Down For The Count - 12.22.97|
Last Friday evening started out just like almost every other normal beginning to the weekend. As soon as I stepped in the door to my apartment, I went over and flipped on the stereo and put in a loud CD. As I moved around the apartment putting things away, I tried to decide what I would do for the rest of the evening. Like usual, I didn't have any plans, so I started looking for options. After glancing through the paper, I saw that there wasn't really any movies playing that I hadn't already seen (or wanted to).
I fixed myself a bit of dinner and sat down at my computer and wrote a few lines on a story that I had been working on for far too long. After awhile, I got up and started calling a couple people. I left a message for one friend that was gone, and talked to another who already had plans for the evening. Like many other times, I was stuck with no real plans and nobody to hang out with. Instead of moping, I decided that I would once again go out and try my best to be social.
I snagged my sketchbook and my discman and headed out to one of the local coffeehouses. As I sat and drank my steamed milk, I sketched along and looked around curiously once in awhile. There were several people there and I could hear parts of about 5 different conversations over my low volume headphones. I sat there contently for almost an hour, just watching, listening, sketching and sipping. I finally reached the bottom of my glass and noticed I had a glob of milk froth on the end of my nose.
After wiping it off and putting away my sketchpad and discman, I stood up and made my way out the door. It was now 10 pm and I still didn't quite feel like going home. Instead, I dropped my stuff off in my car and walked along the strip of bars that the city housed. Eventually, I came to one that looked fairly good and decided to give the old scene another try. After putting my ID away, I walked up to the bar and ordered my usual Coke.
No sooner than I had finished talking, I was surprised by a voice from my right. I looked over and saw that a very attractive young lady had been the one saying "hello" to me. With nothing more than instinct, I rattled off a "hello" as well and then proceeded to introduce myself. I got my Coke, sat down on the stool next to her and we kept right on talking.
I learned that she was a student in her senior year and we talked a little bit about her major and what she was planning to do after graduation. After awhile, we came to the conclusion that we both had an intense liking of music, so we got into a discussion on the best albums that had come out during the year. We both liked some of the same groups and talked about past material and things that we had read and heard about them.
Our conversation was going fairly well, and I had gone almost a half an hour without even touching my drink. All of a sudden, something very strange happened. The only thing I clearly remember seeing was a surprised look on her face and the blur of someone moving toward me very quickly from the right. Before I knew what was happening, I recieved a fist landing squarely upside my jaw. As I was falling off my stool, I heard a large commotion about me and a guy yelling at me to stay away from his girl. On the way down, I hit my head on the side of the bar and just sort of splayed out on the floor.
Although I was never unconsious during the whole ordeal, my head was spinning like mad. I propped my back up against the bar and tried to regain composure as a couple people lifted me to my feet. I looked around and saw that everyone in the bar was looking at me. Whoever had hit me had already ran out and so had the girl I was talking to. As I raised my hand to my jaw, I could feel swelling setting in and a metallic taste in my mouth. My teeth were all stable and my eye wasn't swelling, but I had a huge gash on the inside of my mouth.
The bartender slid me a glass of water and things started going back to normal. Conversations started back up and one of the guys who had helped me up started talking to me. He asked me what I had done and I honestly replied that I didn't know. He told me that the guy had come into the bar acting normal, but stormed through the crowd and hit me when he saw me talking to "his girl." I swished the cold water around in my mouth and tried to sooth the cut that had been opened up. I talked with the guy who had helped me up and eventually finished my water and got up to leave.
As I weaved my way through the crowd, people glanced in my direction and whispered to friends who hadn't witnessed the scene. On the way out the door, the person who had checked my ID lighthearted told me not to hold anything against the bar because of what had happened. He then tried to add a bit more humor and said, "some people are just psycho, man!" I chuckled a bit and agreed as I pushed open the door and stepped out into the crisp evening air.