Crime in the City

And speaking of that big city trade-off, a neighbor of Chicago playwright Bilal Dardai was murdered last week and he immediately began to have dark thoughts about what this might mean for his family’s safety:

Thursday was scary. A 56 year-old woman was found stabbed to death in her apartment, in a building that I can see from my first-floor window. She was found by her husband when he came home from work; he burst out of the building, screaming and crying into the arms of a teenaged boy who happened to be skating by at the time. The police had told curious neighbors that they suspected a burglary gone wrong.

And in spite of myself I slowly immersed into the thick black oil of paranoia, double-checking windows and being more conscientious about our security system, thinking that if it is true, if this is a burglary gone wrong, then it is possible that the perpetrators spent some time casing out several apartments along this block. It is possible that our apartment was a target, it is possible that our home is still a target.

But he then discovered that the crime had really nothing to do with the city as such:

I had been considering that the incident was simply another reminder that I live in a city, that I chose to put up with the greater risks thereof because of what I perceive as the great benefits thereof. But it was not a burglary that went wrong, it was simply a dysfunctional family that finally escalated past the point of no return.

It is not a reminder that I live in a city. It is a reminder that I live among human beings. Which is not a risk I can easily avoid, nor would I want to.

Go read the whole thing.

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