Thursday, May 18, 2006

More Bad News

I got home from my trip Tuesday night. As usual, something always happens right when I get home that smacks me in the face to say. "Welcome back to the hood, b---h."

On Tuesday it was the cops stopping Julian and Chava four times in five minutes. Apparently someone was spotted with a gun on the south end of the block, and the boys had the misfortune of taking 51st to walk to the store. There were cop cars all over our block around 8:30.

I was at Dawn's house watching TV with her and her mom. Dawn saw the cars and went outside. "Ama! Donde esta Julian?" she called. Her mom flipped, not surprisingly. We all went out and she took the cell phone.

We could see them coming up the block, grinning sheepishly. Fortunately, they survived three pickups and pat-downs with no confrontations. The fourth one came while we were all standing in front of the house. A police car drove down the block the wrong way, flashing that outside searchlight thing into the yard.

"I hate that light," Chava muttered. (He's seen it all too often, I'm sure.)

The cops started driving away, slowly, then backed up and told the guys to come to the car. They patted them down and another car pulled up. I remember that one had two blonde female officers.

The boys were very polite. Everything was very low-key. The cops were not confrontational; they were very professional. But I have to say I was more than a little annoyed.

However, I was very polite. "These boys live here, officers," I said. "He lives here. This is his friend."

"Oh," said a cop. They wrapped up the pat-down quickly and left. White privilege at its finest--if you've got it, share it, I always say. :-)

Chava earned points for manners later on, it must be noted. "Thanks for trying to help us with the 5-0," he said.

Last night Julian and his mom got in a shouting match. He wanted to go out; his mom wanted him to stay in and do homework and not put himself at risk of getting picked up by cops. THey fought mostly in Spanish. Julian tried to enlist my aid by repeating himself in English, "It's five weeks til the end of the semester, right?"

"Yes," I said evenly, "but you need to be doing the work now." He stopped talking to me.

Teenage boys are just hard. I wish I knew how to help, but I really don't.

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