I’m walking to Largo last night (best comedy show on Earth and best place for comedy in L.A. ever. No argument.) and a homeless guy punched me in the head.
I’m fine. Don’t worry.
What’s interesting is that it was totally avoidable and pure laziness and niceness on my part that led me straight into the path of The Puncher. Cosmically weirder was the fact that just that morning, I was remembering to my boyfriend the time that Bridget in Kindergarten punched my baby teeth out on the school bus. We were friends and neighbors. No dork/cool person hierarchy shit. She just was sort of a weird, angry, Irish-Catholic, youngest of eight, type girl who wanted me to move over.
I don’t remember why I didn’t move over for her, I think I was daydreaming and/or she didn’t even give me a second. But her punch had no body weight behind it. She punched me with a straight face. To have seen it wouldn’t have shocked anyone. It was a straight punch, like those boxing gloves with the expandable metal things that go straight out and straight back in. (What are those toys called?) So I was further shocked when the punch hit me hard and my two front teeth fell into my hand as well as a pool of my blood from my very own gums.
Anyway I got out of my car last night, paid $5 to park myself in a lot that is normally free in the day…(we all just lay down and take it up the ass from the City of Los Angeles at night when parking becomes a racket, don’t we?) and walked down Fairfax towards Largo. I saw a man standing about 50 yards away, he’d fashioned an army-surplus blanket into a cape, and he had wild long frizzy hair, boots and tight pants. He looked like a misplaced Shakespeare in the Park Actor. He seemed to be delivering a soliloquy, not quite as wordy or flowing as Shakespeare’s but just as intense as Hamlet for example. He was screaming, “I will kill her! Her blood and bones will roll!” A young couple walking towards me said a polite, ‘We don’t know you but “Hello” type of hello.’ And then they added, “Watch out for the crazy guy.”
I saw the guy. I figured I’d just walk by him. Plenty of room on the sidewalk. I thought if I walked into the street to walk around him he’d find that rude and possibly attack me. And I walked by him as he slumped against the wall, tired of screaming at no one and as I walked by, BOOM. Arm out; straight to my left temple, I was punched. He had just gently propelled himself off the wall, tilted towards me, punched and leaned back against the wall. Same as the Bridgette punch of 1979, no force behind it. This guy was not a Contender. But it hurt. He knew where to punch me. I was hit in the exact place that I get headaches that feels swollen and sensitive after a long day. I screamed, “Ow!!! What the …? F— you!”
A bunch of hipsters in line for the show heard me. I was now ten feet away from them. The guy didn’t respond, luckily. I shouldn’t say ‘f you’ to someone who doesn’t have their meds and because of the Reagan Administration is among the few, the proud, and the schizophrenic who wander the streets without lithium or mental hospitals at their disposal. Fine, I’ll take one for the team. Punch me. I want to punch people all the time, but I have numerous social behavior helpers (therapy for example) that I can turn to so I don’t punch. I can’t judge. I’m sure it felt good. He might have even thought I was the woman he was screaming about. It happens.
But who do I judge? I judge all of the guys waiting in line. Not one of them helped me. Not one asked why I yelled “Ow.” Not one did something to chase away the man who hit me. Not one person investigated. I judge these -Weezer-esque-striped-short-sleeved-shirt-over-long-sleeved-shirted, Buddy Holly glasses, smoking butts, (come on, you still think cancer doesn’t apply to you? Kill yourself. Save time.), sneaker wearing, skinny but with flab, messy haired boy dorks who did nothing to help me. Hello fellows! You are still men. So if you’re a ‘fuck-the-Golden-Globes-I’m-at-Largo- and politically liberal type, I guess that goes without saying you are not a jock. But punching someone out or helping a girl does not make you a jock. It makes you a man. But these boys don’t know what to do with women. No idea. And last time I checked, none of them are feminists, since that little clause in liberalism seems to have been forgotten on most dudes that I know. That topic still makes them uncomfortable. They don’t know that when you say to them, “Hey that comedy show we all know at love at that cool theater, only books 10 percent of the chicks on the comedy scene, I can only perform on it once a year, isn’t that bunk?” They get all stiff and say, “You know, you’re better than that Jen. Don’t make people uncomfortable with your factoids.” No! One must count one’s blessings. At least I can vote! Right?
These boys just don’t know what to do with women, except quietly deny them when we are desperate to include them in our discussions of changing the world and how feminists need their brother’s help. They don’t know what to do at all. Do they save us from villains on train tracks or would that be considered condescending? I appreciate the confusion. I know that women’s lib did a lot to push around and blurry men’s place in the world. I’m open for the discussion you little Weezer nerds outside Largo. Don’t shy away from what your responsibility as people. Maybe once you learn how to talk to girls, you’ll find out more what we need and once you learn how to listen to girls and not just stare at them like they are going to save you from your skinny but flabby pasty existence, you’ll further know what your job is.
My head feels better. The two awesome guys I relayed this tale too said angrily, “What the fuck? I want to kick that guy’s ass!” It made me happy. And I hope, if I ever told them after the fact again, that yet another homeless person had punched me that they would rush to my defense over the phone, like that again.