You road I travel and look around! I believe you are not all that is here! I believe that something unseen is also here.
— Walt Whitman, Poem of the Road
Jimmy C., age 9, died on the evening of December 28, 19_ _ from a gunshot bullet to the heart. He was shot by his seven-year-old brother Dennis, while, as The New York Times reported, “the two were playing with a rifle in a neighbor’s apartment in the northeast Bronx.” The boys were visiting with their mother and found the rifle under a bed. It was loaded and accidently fired, hitting Jimmy in the chest.
Another boy, age ten, was sitting on a closed toilet seat two miles away. The bathroom was warm and steamy and the boy was talking to his father, for whom he was named. His father was shaving. An only son with seven sisters, the boy adored his father, and, enclosed in this intimate setting, he felt embraced by his father’s love and protection. For a young boy to watch his father shave and to converse with him alone about sports was pure heaven.
His father switched on a small transistor radio so they could hear basketball scores. A report came over the radio that a young boy had been accidently shot and killed by his brother in the Bronx. Then the names came. They were his brother’s sons. Heaven turned to hell. His father, half-shaved, toweled his face and ran from the room. The boy sat there stunned. When he emerged from the bathroom, his father had already left to…