We generally keep things light here at Tinsel and Rot, but sometimes something comes along that's a little on the darker side. And it doesn't get much darker than what happened three doors away from me Tuesday morning.
Let me first start by saying that I'm the type of guy who gets sentimental for the people that sell me my newspapers in the morning. I can remember the guys at the Optimo in Staten Island who sold me my papers every morning on the way to high school (and my wrestling magazines before I graduated to newspapers) and called me "Chief." I was always fond of George, the raspy-voiced guy at Mac's at Ithaca College, where I stopped every morning (or, in the later years, after I discovered no real need to take classes in the morning, every afternoon) for my papers. And I recently had a crisis when the woman who sold newspapers outside the Pavonia/Newport PATH, and had my Post and Daily News ready for me every morning, suddenly disappeared and I had to adjust to a new guy, who lost my business when he chased me into the PATH station because I had given him a dollar bill with a tiny corner piece missing. I'm trying to warm up to a newsstand near the station, but it's not feeling quite right yet.
All that is to say that I have a great fondness for those who sell me my newspapers. And that includes the family at the bodega on my street, where I routinely stop for my weekend papers, assuming I can rouse myself to put on pants before the papers sell out (I don't buy the daily papers there because they don't get the Sports Final). They're always very pleasant and friendly, and the patriarch of the family always had a kind word as I went on my way or even if I saw him closing up shop at night. I'm certain I never had a real conversation with him, but still, I felt a certain kinship, because I like the people that sell me my newspapers.
That guy at the bodega, whose name was Kiritkumar Parikh, was killed Tuesday morning by some heartless douchebag in a botched robbery attempt at the store. That bodega where I bought my newspaper was on the cover of one today, and that family is now without their father. When I walked past the shrine that is now outside the bodega tonight, I almost lost it. Not because someone was murdered three doors down and about 90 minutes after I passed by (though, truth be told, I'm not feeling all that great about that), but because Mr. Parikh is gone. Just gone. For no reason. And I'll never again see him on a Saturday morning, or heading home for the night. It doesn't seem right, or even possible. All because of a creep and his gun.
Requiescat in pace, Mr. Parikh.
And if you're so inclined, faithful reader, say a prayer today for Mr. Parikh's family.