Well today's post is a real shocker. WE all hear about drive-by shootings on television and in the news, BUT did you ever think it would happen to YOU? Well, I never did until last night.
I live in one of THE most dangerous cities in the world: Chicago, IL. and this didn't happen there. This, my friends, happened in Cocoa Beach, Florida. Yes, the same town Tony Nelson and Jeanie of I DREAM OF JEANIE lived for many happy years.
As I walked my usual nightly walk down Ocean Beach Blvd, by the Pier, I turned and headed for home. I have done this at least sixty times or more at this hour; around 10:00 pm. The rain had finally stopped and the tropical breezes were in full force.
My iPhone played happily on as I kept in step with the tempo. A rumbling sound from a dilapidated truck had just passed. As it slowed, I had noticed the peeling paint on a door that had suddenly opened. Shots pierced the silent night as a round of air riffle pellets whizzed their way toward me. The riveting sounded tinny, very much like that of a toy gun. I didn't think much of it until I got hit in the mid back.
Sweat poured out of my body as my legs tore at the ground. Headlights illuminated the street from an on-coming truck. Taking no chances, I dived into the nearest bushes for shelter. Three terrifying minutes later the truck passed: not the same one.
Real gun shots flashed through my mind as I thanked God this was just an air riffle. I decided to continue home on a busier street, so I managed to make it to A1A which had more traffic and lighting.
Sweat continued to pour, soaking my t-shirt. My heart raced so fast I couldn't keep up with it. All I could think about was to get home and off the streets. Never had I ever been afraid to walk any street at any hour. Hey, I am a born and raised New Yorker, nothing gets to us .... but this did.
My keys fumbled in my hand as I tried to open the front door thirty or so minutes later. Trembling finger dialed 911, the moment I had caught my breath.
Even now, hours later, I still can't believe it happened to me. The police had several reports of shootings in the area, but only took my name down. I had felt less than helpful. I only hope the catch the people responsible for this.
Imagine all this happening in a resort area. You never know. Remember everyone, ALWAYS be aware of your surroundings. I was very lucky. Thankfully it was most likely the high jinks of bored kids ... imagine the alternative. I do and it terrifies me.
Will I continue my evening power walks? You bet! Only now I will do them before dark. They can get me once, but I will NOT give them the opportunity for a second shot.
The mark left is an unusual one (an dented hole the size of a quarter) that will heal in a few days, but the mark that was left in my soul will last a lifetime.
Stay safe everyone and have a WONDERFUL Tuesday. I know I will. The beach awaits for me to enjoy, during yet another stunning sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean.