To Live & Die in LA

Growing up in South Central LA…

you become desensitized by too many things. One of those things is gunshots. I’d recently come back from a trip to Thailand and had been thinking about all of the people who do not get to experience some of the things I am able to and who have no idea about life outside of their city (aside from what they see in the media). At around 3 a.m. I heard gunshots as I was walking from the bathroom and back into my bedroom. I didn’t think anything of it. Just thought some fools being dumb around the corner. Moments later I heard my dad stumble out of bed and run for the door.

Oh no, something’s off. As I walked closer to the front door, I heard wails and my heart sank. After throwing on a pair of sweats I walked down the street to see where my parents were and what was going on. Four houses down, my neighbor had been shot. No witnesses. No suspects caught. I couldn’t bear to see his body lying there in the street. This wasn’t something new, just way too close to home.

I’d lived on this block since ’97. He was my first friend. We talked/yelled at one another from porch to porch (which is what our nieces do now). I’d walked to and from school with him. I’d eaten beans and toast many mornings for breakfast with him when my mom had to go into work early. I’d argued with him terribly recently like childish siblings over something so trivial. He’d just turned 22. And now he’s gone.

I’d be lying if I said it didn’t shake me a bit. I can’t understand why. He’d lived his entire life on this block and it ended here. And over what? I couldn’t stomach seeing his brothers let alone his mom as a freelance photo journalist tried hard to get a picture of his lifeless body. I know all things come to an end, but this just wasn’t expected…

As I prepare to walk back down the block to pay respects and unite with my neighbors at his vigil it’s all so surreal. A part of me wants to believe I’ll walk out and he’ll be fixing someone’s car. A part of me wants to see his goofy smile. A part of me wants it to just be a really bad dream…

Vigil for Sergio 10/16/16

Vigil for Sergio 10/16/16

Rest in Peace Sergio. 35th will never forget you!



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