Sunday, December 9, 2012

It could have been so much worse ...

So today baby and I were out and about. We went to the ATM, the Pet Store, and to the Library. As we were going through the library's front door, I held it open for a woman, dressed in red, and a man, tall, dressed in brown. The woman in red said thank you as she passed through ... 

... and the man in brown punched me.

Now, I wasn't hurt. That's not the point. And it's not like he was just an ass and just bumped into me. He punched me with his fist.

So I was all, "HEY! WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT!?". So he turned around and glared at me, and then ran out the door.

So I turned to the room and yelled, "That guy just hit me!"

And no one seemed fussed.

So I picked up my kid, and yelled louder. "THAT GUY JUST HIT ME!"

A women checking out her books asked if I was ok and I yelled "NO!"
"Do you want me to get you some water?" she asked.
"No, I need someone to call the police," I yelled.
"Oh ... sorry", she said, and returned to checking out her books.

At this point I had started shaking. You know that I-almost-got-hit-by-a-bus shaking? That fight-or-flight shaking?

The woman behind the counter at the book checkout wasn't noticing anything, so I went over to the information desk to get someone to help me. There was a woman at the desk talking to someone about fucking late fees or fucking periodicals or something, and also did not seem to notice that I was shaking and crying uncontrolably. Finally another librarian came up to me and asked if there was anything she could do.

"Yes, you can call the police."

Luckily this lady had a brain and immediately called the police. I told them what happened and they said they'd come right over. Oh, and apparently half and hour is "coming right over" to the NYPD.

On the bright side, the child was completely brilliant through this whole thing. It was as if he realized that something was off and needed to keep it together for his mother's sake. It wasn't until after I got off the phone with the police that he started whining that he wanted books; the fact that we were in a library and he kept his love for books and pulling them off of their respective shelves under control for that long was very impressive.

At this point I took him upstairs to the kids' room and tried to have a good time. It didn't work very well. About a half hour later the police came and took my official statement, but said that there really wasn't much they could do because I didn't get a really good look at him and didn't see which way he went. I figured as much.

So, yeah, I was shaken up. But it should be done, right?

Well, it's almost 1am, and I can't sleep. Every time I close my eyes I see what COULD have happened. He could have hit my kid. He could have grabbed my kid and ran. The fact that this guy was a homeless crazy person doesn't make it better. It means that he could have also had a knife or a gun. He could have punched me in the face or the stomach instead of my arm and back. I could have fallen and hurt the kid I was holding. He could have stabbed me and I could have died, holding my son. It happened so fast that I didn't have time to get a good look, so if he had grabbed the kid and ran, would have I reacted fast enough to chase him?

It could have been so much worse.

So what do I do with that? How to I sleep when there is not a god-damn thing I can do about the next crazy person at the library or the supermarket or on the street as I walk past. How do I leave the house, with our without the kid, when I can't control the crazy person who's going to hurt one of us? I can do everything right in raising this kid, but I can't control everyone else.

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