Wednesday, November 01, 2006

outta hand

i'm not much for large crowds. i'm certain there were times in my life when participating in raucous gobs of people was thrilling and terrifyingly fun. but when i scan my brain for snapshots, the gnarled masses where groups begat larger groups were tame, friendly, even. i suppose i choose my crowd experiences carefully, on conditions.

so when we decided to eschew the negative press, the rolled eyes, the bad-mouthing we'd received over and over again about the halloween party in our neighborhood, i planned to keep a cautious distance from the roiling crowds of outsider scamps.

turns out that's easier said than done. the crowds were massive, young, and in the densest vortexes: ugly. an expert in crowd behavior has likely described what my unscientific sample afforded: when we were squashed, people sucked; when we had plenty of space, people were friendly and affable, including me. group behavior 101, i bet.

i imagine the trouble began and ended in a vortex. when we left, the area where the shootings took place was dense and energized--lots of kids waiting for something to happen. and sadly, it did.

No comments: