Saturday, October 23, 2004

You should see the other guy

The karmic dump truck continues to unload on my sister: Thursday, she managed to get herself violently mugged, at 9:00 in the freaking morning, at a cash machine on Broadway (a neighborhood renowned for its hipster squalor--junkies and students and street kids, oh my!).

Some background: A year ago last August, Sis was injured in a random freak accident that's an entire Whole Nother Story, so I won't get into it here; suffice to say she's had three surgeries so far on a badly crushed ankle. She's mobile, but not 100% recovered yet; she was in this particular neighborhood for the express purpose of consulting a new orthopedic specialist for a second opinion.

So. Some doubtless crack-addled fuckwit jumped out of his truck at the curb, and just grabbed her around the neck from behind. Had the shithead seen her limping? I don't know. But he chose her, got her in a headlock, demanded her money. It was so sudden, broad daylight, that at first she thought it must be a friend, someone she knew, goofing around. She said "No!" He tightened his grip around her throat, jerking her backward.

And she turned, twisting around in the circle of his arm, and punched the fucker twice, dead in the face.

Ladies and gents, let me introduce my baby sister, one bad. assed. bitch.

Because next, she hooked her foot--the bad one!--back around his ankle, and when he tried to knock her down, he fell too: she dragged the hapless dumbass down with her, punching and screaming and hanging onto her purse all the while. When her mugger (at the end, wailing "Okay! OKAY!" ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha) tried to get away, Sis actually had the presence of mind to wrap her legs around his and hang on, as other people fought to grab him. He did get loose, scooping up the cash dropped in the struggle, and ran...but a pack of concerned citizens gave chase, and by the time the cops arrived, a crowd had the guy pinned under a car, several blocks away. Boy did this guy make a bad, bad choice. "You did a good job today," one officer told Sis.

She was hurt in the fall, jamming her back and tailbone hard on the concrete, wrenching one finger back...whether in the fall or the fight she's not sure. Her boyfriend called me from the hospital; "Her Irene came out," he said of the battle--referring to our late maternal grandmother, a woman who slept with a nine-iron beside the bed and carried an ice pick in her purse, just in case someone was fool enough to mess with her...sort of the Bad, Bad Leroy Brown of the under-five-feet-tall senior citizen set. Anyway, Sis's injuries will heal...though she's pretty shaken up.

I don't know. I keep vacillating between seeing her actions as insane, over $30, in the please-don't-EVER-do-that-again-are-you-CRAZY? vein...and seeing them as heroic, because: girl is BAD. ASS. It got a write-up in the local paper; I was reading the article to her over the phone yesterday and she broke down, sobbing "Why did this happen to meeeeeeee?" And I can't blame her, of course. It's scary, it hurts, she's had a shit-shellacked 14 months already. Why did it happen to her? But I tried to impress upon her the complete bad-assedness of what she'd done, encourage her to see the good in it: look what you accomplished, look how pissed-off and tough and strong you are, in spite of your injury, in spite of feeling still "fragile" from the accident.

I mean, what would I have done? I'm a wimp. I imagine I'd have gladly surrendered my purse, my car keys, and my latte, if I'd had one--and did you need anything else, Mr. Mugger? Could I give you a ride, help you pick out some other weak-lookin' victims, maybe? Sis said that, had he shown or implied a weapon, she'd have reacted differently. ("No she wouldn't," chuckled Holly, later, when I related the tale. She's known Sis since she was nine.) But I don't know; who can tell how they'll respond, in the feverish swamp of adrenaline?

Thankfully, Sis later called me back, yesterday: she'd fielded about 20 "d'ja know you're in the paper?" phone calls, given her official statement to police, received flowers from work, and had at last consumed some sweet, delicious Percocet and was engrossed in an episode of Little House on the Prairie.

All's well that ends well, ain't it?

And I gotta say, I love her, the ferocious little shit.

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