The DL Boy in the Neighborhood is Dead

The DL Boy in the Neighborhood is wearing the white t shirt. I took this photo of him last year on the corner with his associates, probably dealing drugs.

The young dl dude in the neighborhood who used to flirt with my partner “Van” and me is dead.

Gunned down in a housing project less than a mile away on Jan. 30.

The Baltimore Sun didn’t even bother to mention his name. Just that he had been shot multiple times and taken to the hospital.

I knew he was still dealing drugs on the corner. I saw him just a few weeks ago. A neighbor today casually mentioned he was shot and died from his wounds.

I’m grieving. Lately I had a strong urge to just walk up to him on the corner and talk.

“Why you dealing drugs and going in and out of jail?”

“Do you dream of doing something else? Something better?”

“How can I help you?”

Now it’s too late. Fuck! He wasn’t even  20 years old yet. I’ve already lived more than twice his short lifespan.

So handsome and tall. And that cute smirk he used to make. Gone. Forever.

That’s not right God. He hadn’t experienced life yet. He probably never even left the hood.

Van told me not to take it so hard. Even if I had reached out he probably wouldn’t have listened, Van said.

“We’ve talked about this and knew how it would turn out,” he said.

But I can’t stop “what if?” from echoing in my mind. “What if? What if?”

22 thoughts on “The DL Boy in the Neighborhood is Dead

  1. Truly tragic…and it happens to so many. We lose too many of our young brothers before they even reach their prime…May he rest in peace…

  2. Immanuel, your grief stems from being a father yourself. It would be even more devastating if the one shot was your son or daughter. Like you said, the young man hadn’t even lived yet. Who knows what the future could have held for him. But the drug game usually enforces it’s own path: death or jail, which was the case with the young man who tragically lost his life. Make contact with your own children to gage their well-being and safety.

  3. Dide got a taste of ‘The Wire’, but even after all the shocks, he just couldn’t stop ’till he got “enuff”…**pours out liquor**

    “He gives beauty for ashes,
    Strength for fear.
    Gladness for mourning,
    & peace for despair.” Father alone knows why his book ended in this violent chapter…

  4. “But the drug game usually enforces it own path: death or jail” I never considered that… Very deep but true statement!! So sorry about the young man losing his life so early….. Everyone is talking about the messed up election of Mr.Trump and no one is doing anything about the violence in our inner cities… Praying for you brother and I as well don’t think your advice would have made a difference….

  5. it’s an addiction, the devil’s power is strong. Many of us have desires, recreations, passions, whether food or sex or ……….. we know it’s not good, but we do it anyway.

      • It may not be about the money. He may have wanted to be feared by others, or conversely respected by others because of his membership in that drug dealing group. He may have liked being the enforcer for people who hadn’t paid for their drugs yet. Or he may have used his position as a dealer to get sex – from customers or from his fellow pushers in his gang. One of his cohorts may have been his boyfriend. Who knows?

        If it was in fact about making money, he may have been willing to settle for a lot less money than what you or I need to live comfortably. He may still have lived at home with his momma and he may not have had a car. So clothes, tacky jewelry, drugs/alcohol and electronic gizmos may have been what made him happy. Since he got paid in cash, he paid no income taxes – indeed, he may even have been on some kind of government assistance. He never could have bought a home, gotten a car loan or lease because he had little to no declared income. His aspirations in life were likely very much lower than what you raised your kids to aspire to.

        You can’t save someone like that Immanuel. They need to want to get out of doing it and they need to want to want to better themselves.

      • Very true. From what I have heard about him, and it was very little, he was not a pleasant person. But I think he may have been in foster care and that situation was not good for him either.

  6. My Condolences, Immanuel…… Caring for other people shows you are human, more so that your heart is in the right place. Empathy is not a gift that many folks possess these days.

  7. “He hadn’t experienced life yet.”

    Sadly, I think he probably experienced far more than any of us could imagine in his abbreviated life.

    Don’t beat yourself up Immanuel. His old habits would have been hard to break. You couldn’t have saved him no matter what you did because he likely didn’t want to be saved. However you could have put yourself and Van in danger by getting involved with him and the people he hung out with.

  8. Wow.. sorry to hear. I empathize with you. Years ago at my gum/ Y. there was a young man, in his early thirties, he was kind of like given the duty of gym trainer. He had just got out of the army, came home and got caught up in selling drugs. We had spoken a couple of times, but I liked him, felt a kind of Big brother affinity towards him.
    One morning, just months after his return home, he was shot in the head several times. Although I can’t say I know it had to do with drug dealing, I just got the impression that it did.
    I found out about it on the morning news, it was such a sad thinking to have happened, but like your friend said, sometimes talking to them out of concern does no good because they are sooo involved in it, it’s hard to get out.
    I remember him to this day, every once in a while, he comes across my mind.
    So many young men lives are flushed out like this…sad.

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