I kind of grew up in the hood. Sometimes people think I’m exaggerating when I say this, but it’s true. It wasn’t the worst neighborhood in town (that honor went to a place called, appropriately enough, The Bottoms), but some houses didn’t have, you know, front doors.
I always thought this was the creepiest house, but there were certainly other contenders.
The neighborhood baby, the one we carted around in a stroller and cooed at to make her smile, died when her mother’s boyfriend beat her in a fit of rage. In the house up the street, my childhood friend’s father shot her mother to death mere feet away from her. A bit farther around the block, a two-year-old child died when his siblings shut him in a car in the middle of summer. No one had been watching them. No one ever was.
I remember once looking out the window and seeing one man whaling on another man with a pipe, across the street. The pipe-wielder was already somewhat notorious, as he had bitten off a man’s nose in a previous altercation. As one does.