Don’t Go Outside!

I’ve been obsessing over my writing these past few months (“Oh, really,” you say, “we haven’t noticed.”) So I made a personal commitment to myself that today I would get up, look around me, and write about something that is a part of my real life community. I had planned a positive post.

I live in a nice little suburb of downtown Orlando called Belle Isle. It is one of the enclaves of the city that has a small town charm to it. That’s one of the things I like most about it.

My daughter called a few minutes after I had finished my morning coffee. She was planning to take my granddaughter to a local church where the little one will be attending pre-school.  Her appointment was cancelled by the school. They sent all of the little ones home early because there was a shooting in my community today involving a police officer. Just down the street.

Here’s the initial report: involved-shooting-20140723,0,4350551.story They have an error. It’s southeast Orlando not west.

The man has barricaded himself in a local home, armed and dangerous. Authorities are advising us to keep our doors and windows locked and stay inside. There are helicopters everywhere now. I counted one local news reporter, two cop copters, and four military helicopters. Yes, that’s right, military. This has been going on all morning, and it is afternoon. They have closed all the streets. I’m thinking this really can’t be good. Never mind my errand running is ruined. (How trivial, right?)

I haven’t forgotten the fear that I felt as a teen in the streets of NYC.  I don’t know if I am capable of sharing exactly what I’m feeling right now. You always think this crazy shit happens to other people, but it sounds like a war zone out there. My doggies are going nuts. The streets are empty. It’s spooky.

An author friend, Michael Bishop, in my home town in GA sent his son off to Virginia Tech to study, and he was massacred by a deranged killer. My little granddaughter can’t visit her preschool because of a gunman. This is an increasingly crazy world to live in.







44 thoughts on “Don’t Go Outside!

  1. I can relate a little having spent 12 years in the country and just returning to my hometown of Toronto and the madness I left behind…the city is so much more dangerous than it was when I left…

    • You know it is dangerous, and things change. I am having mixed feelings right now.

      On the one hand, yay, the cops are doing their job and trying to get drug dealers, on the other, a young man lost his life today.

  2. I’m so sorry you are going through this today. I too live in what I believe is a nice little rural suburb of Baltimore but the ever encroaching criminal element has us rethinking where we’ll be in ten years. I have worries for my granddaughters that I never had raising my own children in this community and school system.

    • It is over now but the atmosphere is rather funereal. My daughter still can’t get through. All the choppers are gone but the street is still closed. I can’t help but grieve a bit for bad guy’s family. Just twenty-seven. I know he’s not out there peddling his drugs anymore, but it seems such a high price.

  3. Some years ago, I lost a friend to an act of hate-motivated violence. At her memorial service, her mother read a list of “acts of human kindness” and then asked people to perform more in honor of her daughter. I think everyone who was there that day feels that they have been called to celebrate and extend kindness when possible.

    So I’m so sorry that you and everyone else in your city has been touched—again—by this violence. But I hope you will find a way to remember that there are so many people who are selflessly, quietly, and beautifully doing just the opposite.

    (For example:!last-slide)

  4. I used to leave in downtown Orlando and the violence there was one of the main reasons I got out. I’m so sorry this is happening near you. I pray you are all safe and have a better, more positive day tomorrow. 🙂

    • You mean as cause and effect? I think it’s the other way around. We see or are a part of all of this weird wicked stuff going on in our world and we write books about it.

      People are fascinated by the criminal element though. I am. The dark side. That is one reason I worked the forensic unit at the state mental hospital. I was truly intrigued by the minds and thought processes of the utterly evil.

  5. No words, Susan. It’s awful–as you said, a young man killed. Thankfully, others were not caught in gunfire. I’m glad you were safe at home, and that your family is safe, too.

  6. Y’know, I went to press “like” and thought, This isn’t nice! How can I press “Like”? What a terrifying experience for you! My prayers are with you and your family.

  7. Stay safe, S! Yes, it is a crazy world. There was just a murder in my extended family last month, too. However, on a lighter note, I wanted to tell you that I thought of you yesterday: I tweeted about an old lake resort someone in my family used to own (I blogged about it on my family history blog), and a resort from near there retweeted it. @TurtleLakeNude I had no idea this place is located near there.

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