I walked into the store. My former co-worker greeted me solemnly: “I guess you were right.” We both looked at each other for a second. A piece of cardboard still covered the hole in the glass store front window the perpetrators had created. The man was still bit fidgety and it was noticeable to everyone including himself. I felt bad. I could not recall how many times I told him and the rest of the employees that worked there to reconcile the revenues of the store in the store’s backroom and to turn off all of the lights as they did it. I had even worked extra hours so that there could always be two people scheduled to close each night. Still no one listened to me. Everyone continued to reconcile all of the store’s monies at the large desk in front of the store. Someone always left a half hour to a hour early before closing. “I have other things to do” was always the excuse. Well, now they had been robbed. Not burgled. Robbed. At gun point. And I had long since transfered to another store. I still felt bad, so here I was. This encounter would make for a depressingly interesting night.
Oh, those were the days. During the first summer of my family’s second move to California that took place right before the start of my sophomore year of high school, my life continued at a very enjoyable pace. I remet a lot of friends who, much to my surprise, still lived in California. I also met a lot of new ones. The most memorable part of the summer were all of the times that all of us, new and old friends alike, spent listening to music in one of my new friends’ garage. This friend loved Tupac Shakur and swore that he was still alive. He danced just like him, rapped just like him, and knew everything about him. Being a music fan with other interests in the rap genre, he had a lot of great music, too. Not quite as much as my friend who’s dad was a DJ, but a lot. Some afternoons, all of us would end up gathering in his garage where we would listen to music. Our favorite song was a rap off of Bone Thus-N-Harmony’s Art of War album. We all called it the “gun song.” I still do not quite have a good handle on what the song’s name actually is, but it was fairly catchy to all of us. The chorus had the cocking and firing of a pistol as part of its melody. It is one of those songs that you can only like as a teenager. We would usually sit around and talk. The friend who was a Tupac fan and his little brother would usually brag about having some friend who was a gang member or a past sexual conquest. Our group was a mix of boys and girls which is what always made it interesting. I definitely had a lot of fun hanging out with that crowd that summer.