Shots Fired

I made the call from my house phone, I didn’t have a cell phone, I’m sure I had traded it for some dope prior to this day. I would have to call my guy once I got out there, from a pay phone. I told the voice on the other end before I left to expect me in about one hour, that I would be calling him from the gas station phone. “Come on” is all he said. And I was off. The commute from south haven to 59th street in chicago’s south side I could make in about 40 minutes if the expressways were clear of heavy traffic. On this day the traffic was pretty typical for the time of day, a few heavy spots, but nothing too crazy. I was right on time, I made my way for the 59th street exit at right about the 45 minute mark. I was not dope sick on this day, I had been on a bit of a decent streak lately. It had been about 2 weeks since I was dope sick, and about a month without any crazy mishaps or incidents. This was about to change. As I made my way up to the light at the top of the entrance ramp onto 59th street, I pulled my hat down over my forehead as low as I could, to cover up as much white skin as possible, my sleeves I pulled down for the same reason. I slouched down in my seat, I needed to blend in during my risky commute. The gas station I was to call from was roughly about ten blocks down 59th, just across Halstead. With traffic I landed at the Marathon service station in about ten minutes.

I pulled into the gas station, opened my door, made sure the locks were engaged, and safely slid my keys in my pocket. I slammed the driver’s side door shut and made my short walk to the pay phone. I deposited my quarters into the curb side payphone. This particular pay phone was the only one I could find, and it’s location was not very convenient for me, a white boy with Indiana tags. It sat about 12 or 15 feet off of 59th street way out in the open. I stuck out like a sore thumb. I was exposed. The phone rang four or five times, while I silently whispered “C’mon C’mon C’mon” to no one in particular. The voice on the other end answered. I placed my order and as he slowly stammered and thought out loud where we should meet up at, and then the shots rang out. The first one hit a metal light pole just above my head, about twelve feet up, and about two feet away. Little metal shards hit me in the face. I hit the deck, more shots, I’m not sure how many, but I’m guessing five or six total. One ripped through the pay phone housing, “WHAT THE F***?!” Jesus! are they shooting AT ME!?? I could hear the bullets cut through the air just feet above where I was crouched down, with the phones receiver in hand, I wasn’t about to drop the call, I had my dealer on the other end. Another one hits the light pole, more metal rains down on me, all around. Still more hit a brick building across the street, and another just zips by, hitting nothing that I noticed. I look to my right, into the gas station parking lot, and all the customers and passers by have hit the ground, trying to locate where the shots are coming from, I look in the direction of the pops. I can’t tell, what do I care where they’re coming from? I’m just hoping I don’t get hit! Silence. Then more shots. Maybe 3 more. From closer this time, maybe a block or so closer, I think. Cutting through the air just about 20 or 30 feet from me now, and directed down 59th street, behind me. All I can hear are the booms from the gun, the zips of the bullets, and my own heart beat. My mouth insanely dry. The blood rushing through me with an almost “HSSSSSSHHHHHH” sound. A car behind me flies through the red traffic light behind me on Sangamon street and the bullets stop. Chaos ensues. Sirens. An intensely loud and concerned crowd of people converge on the gas station. I stand up and say hello into the phone, to my surprise my guy is still on the phone. He is laughing. “What happened man, they shootin over there?” My voice is shaken and my adrenaline through the roof. My hands and body are in violent tremors of fear and anxiety. “Yeah.” Is all I can muster. “Just tell me where to go man.” I hung up the phone, puked my guts out, got in the car, and cried and prayed the whole way to the spot to meet my guy. What in the hell was I doing?

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