Wednesday, March 12, 2008

True Albuquerque Stories #1=Guns

The dirty little secret about Albuquerque is that it can be an incredibly violent place. Ask the locals about it and they have all types of different theories why it is the way it is, but they will all agree with pride that they are not a little small desert paradise in the middle of nowhere, but will emphatically tell you that shit goes down there, and goes down quite hard and quite often.

And to some extent, they are right. I'm not going to say the place is as fucked up and bombed bed out as they would like you to believe, but it's worse than you might think at first glance. i guess being out of the Midwest and not having old abandoned factories and warehouses everywhere, you wouldn't think of a city as a violent place. But instead of old warehouses, they just have a whole bunch of random shit thrown all over the desert with no rhyme or reason.

But I digress. This is not about the perception of violence in Albuquerque vs. the reality of actual violence, this is about me. And so now, I will tell a story, about me.


The night before we got for Christmas break (we get off for Christmas break in the movies) the whole crew went out to this bar downtown called Burts. For some reason in Albuquerque, Burts is the Thursday night place to be. The other place is called cowboys, but you don't' go there because it's a)on the other side of town and b) the bouncer killed two dudes there in the last eight months. Real talk.

so we are all at Burt's and stay there until it closes and then we decide to go to this kid Tyler's house who lives three blocks from the bar. The production rented a real kick ass place for him. His apartment was in this parking garage that on one side had a condo attached to each floor so the elevator from the ground floor opens up into the unit and functions as the front door.

Two hours later a few people are smoking out on the porch. Now the porch to his place has a back door which connects to the parking garage itself. Anyway, these kids are out there and they see these two weird beams of light coming up the parking garage. The way they are moving, there''s no way it's a car. In fact, there is no way it's anything they've ever seen. After a few minutes, two fully decked out swat team dudes come around a corner with flashlights and guns and the whole nine yards.

The swat dudes are going up to every car in the lot and shinning their flashlights into them. When they turn around and see the kids on the porch they yell at them to get back inside, someone just got killed outside the building and fled into the parking garage.

so they do and tell us the story and we all give a collected cry of "ABQ," which is what you say when you are in Albuquerque and some only in Albuquerque type shit goes down.

so another hour goes by and I realize I can't find my digital camera. I start looking for it when I see my friend Justin leave. Thinking he has my digital camera I chase after him and run down the hallway only to see the elevator door close. So without breaking a stride I open up the door to the stairs, throwing it against the wall. I mean after all, it's 4.30 in the morning, who the hell would be in the stairwell.

So to my surprise, when i throw the door open, i see two cops coming down the stairs, one with a shotgun and a fucking strap over his front shoulder with shells glued in for easy access. The other one had a glock in one hand and a flashlight in his other crisscrossed hand.

Needless to say, slamming the door against the wall scared the shit out of them and they both swung their guns around on me right in my face. As I threw my hands up and shouted my new mantra of "what the fuck" over and over again the door shut and separated us.

They knock on the door and I open it and let them in. At this point, I'm shaking, and I look at the cop with the shotgun, and he looks bad, and we both make eye contact and convey a sense of "some shit almost just went down here" to each other. he's happy he didn't shoot me, and I'm clearly happy I wasn't shot.

So they come in and search for the murderer. They say he was wearing such and such a shirt and they go through the party making everyone take off their jackets to see what type of shirt they are wearing. They open up every bathroom and closet door, and they do it with one dude standing to the side and another one holding his gun on the closet. Some real tactical shit.

So people are drunk and the sight of two cops with their guns and all that in the apartment causes a little bit of a commotion. Tyler goes up to them and gets in their face asking them who let them in and the cop with the shotgun yells at him "Dude we don't care what is going on here, we are looking for a guy that killed a guy outside your building. We'll be out of here in five minutes."
Tyler said something else and the cop just shouted "Look, I almost killed your fucking friend. Shut the fuck up and we will be out of here in five minutes."

On their way out, the cop with the shotgun comes up to me, puts his hand on my shoulder and said, "I want you to know, In all my years of being a cop,t hat's the closest I've ever come to shooting someone and still been able to hold back pulling the trigger."

ABQ dude, ABQ.


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