Every time something bad happens in the neighborhoods of Olney-Logan, I feel personally responsible. It’s hard not to feel judged. Outsiders seem to perceive Olney-Logan as this terrifying dystopia where no “normal” person would want to live and its inhabitants spend their days shooting cops and robbing Dunkin Donuts. According to one of my girlfriends, “the neighborhood is sketchy, to say the least.” (I guess she didn’t realize I lived there.) When John Pawlowski (whose path no doubt crossed mine as he and his boys in blue patrolled the streets I walk everyday) got shot at Broad and Olney last Friday, almost five minutes after I drove off in my car, my heart remained heavy throughout the weekend.
Even now, I remain depressed. I dread the thought of taking the subway to work tomorrow. Not because I’m afraid of death or danger. I know as I cross the street, I’ll see that pile of flowers and stuffed animals and be forced to mourn the anger that led to another’s demise. At the same time, I hope the folks watching on TV and cursing their screens at the news that yet another widow weeps at night won’t judge a neighborhood based on a few rotten seeds. Continue reading