Pizza but an hour before they were to go there was a shooting across the street. Grenades, huge machine guns, turret guns - the usual stuff - and the field trip was called off.
The teacher told the kids that there was an "occurrence" near the Peter Piper and that it wasn't a good idea to go at that moment. At the school we're not allowed to say "shooting" or "bombing" or "AK-47" ect. or even really acknowledge the violence but luckily the kids help us out. A couple of the boys shouted out "Narks! Narks teacher??" They live here too, they're not stupid.
The kids came up with solutions to the problem "Teacher, what if we just go by my house and get our guards to come with us?" (lol rich kids are funny sometimes) and suggested going to a different Pizza place. All plans were off though, once there's one shooting it's assumed there will be more so the teacher tried her best to make them feel better by saying that all Peter Pipers were closed.
I knew damn well though that not all, or even the Peter Piper across the street would be closed. For even the biggest of shootings here life goes on like nothing happened 20 minutes after it's over. There might be a lingering traffic jam due to the original back up but as far as the rest of things it's life as usual. Schools don't close and nobody goes home early. Shops and restaurants stay open, the buses run and people go for groceries like nothings happed.
There's one plaza with a huge grocery, Mcdonald's and a slew of other eateries and strip-mall type shops that for some reason get's hit alllll the time. Every couple of weeks there's a shootout there or in the street by there or down the road from there but it doesn't stop anybody from going. We need french fries damn it.
There are some in Chino's family who talk about being too afraid to go places but they're out and about as much as anybody else. They just talk about it more. Some of my friends here truly are scared to go out much and there are others that merely refuse to go very far or out after dark, but the majority of us go on about our lives like nothings going on.
If you see a road block and bad guys shooting or a caravan of SUV's you just turn around and go a different way. When there's a big shooting near by you go outside and listen to it or if it's too close you get your ass inside and go upstairs for a bit. After that it's life as usual.
Chino and I drive all over hell going to the zoo, visiting family, going to work and just exploring and finding new things to do. We, like the majority of the half million people here go about our lives and don't THINK about the possibility of getting kidnapped or shot or blown up. What kind of life would that be? Prudence is necessary but we can't lock ourselves up in the house and bite our nails wasting away.
For most people this is where they have to live, no choice about it, and it seems when that's you're lot in life you damn well make the best of it - bombs or no.
I'm not scared.
I've been scared, I've been damn scared, but some part of the brain figures out a way to erase that and I'm pretty thankful. If I think back to yucky times I can re-live them if I want to but 20 minutes later I'm on Facebook and eating cheese doodles wondering just how I'm ever going to get South to Mexico City to meet my friend Mr. Prater.
Eat some taco's, drink a beer for me and live it up yall, never mind the rest!