Saturday, November 18, 2006

Death to the Disciples!

Yesterday afternoon was full of vignettes. I'll start with the most disturbing one.

Friday dismissals in high schools are always the craziest time. The nasty fight I saw in my brief stint as a high school teacher this fall happened on Friday afternoon. Everyone remarked on how Fridays are often days when teens act out violently.

Yesterday at 2:45 I was home, for once, hanging out on my neighbors' front porch while Joey and some of his buddies were playing football in my front yard. In fact, they were playing American football with a soccer ball because they didn't have a football.

"That's pretty smart," observed one of the older boys hanging on the porch with me. He goes to Big Picture with Julian. Dawn, Julian, Julian's buddy and the buddy's girlfriend were all hanging out watching the pee-wee football, petting the stray cat, etc. Big Picture lets out at 2 p.m. every other Friday, I think for teacher meetings.

Meanwhile, Richards High on the east side of Ashland lets out at 2:30 or so, I believe. It was about 2:45 when a young man ran down 50th with four other young men hot at his heels. One of the pursuers was carrying a baseball bat. I whipped out my cell phone immediately and called 911.

One young boy, so fair I thought he might be white, stood in the intersection and hollered, "Death to the Disciples! Death to the Disciples!" before heading west to rejoin the chase.

All my neighbor kids were staring down the street.

A girl they knew went by. "What happened?" called Julian.

"Gang on gang stuff," she said. Well, we knew that already. Within a few more seconds, the pee-wees were back to football and the big kids were petting the cat again.

As far as I know, the police never came. I'm pretty sure Mr. Worrisome saw me make the phone call. Later on he was coming down the street with a guy who might have been in the fray, but I wasn't sure. He certainly looked too old to be in high school.

As they parted ways, Mr. Worrisome told his companion, "Stay out of trouble."

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