Monday, November 3, 2008

Wrap up

I will post a few pictures and a video from the last few moments of Sober October, but I can go ahead and give you the recap.

At midnight on November 1, Melina and I, along with Rees and Vlad, chugged a beer. I was asked, "Was it everything you thought it would be?" I thought about half a second and responded enthusiastically that it was far more enjoyable than I imagined it would be. It was. I felt the effects of the alcohol almost immediately. Mark arrived soon afterward wielding a funnel and a helmet. He led me outside to the courtyard where I took a gravity bong (or two) to ensure that my first night off the wagon would be a doozy. I suppose I had it coming after telling everyone in the place how much I couldn't wait to have a drink after a whole month of self-imposed sobriety.

Right as I was getting cranked up, the party was cranking down. We said our goodbyes and walked the 2 blocks home and went to bed.

At about 2:30 AM the street was filled with the sounds of a man shouting "KILL ME! YOU LEFT ME! JUST KILL ME!" over and over. This went on long enough to rouse me from bed and look out the window to see my two neighbor's having what would later be determined to be a violent lover's quarrel, fueled guessed it...copious amounts of alcohol. How fitting. The two men wrestled and pushed each other around the front yard of their home, while one continued to scream and wake the entire neighborhood. The things he was shouting and the time warranted a call to the police. I sat on hold with 911 for a few minutes (likely because everyone on my street was calling in). Melina and I walked outside in time to see one man push the other down a flight of about 15 concrete steps leading from the curb up to the house. He fell into a crumpled pile on the sidewalk while I told the dispatcher they need to get someone out here quick before someone gets killed. Oblivious to the growing numbers of neighbors collecting on the street, heads pressed to their mobile phones, the attacker walked down the stairs, put his lover in a headlock, and began to pummel his face repeatedly. Somehow the guy who had fallen down a flight of stairs and taken three right hooks to the nose was still conscious. I decided it was time to try my best to break this up before someone got killed. A neighbor walked over with me and as we got closer we saw that they were bloodied and still grappling in a sort of half-hugging, half wrestling way that is hard to describe.

"You guys need to cut this out," my neighbor said. The attacker looked up, a look of surprise on his face quickly replaced by a furrowed scowl, to respond ever so lucidly and ever so gayly, "Umm excusssse me, but we not making any noise anymore so you need to go back into your house and stop invading our privacy..." I finally spoke up. "You've woken the entire neighborhood, thrown a man down a staircase and you're now beating him on a public sidewalk." There was a look of recognition on his face, but no response. I didn't want to inform him that the cops were en route (giving him a chance to bolt), but I did want to stop him from killing the other man. Just then another neighbor strolls over in her blue nightgown and lets the cat out of the bag that she called the cops. As expected, attacker gets up quickly and disappears up the stairs, leaving his battered domestic partner bleeding on the street.

After what seems like forever, the cops finally show en masse, along with an ambulance and a fire engine. I give my statement and my information and head back to bed. I doubt that I will be asked to testify in any hearing, as I think its likely the battered man will fail to press any charges against the other.

Don't forget to vote NO on 8, as "roommate beating" and "wife-beating" are altogether different crimes, with the latter carrying a much stiffer penalty.

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