"265 DEAD" (1:1:5:43)

It's early September now, and on my favorite television channel they are reporting that since the beginning of the year, two-hundred and sixty-five people have been killed at the hands of another person. They normally don't report this number, but because it is so high someone has to take notice. I continue to watch, and as a special they have a section on one of their reporters going into the inner city and interviewing the residents that live in the places where the homicide rate is so high. As I watch these people talk, I slowly realize how sometimes when we try to remember our dreams, they appear to us in the presentation of a movie or a television show in the sense that we aren't exactly in the piece, but looking at it from an undisclosed perspective. A front-row seat to the showing of our own mind at work.

Rock puts down his gun and says to his two peers, "Remember that these niggas put thirteen of our people in a building that had bugs crawling on the walls." Someone opens the door to the room where Rock and his peers are loading their guns, weaponry which will be used to attack the people they call their enemies, and informs the three that everything is in place, that the targets are returning to the corner.

Rock takes his gun and as many clips as he can store on his person, as do his two peers, and they get in their designated vehicle and begin to drive towards their destination.

Eight minutes prior to the departure of Rock and his two peers, an elementary school had just ended its school-day and the teachers were sending their students home. Among the students are two sisters who live about five blocks away from their school. The sisters begin to walk down a street that they could paint even with their eyes closed.

On the other side of the city, a man named Spider is pulling into a parking spot. After he parks, he gets out of his car and begins to walk down an alley that leads to the backside of the storyteller's apartment building. Near the backside of the building, hidden deep inside a bush, Spider finds the bag of money that Jamal had left there for the enemy. Soon after, Spider enters the apartment building to deposit Derek's letter with the help of a mailman, and then leaves.

In a police department somewhere in between the location of these two stories, there are two cops who are arguing with each other in front of their superior officer. One white cop who is concerned with the amount of drugs in the city, and one black cop who is concerned with the increasing number of homicides in the city. They argue because the police department doesn't have enough resources to be committed to both.

Rock parks the vehicle a few blocks away from the shooting spot, and the three of them split up to surround the enemy. Rock becomes doubtful as he sees there are pedestrians around, but proceeds despite this fact.

Malcolm and Marcus, who are standing on a street corner selling drugs to those who desire them, are completely unaware of what is going to happen next. The two sisters who are now not too far away from the corner that Malcolm and Marcus are standing on know of this corner, which is why they always walk through an alley to get to the other side of the street.

Rock walks slowly towards the enemy, crushing an empty vial that once housed heroin. Rock, who is to be the first attacker, reveals himself and begins to shoot at Malcolm and Marcus. All nearby pedestrians scatter and all those who hear the shots from their homes begin to hide. Malcolm quickly dives towards a nearby vehicle, one where he has placed a gun of his own on the top of the front right tire. Malcolm quickly returns fire, as does Marcus after he has found cover. Coming up behind them and on the side of them are Rock's two peers, who are also now firing at Malcolm and Marcus. Because of the lack of training, the rounds that are being fired are hitting just about everything except their intended targets.

After Malcolm and Marcus see that they are being closed in, they both decide to run separate ways in an effort to force the enemy to delay in making a decision. There are now empty streets and silent homes. Marcus runs into an alley, the same alley that the two sisters were walking through, but by that time the sisters had run across the street in a desperation attempt to make it home after hearing shots.

However, the street that the sisters ran across was directly in the path of where Malcolm chose to run, and the shots that are intended for Malcolm from Rock's gun hits one of the sisters. When Rock sees this, he stops shooting, but one of his peers continues to shoot, one that he would later on find out has a trigger-happy problem. This peer hits the other sister, but unlike the first sister who was hit and died instantly, the second sister dies slowly, and even after she falls this peer continues to shoot, attempting to hit Malcolm. Rock yells out at him, and tells him to stop shooting, and the both of them run back to their vehicle and find that the other peer had already been waiting there.

Rock asks that peer if he got Marcus, and he says no. Nothing was accomplished. Rock drives back home angrily, realizing that this is going to cause a shitstorm in all types of places.

Somewhere in between the first bullet and the last bullet, a phone rings at the police department; someone has reported a drive-by shooting. Black and whites appear at the scene of the shooting in minutes but are left only with the ending of the tale. There is blinking from the police car lights and from the traffic lights. The entire police department also sees the shitstorm that is coming their way. They can tell from the surrounding clues around the death of these two girls that this happened because of the lack of concern to what drugs is doing to their city. A couple of days after this incident, it would be decided that the two cops who were arguing before would be partnered up, even though one was from homicide and one was from narcotics.

The car door says "Shut" again, and when I look out my window I see Lynne getting into that same damn car she got in last time to go away with Silvio. Does Silvio make her happy.

I've heard that womens' hearts beat faster than mens', probably because women tend to be less powerful physically, but regardless of if that is true or not, one might like to think that a woman's heart beats faster because, in a metaphorical sense, the search for love tends to be more powerful in women than in men. Seeing Lynne drive off with Silvio, it makes me believe that she is capable of doing anything for love, even if it means being psychologically and physically abused. I only hope she doesn't become number two-hundred and sixty-six.

Suddenly my door opens and I see Tao making his way in, a bit slower than he usually does. "Your door was a bit opened."

Make yourself at home, my place of residence is your place of residence. "I love this couch." So do I. What do you want? Tao is now talking, telling me why he came here, and it appears as if he is saying that he knows how much of an annoyance he can be, and that he will stop coming to my place of residence unannounced. That he will be the polite neighbor that he should have always been.

"Yeah blah blah blah. Why don't you start by paying me back for all the food you've eaten here." Tao begins to laugh, "I'm serious, man." Now he's noticing that my right thumb is red, and he asks me if I cut myself. I look down at my thumb and realize it's beginning to bleed again. This damn superficial cut that won't heal.

"It somewhat healed a while back, but it never fully heals." Tao tells me that he bets the cut has turned into the shape of a circle. I look at it, and notice that he is right. "Circles are common throughout nature," he tells me. Tao begins to say "Did you know that" but I stop him mid-sentence because as interested as I may be, I know he will be here for thirty more minutes if I let him continue. Tao goes back to his apartment, but before he leaves he says "dictum meum pactum." He claims to me that his word is his bond.

About fifteen minutes later I leave my apartment, go down the first flight of stairs and then down the second flight that leads into the basement of the apartment building where my clothes are being washed. There I find Mary, who is also washing her clothes. She looks in my direction but doesn't entirely look directly at me. I go to the washer that houses my clothes, and there is nothing but silence from either of us.

I notice that she has gained even more weight than the last time Tao mentioned it. Maybe she just doesn't care anymore. Maybe she got fired and said "fuck it." She finishes putting all her clothes in her basket and begins to walk away, and while she's walking away I watch her, and I can't help but wonder how her brain works. How anyone's brain works.

The triune brain model consists of three parts, the neomammalian complex which deals with language and perception, the paleomammalian complex which deals with reproductive and parental behavior, and the reptilian complex which deals with aggression and dominance displays. Now what I'm wondering is if our brain is trained to use a specific part of its makeup more-so than others in accordance to a specific environment. Like social fragments, how we are different versions of ourselves around different people, I wonder if there are psychologically fragments, where a part of our brain dominates usage over all others depending on who or what the subject is.

Mary's social fragment towards me probably tends to stray towards the "you are just another useless person" personality, and her psychological fragment probably tends to stray towards the "full of contempt for you" complex. The funny thing is I know I feel the same way about her. Not in those words.