Lacy Maran's Books

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Another Take On The Trayvon Martin Shooting

My son was killed about a month ago. But unlike that poor kid that was shot in Florida, you've never heard of my boy. There wasn't widespread outrage, public marches, televised prayer services, or wall to wall news coverage analyzing his shooting from every possible angle. There was only a small blurb in the local paper the morning after buried deep behind more important scandals. I guess that's because people just expect random shootings to happen in South Los Angeles. They just come with the territory. That they are just a part of normal life around here.
But my life will never be the same. How could you when you outlive your only child? There's nothing ordinary about burying someone you brought into this world. Then again, there's also nothing normal about being shot on your way home from school, no matter what neighborhood you live in. And yet people have already moved on. Except for me.
The memorial was just the beginning. This is the kind of thing that takes more than three bereavement days from work to get over. Especially with Lattrell's killer still at large. The police suspect it was gang related. That it was a random bullet fired at the wrong target. They assured me that they are still investigating, but I'm glad I haven't been holding my breath. There are no leads. No hot tips. Not much of anything to go on. Just some flowers and a cross layed against a palm tree beside where the police tape and chalk outline used to be.
I try not to drive down that street unless I have to. Hell, I go three blocks out of my way so I'm not reminded. Not just because I'm afraid I'll be reminded of Lattrell, but because there have been two more shootings since then. There has not been a fuss about them either.
It's hard going up and down the boulevards that have been a staple in our lives. They now feel haunted, filled with ghostly memories from the past. The ice cream shop that I used to take Lattrell to after every football game. The pizza parlor he wanted to go to for his birthday every year. The store where he rented his tuxedo for his junior prom at. Around every corner lies a new memory waiting to send a shiver down my spine.
But the streets also hold a new question mark. With no suspect in custody, Lattrell's killer could be right in front of my eyes and I wouldn't even know it. He could be standing in line behind me at the pharmacy, crossing the street as I come out of church, or sitting in his car next to me at a red light. He could be any of the hundreds of people I pass every day, or none of them. And there's a good chance I'll never know.
I hear the chatter at work. At first everyone sent their condolescences. A big card with fifty signatures was waiting for me at my desk on my first day back. Two whole pages of "best wishes," "sorry for your loss," and "feel better." But Lattrell's tragedy soon took a backseat to the story people couldn't stop talking about. The break room was abuzz every single day with the latest news and speculation about a poor kid three thousand miles away that my co workers had never met. This wasn't the kid they'd bought chocolate bars to fund his footballs teams trip to Oakland. This wasn't the boy who could talk about hip hop legends with my Office Manager for hours. And this definitely wasn't the guy who's picture had been framed on my desk for the entire office to see every day at work.
It was a stranger from three thousand miles away that they'd never met. And yet they were outraged like he was a family friend. They'd taken his story to heart. To them, his senseless story was a call to action. A cry for justice to be served. He was on the tip of everyone's tongues. And there was a fire in their eyes as they talked about him. There was a sense of urgency to apprehend the suspect and put him behind bars forever.
But it wasn't just my coworkers. The story is everywhere. Bus boys weighed in on their smoke breaks, strangers gossiped about it at the laundromat, and news anchors broadcast every new detail of the case like it was a national obsession.
To be fair, both stories were equally tragic. Utter wastes. My heart went out to those poor parents that had lost their son, just as my heart went out to anyone who has lost someone before their time. No parent should have to bury their own child. But for one story to suck up all the oxygen in the room while the other goes completely unnoticed seems cruel. As if there's only a finite amount of outrage to around and no one has any to spare for my son.
I know nothing is going to bring him back. But what does it say about your life if you're so quickly forgotten in death? I know Lattrell wasn't perfect. That he was a stubborn kid stumbling to adulthood. But that doesn't mean he wasn't trying. That he doesn't deserve your thoughts and prayers. After all, justice shouldn't be too much to ask for.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Recent Soundtrack To My Life

1. Gin Wigmore "Don't Stop"
2. Fun "We Are Young"
3. Mat Kearney "Ships In The Night"
4. Florence And The Machine "Shake It Out"
5. Ellie Goulding "Lights"

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Why All 32 NFL Teams Should Be In the Running For Tim Tebow

Same Tebow Time, Different Tebow Place

It seems with the signing of Peyton Manning in Denver that Tebowmania will have come to a swift close. And if you'd ask John Elway, with good reason. There has been plenty of gripes about the former Gator--his mechanics blow, he has a weak arm, he stinks for fifty-eight minutes then miraculously pulls victories out of the ether. But one thing everyone can agree on--the guy is as hard to bring down as a running back. And that is exactly why all 32 teams--including the Broncos--should be in the Tebow sweepstakes. Only not as a quarterback--not even as a backup. Fact is, Tim Tebow talents would be wasted holding the clipboard on a bench somewhere. He should be lined up as a half back, as a tight end, or in a razzle dazzle package. He's elusive and built like a freight train. Frankly, his skills are wasted on quarterback. The question remains, is there a Coach in the NFL creative enough to put his skills to proper use?