I live in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. As a whole, it is a pretty good place with a diverse history, home of the Slater Mill- Actually, fuck the previous statement.
It sucks. It sucks very, very badly. The high school dropout rate is upwards of 60 percent. People casually go off into grunting, screaming ball bashing matches regardless of gender.
It is a form of entertainment.
The people who live next door to me all have fetal alcohol syndrome. They steal things. They hurt people for fun. The police are too busy trying to arrest that four foot kinda nerdy kid who smokes pot behind the church sometimes to actually do anything about it.
They steal bikes, they steal cars, they steal people's pets, they are up at four AM grunting and screaming and jumping plywood ramps balanced on the curb and grunting and yelling about that.
They also know not to fuck with me. I don't fight back unless it is absolutely required to defend my safety or the safety of those close to me. This removes the thrill almost completely, and ups their chances of actually getting hurt quite a bit.
Their friends, however, carry butterfly knives and don't know not to fuck with me.
They attract friends in droves. They all hang out in a tiny, white toolshed of a house. There isn't room for this many people in a tiny, white toolshed of a house. As a result, they pour outside. Onto the concrete slab the toolshed house was built on, onto the streets and onto the playgrounds.
I was walking on side of an elementary school opposite my home, running around a playground with my friend. We left to get something to eat, at this particular time mostly because we were hungry, but also because two kids who hang out at the toolshed house coming to sit there and start trouble with anybody they could find.
"Why ya's bouncin'?!" Came a scratchy, ebonical voice. The owner of this voice followed us. He shouted something about how we was bitches,
and punched my friend in he side of the head for no particular reason other than he wanted to.
My friend was about to return the favor, not being as pacifistic and hateful of any kind of physical violence as I am, when the offending asshole stepped back and pulled a small metal stick out of his belt. A closed butterfly knife.
My friend backed off and turned to leave. The offending party continued to follow.
"Nobody's got a problem here, we're leaving." I said.
"Call the cops and I'll kill you." Said the disgusting, sadistic, mildly satisfied voice. We scoffed at this a bit, but said nothing. We left.
After something like that happens, everything else seems to have the volume turned down to the point of inaudibility for awhile. Then when the soured remains of the adrenaline leave your system, all the talk of revenge and the mentioning of similar instances, and "What I woulda done if I was there." makes the world seem to be a worthless placed filled with violence and little else.