A few houses down the road

This morning a helicopter was flying suspiciously low over our house.

Well, it wasn't just over our house. It was flying in circles, repeatedly, over my side of the subdivision. Nothing sinister, as far as I know, was happening. It's just that, well, you have a helicopter, flying quite low, right above your head. What is the point of all that?

Today I wondered about what would happen if I got killed in a police raid.

Don't be paranoid, Niko, you might tell me. There is no reason for you to be killed in a police raid. I would say that, too. I have not done anything illegal as far as I know. I don't even have much exposure to such, um, nefarious elements. I don't even go out a lot. Perhaps people might want to have me arrested for my increasingly frequent outbursts at home, but then, that's at par with how people see people who are different from them, who are "below" them.

Let's suppose I got killed in a police raid. Wrong place, wrong time.

Don't be paranoid, Niko. You did say you don't go out a lot.

A few houses away from mine, there is this... house that, well, was a known drug den. You have banana vendors coming in there to, well, partake, I guess. And young girls, too. The neighborhood just knew to avoid the people who live there. We were told they have long been on notice with the authorities, but for a long time nothing happened there. No arrests, nothing. I suppose the case was not completely built up.

When I was on a weekend holiday, something did happen. I only heard it from some neighbors, and then read about it on the papers. Police raided the house. Two were killed, but they never arrested the head of the den, so to speak. They didn't even know the names of the fatalities.

For a year, that house lay empty, stripped of its roof and metal fixtures by some neighbors to ensure nobody returns there. Only in the past week did someone decide, for some reason, to fix some things up, reinstall the windows, cover up the door. Somebody must have bought the house up.

Let's suppose I got killed in a police raid. Wrong place, wrong time. Say, I was buying something at a store - I know the owner of a store that sits just a few houses after the "den". Say, it's a couple of cigarettes. (Not for me.) I'm out wearing a white sando, which I always do. I hear the gunfire, I run away. The police see me, suppose I'm one of the people they want, and shoot me at the back.

Don't be paranoid, Niko. You did not do anything wrong, see?

We've reached a point where that isn't really much of a guarantee.

Let's suppose I got killed in a police raid. An anti-drug operation. "Are we or are we not a narcotic country? Yes, we are." In the beginning, I become a mere statistic. I become a man who had to die. A monster who had to die? That might be a better description for some of a certain persuasion. What have I done for this country, after all? I just brought it down, right? I used some drugs, maybe leered at a woman passing by, thinking of taking her clothes off and fucking her right in the street because my head is all messed up. Yeah, I am the problem, and the best thing to do is to just eliminate me. I am a monster and I had to die.

And then, it would turn out that I am just a person caught up in a dire situation. Wrong place, wrong time. The machine is warmed up and ready to go. We start debating again. No - we start fighting again. We take our battle stations and start accusing the opposing side of being the real monsters in this scenario. Besides, it can't be this Niko guy. He just wanted to buy cigarettes. For his mother. Who needed to do a number two in the bathroom.

I have always wondered, in the past year, what would my family and friends who are on this one side of the argument think if I get killed in a police raid. They say criminals should be eradicated at all costs - and only then will things get better for us. How will that square in with how they know me? Will they mourn my death and fight for justice? Or will they change their memories of me just so it can sit alongside their desperate beliefs? It should make sense, right? I did not agree with them because I am high on drugs, my head has gone to shit, and I can never get anything right. Hopeless case. Resistance. Remove.

Don't be paranoid, Niko. Clearly you're not going to die. You did not do anything illegal!

Yeah, but a helicopter is flying suspiciously low over my house this morning, and people around me refuse to understand why I feel threatened by what they believe is right and wrong.

And your responses...

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