Monday, April 10, 2006

Driver's licence renewal was a somewhat harrowing endeavour to-day. A few blocks from the DMV, I found traffic ahead of me suddenly slowing, and a moment later I saw it was because a man in a burgundy van was pointing a gun at us from the opposing lane.

He seemed to be providing cover for another fellow who stood outside his four door car, his arms across its roof, pointing his gun at a white SUV that'd stopped nearby.

I paid as little overt notice to the gun pointed my way as I could, and called 911 when I stopped at the next intersection, just outside the gunman's range of vision.

The DMV had no parking, of course, and I drove in figure eights, waiting for a spot to open as I talked to the 911 operator.

"Was the gentleman Hispanic or black?" was the first thing the operator asked.

"Er, I couldn't tell." I'd only seen the arm of the guy in the burgundy van, and the other guy had his back to me and was wearing a pale t-shirt. His arm was dark, but I couldn't tell if it was tan or brown. I didn't go into that much detail with the operator as he made it clear time was of the essence. I didn't explain the situation nearly as clear as I did above, but I was trying to be brief and I'd had only two hours of sleep, so I was a little foggy. The operator seemed intent on drawing conclusions; I had to correct him several times when he seemed intent on hearing that the gunmen were pointing guns at each other.

Finally he hung up and a moment later I heard sirens in the distance. I ended up parking in a nearby Target lot, and I saw a paramedic rushing down the street. So I guess something went down, but I still have no idea what--none of the local news sites I've looked at seem to have anything on it. Though most of them have stories of five or six other gunfights in the county, so maybe it wasn't such as extraordinary occurrence...

After finishing at the DMV, I went to the Target and bought copies of Natural Born Killers and A History of Violence. They were cheap. I might've gotten Brokeback Mountain except this first release lacks all the goodies of the upcoming Special Edition. I find myself looking forward to the next instalment of the Ang Lee/James Schamus commentaries. They have an interesting banter, as Schamus tends to be into the gentle ribbing and self deprecating jokes while Lee is always respectful and patient.

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