Not to undermine the seriousness of the tragic events that happened yesterday at the MLB Barber shop in Middletown, but there was quite a ruckus caused that precipitated throughout the area.
I stayed late at the office yesterday, located quite near the shooting so was able to hear the choppers loudly swarming the sky. Nearby businesses were on lockdown. A co-worker text messaged us from the Russell Library to tell us about the shooting on Church St. and to say that gunmen were on the loose! Already in a frenzied state, we packed the car for my coworker's meeting and I cautiously made my way to my car to pick up a co-worker's children. I called my mother to warn her; she was downtown for a meeting.
A woman in the parking lot said that the suspects where jumping through yards in the neighborhood. I called my roommates to warn them to stay inside and not jog today. My roommate, a federal officer, jokingly said he and the cat would set a trap in the backyard.
Driving towards south Middletown down Main Street cars where bumper-to-bumper on the street. It was stop and go traffic past the hospital to the gas station, and St. Vincent De Paul food pantry. Then traffic began to crawl. I thought maybe an accident? Flustered by the goings on, I waited, cars in the other lanes swerved around to get out.
Then all of a sudden (key clichéd phrase) I don’t remember if I was stopped to crawling with traffic, a man came charging down the center line straight towards my car! He was wielding what looked like long object. A glint of black caught my eye, he was yelling. My mind went to gun! The gunmen! To say the least I panicked.
Now I am a brave person I would think. After all, the neighborhood children I frequently baby-sit for have nicknamed me “Switch Blade.” Although the origins of this name are stuff of myth and legend; trust assured I am a pacifist. None the less, I have fought many a spider, under-the-bed monster, and courageously searched for lost homework in the deepest darkest of closets.
In this moment however, I shrieked. The girliest of all shrieks. Very embarrassing. My hands went up in the stick em’ up type movie style. I thought oh no this is it: BABYSITTER DIES IN LINE OF DUTY!
I heard a pounding surpassing the pounding of my heart, to which I opened my eyes. The man was banging with his fist on my car swinging a bottle of Jack Daniels and cursing. I called my mom, because even now in my twenties, mommies fix all things.
“Drunk guy! Bottle!” Banging! Can’t get by!” I stuttered overcome by adrenaline. She told me to hang up and call 911 and I did. A very professional and kind female dispatcher quickly assured me it was not the gunman (which I kind of figured at this point) and that everything was being taken care of. While on the phone, well into the state of “fight or flight,” my extremities began to function again. I only then remembered I was in a car and could drive away.
Flustered and shaking I arrived to pick up the children. The five-year-old boy asked me why I looked so scared. My mom called me back to say she sent dad out looking for me, and I assured her I was ok. As I helped the kids pack up from karate, I told them a G-rated version of events, now calm, cool, and collected (insert cliché again), as not to cause nightmares of crazy people running rampant.
My pint-sized companion then responded: “ You gotta be brave! I know good kicks! Hi-Yah!! ( insert live demonstration and clichéd sound effects).