On the phone with my mother, contemplating the dishes that had been sitting in my sink for more than a few days, the shots rang out so clear and loud that I stopped for a split second. Just a second. And then I told my mother I’d call her back and promptly called 911.

There were five shots I think. Trying to be calm on the line with the operator she asked me things I never thought about…were there screeching tires like someone pulling away fast? I think, maybe two sets. Was there screaming? There was, but now – silence.

She said officers were on their way and so I sat in my hallway breathing slowly and listening hard for sirens. When the silence and my own breathing ceased to distract me I called a friend who engaged me in (much appreciated) idle chatter.

Fifteen minutes, 20, maybe 30…no lights or sirens. I called the non-emergency number to see what happened. “Officers arrived on the scene at 9:10 and decided the shots were related to a funeral.”

That’s all.

On my way home, around 6, I noticed a bunch of people milling around a usually silent four-plex. Everyone one was in black – not unusual in Oakland – but there was a small blaze of votive candles illuminating the dusky street.

I don’t know what happened there…or when. Scanning the online paper today I never saw anything about my street…about something that might inspire a vigil…or a shooting.

Maybe they were relating…a five bullet salute to a friend departed. Maybe it was someone being stupid and playing with guns. I don’t really know…my neighborhood is usually quiet. Interesting how quiet sounds different after gunshots.

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