The evening my pretty lady and I went to the theater. Granted it wasn't Broadway, in fact it was quite far from Broadway on the Lower East Side in a Community Theater/Center that I believe at one time may have been a Church. We went to attend Point Break Live, that is an Off-Off-Off-Off-Off Broadway show that recreates the clasic Keanu/Swayze film pairing with almost no sets and a lower budget. The kick is that a new Keanu is chosen for each show from the audience, which I'm sure some nights doesn't work so well, but for us it did. The nights Keanu then performs the part through the use of cue-cards and it ends up being a quite rigorous hour and a half for them. They idea being anyone could act as well if not better than Keanu, not a stretch by anyones imagination. The skydiving scenes alone were worth the cost of admission. Quality theater, much more economical and entertaining than any of the shows that cost $80 bucks a ticket uptown.
As my lady and I exited the theater laughing and commenting on the show and what the Keanu had had to endure we notice a young thug/gangsta in front of us. He seems to be adjusting the pants of his powder blue sweatsuit outfit and is crinkling for some odd reason.
We continue our conversation as if nothing strange is going on because that is what you do in this city... pretend everything is status quo and continue on your merry way so you do make it home. It was about then as he hiked his sweatsuit top up a last time that I noticed something black tucked into the middle back of his sweatpants.
I suddenly recognized it as the grip of a pistol.
He tucked his top down over it and glanced back at us because he could hear us chatting. We continued as if we hadn't seen a thing but my heart sped up a bit and he slowed down a step to allow us to pass him as we got to the corner.
It was then that I noticed a cab pull up and someone getting out of it. I hustled us over to it and opened the door for my lady and rushed around to the opposite side and jumped in. We sped off homeward bound.
My lady didn't see the gun, she thought it was what had been crinkling so she wasn't as concerned as I was... but I know the grip of a gun when I see one. I believe the crinkling was coming from whatever was in his other pockets. It could have been drugs, penny candy wrappers, or whatever, but he was definitely packing.
I forget sometimes about this city. I forget that the areas I live in and pretty much don't leave are areas I probably wouldn't have set foot in about 15 years ago. I used to only walk left out of my apartment building because to head right was to head into a scary un-gentrified zone. I forget that a couple years ago a girl younger than myself and my lady was killed not far from where we saw the play because she got mugged and refused to give her money over.
You forget that just because the bars and hipsters and hot restaurants move in that it can still be a pretty rough neighborhood. You forget that you still have to watch yourself and watch out for the ones you love.
Strange as it seems, it's good that I saw that gun in the waistband, it really snapped things into perspective.
When I saw that gun all I wanted to do was get my lady safe.
And she is.