Metro Stories: Violence

If there was a time for me to sell people on the idea of public transportation in Los Angeles, the past week was not it.

Let's recap, shall we:

1) Tending to my bike in the bike/stroller/suitcase section of the red line, out of nowhere I feel a wham. It was a lightheaded smack to my face. I wasn't sure where.

All of a sudden a burning feeling on my lip.

A female teenager witnessing the event exclaims "He didn't even do nothin'!"

Another teenager who'd been sleeping woke up and said "Man I miss all the action!"

He takes a look at me and says "This is why were getting off at the next stop." He asks his friends, "Was it a nigga?"

Someone tells me that my lip is bleeding.

I check the mirror.

I think, "Cool it's like I got into a real fight" and marvel at the fact that my lip is bleeding and can spit it out.

A stunned old lady offers me a tissue.

That lightheaded slam to my face is actually my lip getting busted by a schizophrenic man on his way out. I check if I've lost any teeth.

I'd observed just a few minutes before that this schizophrenic man earlier had been making motions with his hands as if to swat a swarm of gnats. Not really all that weird behavior to me as budding Anthropologist interested in deviant behaviors. I thought it was borderline entertaining and was wondering if he was half Filipino. But he definitely looked like a man in some dire straits and at a dark place. Perhaps I'd been looking at him too intently.

After he left me with my lip in a less than-ideal condition, I thought I heard him say "asshole." Maybe that's just something I'm adding to this memory.

I know that there was an emergency phone and all, but I wasn't even thinking about that after my lip got busted. I was just mostly shocked and didn't really feel like dealing with anything to do with bureaucracies. There was nothing I felt I could've done, putting a crazy ass person with the cops and my lip not any closer to healing.

If I saw him again though...

2) Less than a week later at around the Vermont/Santa Monica stop, at one end of a train, a scuffle.

A lady in short shorts starts slapping and punching this middle-aged to older man in a suit carrying a suitcase. These weren't little weak girl punches, these were some bruise-inducing hits that you could hear from my end of the train.

As a result, some riders scramble to get the hell out of way opening a wide-open view of the occurrences.

Some try to separate the two, but she keeps hitting this guy telling him "you're not a father to that baby!" and continues hitting this guy whose shielding himself with his back.

The hitting and the spectacle doesn't stop until they are separated by a gang of people and he exits Vermont/Sunset along with me.

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