Today the alleged murderers of Luis Gerena were arraigned in Roxbury District Court and I had the opportunity to see the members of his family and his friends who came for the arraignment.
To be honest, I don't think that I would have been able to sit through the arraignment. The facts of the case are heartbreaking enough on paper. I cannot imagine being the mother listening to them.
What is reported in the newspapers seems almost clinical: the mother weeps, the boy was shot, friends and family are devastated.
However I feel sometimes like words ought to be used instead to tear out your heart a little, just like the actual crime does to the people it affects.
I mean a thirteen year old boy was shot five times, five minutes from home. He was thirteen. He wasn't in a gang. He was a pre-teen living in a tough neighborhood but that does not mean his painful, solitary death should be shrugged off.
A thirteen year old boy, perched between the naivety of childhood and the sudden, surprising hardness of his teenage years, that's all. He was shot to death - hot, hard bullets shredding through the soft and pliant tissues of his liver, his kidney, his heart. A little kid really. Torn up by bullets on a cold winter night. Left to die by himself, without the comfort of his family, bewildered and terrified and dying.
And for what? For nothing. At the end of the day, there is no reason worth his life.
Ok, I know it's grim. But you know what, it was on my mind.