Jacob Lawrence, "The Big Gun," 1944
Jacob Lawrence, Untitled [The Big Gun] (1944)
Can a Game Be Literature?

Mark's Pages

July 22, 2003:

It's often the case with me that I fail to understand events until long after they occur.

I used to walk to work. It was a couple of miles up Connecticut Avenue in Chevy Chase, District of Columbia into Maryland. And I would walk home, and it took about an hour, alongside the busy road. Fun.

One time a white pickup truck swooshed by with teenyboppers in the back. Three, maybe four of them. Jeans jackets, boots. Boys and girls.

Snap! A loud crack splits the air nearby like the sound of a twig breaking, or like an arc of crackling static electricity. That came from the left, where the street was, while at the same instant there was a brief rustling sound in the low bushes which decorated the curbside to my right, like the sudden scurrying of a tiny animal. And I thought I heard a soft thud, like a rock striking dirt.

Puzzled, I looked toward the kids in the back of the passing truck. They were staring at me, too.

It was later — months later — that I realized what had happened. Somebody in that truck had shot at me, with a gun, as they passed.

They missed.