I lived in Los Angeles for 10 years. It’s easy to get hooked on L.A. Celebrity sightings, hot parties, and all the sunshine you can handle. Every day is a good hair day. Hanging out with friends, dining al fresco, barely orange mimosas. Los Angeles will have you believe you can defer heartbreak for a lifetime.
I attended a friend’s birthday party one year and noticed for the first time that some of the gentlemen appeared to be in uniform, same clothes, same color. It was exciting, getting a first hand glimpse of what I had previously seen only on television or in movies. Even in the midst of dried hayfield, I didn’t know enough to pray that nobody had match.
I had that in common with Kevin. Kevin was an unassuming giant of boy, almost a man. In spite of how his size frightened others, he was a sweet soul with a crooked smile who desired simply to do the right things. He was proud of his pending job at the oil refinery, his pretty new truck, and paying his $500 rent on time every month. My favorite Kevin story? I was sitting at home one day minding my own business when I got a call from his cousin. Kevin was sitting at her house filled with anxiety about who he would ask to the prom. He ended up asking the prettiest girl he could find. We laughed later when he finally confessed, “I couldn’t come up in there with no ugly girl cuz Auntie Kym will clown me…and her.” He asked the prettiest girl he could find. She was apparently smart, too, because she said yes. They had a great time that night. They’ve been together ever since.
So, you can imagine her devastation this weekend when Kevin was shot five times in the face and chest by a passing gangbanger because his boy had on the wrong color shoes.
It’s easy to forget. The danger is real. Our community is broken. I’ll miss Kevin’s little crooked smile. He never felt comfortable calling me Kym because of our difference in age. He thought Miss Kym was too distant. He finally settled on Auntie Kym although there was no common blood or family member between us. I called him Little Kevin, almost a man.
God protects babies and fools but he collects angels.
RIP, Kevin. Always the gentleman, you gave up your life for another. We miss you.