So, I posted about being assaulted the other night. Here are the details. I’m posting this for no other reason than it makes me feel better, and I’m hoping it will help other people feel better if they read this and something similar has happened to them. Normal service – copywriting and PR with a smattering of tech and web – will be resumed shortly.
Basically I was punched three times in the face, totally randomly, on Friday night. It was so quick it was over almost before I realised what was happening. Now I have a black eye – actually it’s a fine shade of vermillion with an encroaching area of puce developing around the periphery – and a swollen lip that has largely gone down. But my nose is still broken, and that’s getting fixed tomorrow.
The finer details are the interesting ones. I’d been out with friends and was having a relaxing cigarette before setting off to look for an overpriced taxi. I remember sitting there, just watching London go by, and feeling quite fine about it all. Sometimes London can be beautiful with all its bright colours and bustle.
Then I remember hearing someone say “He looks rich to me” (believe me, I don’t), and then a blow to the head. Thing is, it didn’t hurt. At all. In fact I thought I’d just sneezed violently or something. Then this really really nasty face appeared right in front of mine, and the next thing I knew there was another blow to the eye, then another one to the nose. That’s the point at which I heard something in my head go ‘crunch’, and I knew I needed to get out of there.
So, I flailed my arms around – bear in mind I was sitting down through all of this, the guy was such a coward he didn’t even pick on someone standing up – while I could feel some rifling around going on inside my pocketses. But fortunately I had deep enough pockets for them not to get the mobile or the wallet, just the cigs.
I was up and off. I wasn’t about to try and get redress because he and his mates would have finished what they’d started. Within about a minute some bloke said “Taxi mate?” and I immediately said “Yes, and take me directly to A&E.” He was actually a nice bloke, told me it had happened to him and stuff. He showed me my face in the mirror, all fine apart from a really weird nose. Even weirder than usual. By the next morning it had actually relocated to a small degree but when you have a nose like mine it needs several degrees before it starts to look right. Think the Latchford Locks swingbridge if you know it, and you get the idea.
I can’t pretend it didn’t shake me up. I was exhausted until about midway through yesterday. I think my body just said “Right, I’m just going to shut down and do some maintenance now.” And there was probably more than an element of shock and adrenaline involved. Since then I have to admit it’s been going round and round in my head but I know that’s the little lizardy part of my brain telling me not to let it happen again.
And I won’t, insofar as one can avoid utterly random violence.
One thing I’ve noticed is that I hate seeing violence on TV now. I had the same reaction after 9/11. Suddenly you realise that violence, real violence, is ugly, ugly, ugly. When you see Bruce Willis, covered in cuts and bruises, kissing the girl after shooting several dozen Eastern Europeans, you realise that it’s total and utter nonsense. In fact, it’s disgusting. Still, I’m sure I’ll eventually become as inured to it as every other TV-consuming zombie.
There is some good news though. Apparently I can claim under the criminal injuries compensation authority. I just need to report it – which I tried to do at the local police station today but after waiting for two hours with no one appearing at the counter, I gave up. Still, it seems my nose may be worth a grand or two, which I think makes it worth more than its weight in gold (note to self: must weigh nose tonight – perhaps using liquid displacement technique in bath). I’m not one to endorse the compensation culture but if the money’s there, well, why not?