My friend, our friend, Moriba Salim Hylton, was taken from us in the most unthinkable manner last August 30, 2009. Instead of using this space to address innercity gun violence or to revisit how our lives came to be forever changed in the matter of a senseless minute, I want to remember the many great memories Salim gave us on today, his 28th birthday.
My most distinct memory of Salim was when were kids, 4th or 5th graders. We would walk down N Street NW afternoons, after school. Salim was so energetic despite the restrictive navy blue pants and white uniform shirt the boys wore for school at Immaculate Conception Catholic School. He almost never walked in a straight line. He zigged up and down the street, all the way from 7th until we parted at the corner of 5th & N Streets, he, on his way to his home on M Street and me, continuing down down N Street to my home as well. Occassionally, we’d stop at the corner store for snacks.
What I remember most is his smile.
He was one heck of an artist from very early on, showing off his spray-painted shirts whenever I, Sevontae, Thomas, and sometimes, my cousin Dusty, detoured from the straight path home and hung out for a minute on the porch of Salim’s house. Never a dull moment with Salim. Never. Almost all memories I have of him cause incessant smiling or laughter. Behind the playfullness though, Salim was so full of heart and always had a strong, sharp, excellent mind.
Love, hugs, peace and prayers to the Hylton family still. It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: We’ll never forget him.