Thursday, September 27, 2007

A Death on Our Street

Yesterday afternoon and night there were fireworks on our street. Rocket, after Rocket, after Rocket exploded in the sky. Not the showy kind of fireworks but the kind that rocks your ear drums. Ned went out and talked with the neighbors next door. One of the young men on our street had been killed in a car/truck accident. This young man belonged to the house on the corner that also is a barbershop.

We have a lot of young men and a few young women from our street who hang out sometimes in the afternoon and often at night near our corner because we have a street light and there is a video store just a few doors away. We speak and nod as we come and go and Ned sometimes talks with them while he walks the dog but we don't know their names. We have been trying to figure out who is missing. Who died in the accident?

As we have watched the street in the last 24 hours, we realize once again that we are outsiders. That there are cultural differences that limit our understanding of what is happening around us. The hearse came yesterday afternoon and we assumed that the funeral was yesterday. Although we did not see it, the casket must have been left at the house.

The young people from the neighborhood stood or sat in the street. Most of them took white T-shirts and wrote Luis Edgar Munas' name on the back of the shirt. Many people brought bouquets and food and by 9:00 PM last night the street was full of cars and people just talking, sometimes laughing softly. The street was completely blocked. No cars could get through and when one would come up the street, there was no honking. The driver just turned and found another way to where he needed to go. How did they know that this was a wake?

All day, there has been young people solemnly sitting on the sidewalk across from the Munas' house and from time to time we heard rockets. Just now there were again many rocket explosions and we heard singing in the street. The hearse had returned and loaded the casket. The young people all dressed in their decorated white T-shirts were following behind it as it headed toward the San Juan de Dios church.

We still haven't been able to figure out who is missing from the mix of kids on the street. Which one was Luis Edgar Munas? But as parents we can only imagine what one family on our street is going though. God Bless this family and Rest in Peace, Louis Edgar Munas.

1 comment:

Paul said...

I really like your cultural insights. Interesting how anonymous life can be sometimes, except, of course to the friends and family of the departed.