Misty Water-Colored Memories

I sometimes envy those still flush in the bloom of youth. Supple limbs, limpid eyes, and an insolence untempered by experience. To be an arrogant prick carved from marble…for a moment, that is what is best in life, Conan. But even more than the pleasures of our physical peak was that lurking sense of adventure. That there was vivid life waiting to be lived. Every day an opportunity, every night a prelude. Time moves slowly in our youth. And the future spans far into the horizon.

A recent story on rousing youthful revelry brought these thoughts to mind. It reminded me of the time in college when five of us sardined into a sub-compact for a dozen hour drive to spring break. We were pitiably poor, and so stayed in a rat-trap motel and scaled fences to evade paying for wet t-shirt contests. We got drunk, sunburned, and intimate with strangers. It wasn’t all pleasant, but it was all alive. I wouldn’t do it again now unless at knifepoint, but I would do it again then in an instant.

And what any spring breaker covets most are the parties. The dancing and drinking, the come-ons and the gunplay.

Gunplay? Of course, you bigots. It’s 2015!

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (AP) ā€” Seven people were injured, some critically, during an early-morning spray of gunfire Saturday at a spring break party on the Florida Panhandle, police said. An Alabama man was quickly apprehended and charged with attempted murder. Multiple 911 calls flooded in just before 1 a.m., reporting the shootings at the house party in Panama City Beach, and deputies arriving on the scene found a sprawling crime scene with victims inside the home, outside and across the street from it, and in the street’s median, the Bay County Sheriff’s Office said.

So tonight we’re gonna party like it’s 1799! I knew Black Girls Rock, but had no idea they could roll all the way into the median.

Officers set up a perimeter and found a suspect matching witnesses’ description. David Jamichael Daniels, 22, of Mobile, Alabama, was charged with seven counts of attempted murder and jailed awaiting a first court appearance.

I’m fairly disappointed in Jamichael. This behavior doesn’t seem the most apposite expression of solidarity with the “Hands up, don’t shoot” movement. Though not being present, we should consider the possibility that none of the victims actually put their hands up. I’ll search for exculpatory evidence on Wuuuurl Staaaar.

The sheriff’s office said several of the victims were students from Alabama A and M in Panama City Beach for spring break. At least three were critically injured: Kearria Freed, 20, who was shot in the head; Devanta Moore, 21, who was shot in the chest; and Henton Franklin, 22, who was shot in the side. Three others were listed in stable condition: Jacole Young, 22, who police said was shot in the back three times; Kelli Curry, 21, who was shot in the leg; and Tykeria Ethridge, 22, who was shot in the neck and shoulder.

A seventh victim ā€” Anesia Powell, 20 ā€” was shot in the left arm, chest, and knee, and was undergoing surgery Saturday. No condition was given.

From a perspective of decent ecumenical good will, we can all hope for the speedy recoveries of Kearria, Devanta, Jacole, Tykeria, and Anesia. Though to be perfectly candid, I’m somewhat relieved. Relieved that for once there was no “white hispanic” or “gentle giant.” Relieved that the absence of oppression in this mayhem will result in the equal absence of media coverage. If it can’t be blamed on whites, then it can’t be national news. So exhale with the knowledge that all we can be held responsible for is the millions of dollars of medical care and rehabilitation this diverse saturnalia will generate.

Or I could be wrong.

“We have blood on our hands,” Curry told his fellow council members.

“Who’s ‘we’ kemosabe?” you may ask. That would be the Panama City city council. A panel whose crass failure to keep blacks from perforating each other within its jurisdiction is the true culprit here. And you whiteys thought you’d simply slink into the shadows without acknowledging responsibility? SMH.

Let me explain this clearly. If you restrain blacks from their native impulses, you are a profiling racist. If you do not, you have blood on your hands. Does this require continual reiteration? For God’s sake, next year will be 2016!

Though for now, there is only to reminisce of those hateful legacy spring breaks sans brain matter…and the way we were.


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