Day 041: When Is Crime Time, Anyway?

Please note: It is not my intention to make fun of criminals and their victims. The things that have occurred recently are terrible and wrong. I am moreso trying to make light of an uncomfortable situation, because that’s one of the few talents I have left.

I’ve lived in this weird cross-section of Flatbush/Prospect Park South/Kensington/Ditmas Park for a few years now. It’s generally a very sleepy neighborhood. There’s an ambulance at the train station daily because somebody overdosed, but that’s about it. Yesterday, when Rachel and I were walking to the train, there was a group of dudes hanging out in front of our courtyard. I had to point out to her how weird that was. Not so much that there were guys hanging out, but the fact that I found it weird struck me as weird. Dudes hang out in front of courtyards all the time. It’s what they do. They breathe air, they drink out of cups, they stand in doorways. But nobody ever hangs out in our courtyard. It just then struck me how anti-social our building is. You hardly ever see people interacting. They just keep to themselves. As it turns out, I had good reason to think it was peculiar.

10 minutes later, shots were fired.

It doesn’t seem like anybody got hurt and it was just that. Shots were fired. Things like this happen all the time in any city, but we were really damn close to be stuck in the middle of it. It could’ve ended badly. Fat people have an ability to find stray bullets. We would’ve been prime targets to get sniped by bad luck. In the heat of the moment, everybody is a terrible shot. Sometimes there’s no difference between looking for trouble and being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

This wasn’t the first close call. Just last week, a man was stabbed to death in front of my laundromat. A man that I’ve seen before. It happened at the same time I usually do my laundry. I would’ve been right there if I had my regular day off. It would not have been a good time. My concern is not that these incidents happened in the first place. Crime happens. It’s a part of life. My real concern is that both of these incidents happened at 3 in the afternoon.

So really, what time is Crime Time?

I was raised with the notion that bad things happen at night and it used to be true. I’m not sure when this culture change occurred, but it’s now very apparent. I never hear about crimes happening in my neighborhood overnight. It’s always in the afternoon. What is the logic behind this? It seems like a really terrible choice of Crime Time. More pedestrians means more witnesses. There’s more cops working in the daytime. It’s easier to see you in the daytime. And the children. Will somebody please think of the children? Because they sure as hell aren’t. It seems awfully selfish to put normal people in harm’s way.

But I guess criminals are people too. They have to sleep just like all of us and it is increasingly difficult to sleep in the daytime. What, with all the construction and 2 hour news cycles and whatnot. Or maybe they all got night jobs. Who’s to say? But it would be really nice of them to let us know when it’s going to be Crime Time. I would like to get my errands done before or after it. Take yesterday evening, for example. There was a fight outside of my store, one guy with a bottle and another with a screw gun. This happened at 6:30 PM, right when the store gets a little busy. If the neighborhood had known what time Crime Time was, they wouldn’t have to see such a stupid sight.

It’s not that hard. The criminals of the world just need to announce when their mandated Crime Time is and us normal people can work our schedules around it. It’s the least we can do to restore community harmony. Even in these stupid times, a polite gesture goes a long way. Just some food for thought.

– TeeCoZee