On Janna’s way to work this morning, she snapped this image with her iPhone and emailed it to me. She’s done that in the past with a copper moon, and a Steve Jobs memorial, but these flowers, and this mourning this morning was different.
This shrine was filled with hurt and rage and you can find it all right now at the Barnes & Noble bookstore on the corner of West 8th Street and the Avenue of the Americas; for this is the spot where Mark Carson, a 32-year-old Gay man, was gunned down a few days ago — shot in the face by an impromptu stalker just for being who he was — and so the latest Greenwich Village New York City hate crime is now on the police blotter, written in blood on a public sidewalk.
After a few minutes, Mr. Carson and his friend continued on their way, assuming the exchange was over. The two men walked along West Eighth Street, but the gunman apparently did not want to let the matter drop. One of the gunman’s companions tried to talk him out of following Mr. Carson, according to the police. That companion left, the police said.
The gunman caught up with Mr. Carson outside of a building at 60 West Eighth Street, and began shouting at him. “Do you want to die here?” he asked Mr. Carson, according to Mr. Kelly, before pulling out the revolver and shooting Mr. Carson once in the cheek.
We know life is cheap — $6.66 is the going rate for the value of a person on the street — but this sort of madness is confounding. Two men wanted to be left alone on an evening together, but because they were together, they were targeted for a killing. They confronted the assassin. They stood up to him. They walked away. Yet, in the end, one of them was shot dead in the face.
The random cheapness of life never stoops to conquer me — be it walking down the street and having your ponytail grabbed, or the spontaneous, but inchoate, ambush of a police office in Orange, or even murder at Ivy Hill — because we are all still inextricably bound together and tied to a final, shredded, shared end.
One death resolves into another, one life dominoes into the falling other — and in the end we only have ourselves, alone, and still yearning for obedience of body and comprehension of mind — while, in the final count, we all end up piled on top of each other just hoping to face the sky again.