Yes, I was mugged about three weeks ago

19 Sep

I’ll finally blog about the mugging, just to get this off my keyboard. I wasn’t going to because I’d rather not dwell on something so negative, but it’s been weighing heavily on my mind.

Aggravated Assault, that is beating someone with the intent to rob them, gets you between 1 and 20 years in jail. Those three guys had about 15 years on me, and I’m getting close to forty, so I assume they weren’t too far off twenty. So let’s assume this was their first time being caught. The DA, let’s assume, will offer a deal to the two that were caught, but imagining that they won’t rat out the third guy, they go in for… two years. (My imagination is quite merciful. They were black, and I am white and this is Georgia. From my work volunteering at Aid to Children of Imprisoned Mothers [now Forever Family], I know that people go to jail for an average of between 6 and 7 years for stuff like selling dope. And the guys who mugged me were caught red handed having broken into someone’s apartment to rob the place, so a more reasonable daydream would see them in jail for at least a few years.)

This suits me just fine. (The unmerciful daydream suits me just fine.) The scar they gave me on my lower lip makes it impossible to play a normal flute, meaning the kind of flute most of you have seen, the Celtic flute, and most important to me, the bansuri. I’ve taken Indian music off of my interests in Meetup. I can’t play it anymore. I feel like Denzel Washington in Mo’ Better Blues.

Did I fight? No, they sucker punched me. Hit me in the face and mouth a few times and then they stood around demanding my money while I decided what to do. I had a very small amount of money on me, not worth fighting over by any means, and I’d already dropped my phone, watching it fall into pieces, and I knew I had a backup phone at home, should I lose that. Fighting would gain me almost nothing. I gave up the money, and staggered away. Then, while I was still dazed and bleeding, they ran up behind me and sucker punched me some more.

Why?

This is the most tragic part. They guy in the ambulance told this to me. White guys get mugged by gangs of negros in that neighborhood all the time. It’s a cool neighborhood. The people there see a group of people wandering home late at night and they think, “These guys are wandering home late at night from a party, much the same way I am.” They tend not to think, “Oh no, a gang of negros. I’d better be careful.” So when a number of young black criminally minded men move into a nearby neighborhood from the Georgia country or from some other part of the country where white people are afraid of negros, those Atlanta neophytes see opportunity. White people, at least in their minds, have money and should be afraid of black people. So even though I was in ratty jeans and a stained T-shirt, they mugged me because I had a wealthy shade of skin. So tey took my phone that comes free with the service plan (worthless), my 4 dollars, emptied my wallet that had no real money in it, only Chinese Hell money, and then they could come to one of two conclusions. Either they were idiots for their racist ideas, thinking I had money, or I was wrong for being white and not having money, so I deserved to be beaten some more.

I was scarred and one of the joys of my life was taken from me, because of the color of my skin. My teeth are still sensitive. (They almost knocked two of them out.) I can feel it, a momentary sharp pain whenever I drink water. (But not coffee or rum for some reason.) It reminds me of my whiteness whenever I raise a glass of water to my lips. It reminds me not to trust black guys whenever I see them going about what appears to be normal business. It hasn’t quite been three weeks. Hopefully that sensitivity will go away with more time to heal.

So yup, that’s the tragedy. They have made me aware of my whiteness as something different than the blackness that someone else, my wife for example,  possesses.

I’ll be brief about the horror of visiting Grady Hospital afterwards, making me wait four hours because the night doctor couldn’t be bothered with me, then insisting on keeping me on an I.V. even though I begged to be let go. At one point the doctor pushed on my lip hard enough to nudge my loose teeth and accused me of lying when I asked her to stop because she was making my gums bleed again. When I showed her my bleeding gums, she panicked and tried to apply direct pressure and pushed my teeth aside painfully. She was almost as bad as the muggers. If she would have been able to prevent the lump of scar tissue that pushes the bansuri aside when I try to play it, I would have endured almost anything but they told me they don’t stitch the inside of one’s mouth. I should have just pulled out my I.V. and walked out like one of the other emergency room patients near me. Ultimately they didn’t help me at all. I saw a dentist about my loose teeth and she didn’t help me either, saying it was best to just leave them be.

So how have I been dealing with it? Well, two of them are in jail, so mostly I have been gloating that I’m not in jail, doing things that one cannot do in jail. I’ve been drinking a lot. I’ve been on a bit of a bender for more than a week now, which I like a lot during the times when I’m feeling no pain. I brush my teeth at the end of the day, specifically so I can drink rum afterward.  I’ve been reading Hafiz. Somehow I had a PDF of more than 400 Hafiz ghazels, in Farsi. I have no idea where I found it, probably some file sharing network somewhere. Some of them are about the joy and solace drunkenness offers one, so that’s good. I’ve been having heterosexual sex. Today, I licked honey off a woman’s left buttock (my wife). It was hard to do. Apparently licking honey off of a sexy buttock tickles quite a bit, so the buttocks tend to move around a lot. The teeth that were loose have since firmed up almost as much as my other teeth, so I’m not so worried about sexy buttocks hitting me in the face as I lick honey off of them. Somehow my upper teeth and my upper lip weren’t damaged at all, so I can still play the Persian nay, even while drunk (It is an interdental flute, which if you look it up on the internet, you will still not get it. It’s something I almost have to show you for you to understand.), so I still have that flute. I wonder if there are any Persian music groups or Sufi musicians in New Jersey. I do have some torn cartilage in my nose, that gives me pain when I wipe it with tissues, but that seems to be going away, so I can also still play the nose flute, which I can make out of thin bamboo segments, but the nose flutes I’ve made so far aren’t tuned to any particular scale because I don’t know any of the traditional scales that were used for nose flutes in Hawai’i or southeast Asia.

Hopefully, now that I’ve written all that I can put it behind me.

Extra hopefully, someone will read this and comment, “I have a Hawaiian nose flute. It plays a scale containing bla bla bla.”

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One Response to “Yes, I was mugged about three weeks ago”

  1. Misterecho 19 September 2010 at 11:50 am #

    perhaps you just need to relearn the instruments, after adopting a different mouth position. Glad to hear you’re on the mend, you crazy rich white fool.

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