Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas Flowers for the Dead

I had to go back out into the suburban ghetto where I work this morning to finish resolving the problem I talked about yesterday. As I was getting ready to turn into the Federal complex that dominates Suitland, I spotted a big display of little Christmas plastic flower decorations. How utterly tacky was my first thought. But a more sobering realization was that they were intended to be placed on graves. So many people have been killed in this community in the last few years that there is now a market for tacky gravesite flowers.

This is half a block from the intersection where my friend Tondrea was mowed down by a hit-and-run driver just two weeks ago in broad daylight. It now appears that this was no accident, but instead it was murder. She was to testify the following day in a trial of those accused of shooting and paralyzing her 19-year-old daughter last summer. This is how they take care of witnesses in Suitland – just do away with them and pretend there was no crime.

I turned into the iron-fenced complex, glad that there was such a boundary between me and the chaos that exists everywhere else in that neighborhood.

On Thursday I had deposited $250 collected from coworkers in a fund set up to assist the children that Tondrea left behind. I can now imagine them spending that money on plastic flowers to keep the memory of their mother alive.


Blogger Velvet said...

An ex boss of mine used to develop land primarily in that neck of the woods. He used to send me on all sorts of stupid errands ("go knock on this guy's door and ask if he wants to sell me half his property...keep going back until you find him at home.") Finally I put my foot down as I was tired of putting myself in harms way for him and his stupid low paying job. It's not a nice place out there, is it? I'm sorry to hear about your friend.

4:55 PM  

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