“I wrote Understand after seeing a young man shot to the ground in front of me.
Walking home after an event, I was on the phone with the woman I was dating at the time. I was almost home and there was a young man walking 20 to 30 yards in front of me. Suddenly a gunman jumped out of a car and sprayed the young man down with shots. I got behind a car and apparently said to my partner on the phone “Hold on, they shooting”. I waited until the car sped off and made my way to the young man. I was the only person outside so I was the first responder. I provided some aid and called 911 while trying to keep him still. He was on the ground tossing and turning and started yelling, “I have kids. I have kids.” I can still see it clearly in my mind now. I tried my best to keep it together but to this day, I don’t know if he made it.
For weeks after, when I heard a door slam or similar sounds, I experienced flashbacks. Understand came to me a few months after, and the rest almost a year later. I wrote the piece as if I had walked into that bullet. I wrote it as if I didn’t get the chance to tell my story.”