Aesthetic Project: Orb Zero (mugging excerpt)

Mugging excerpt from During Monika's Travails:


             One night I met Caesar, an immigrant right off the boat. Other than his pure speech, he hardly differed from the other men who chatted me up, touched my butt, swung me around like a queen. After a while, he began seeing me and a neighbor to the door, since we all lived in the same neighborhood. These walks home were actually quite amusing. He was too new to adopt the permanent rush of the people here so he strolled, stopped to exclaim, shifted us back into the flow of motion. This colloquial mentality was extremely refreshing. Furthermore, he rambled, joked and laughed rather than trying to steal a kiss. And over time I came to like the escort home as much as the dancing – until we were mugged.
            On that walk home, as usual, we ambled through the poor, dull organic lamp light high above the empty street. At this hour, the city slept and what happens in your sleep does not pertain to reality, so report whatever you want, nobody is going to heed your words. Not your friends, not your family, not the police, and maybe not even witnesses. From the other direction, two blocks away, a single man in a long overcoat marched intently toward the middle of our small group and whipped out a knife. My neighbor and I locked arm in arm jumped back, but Caesar remained fairly calm – by the look of it at least. The mugger told him to hand over his wallet, and the girls’ wallets. But Caesar didn’t reach for it, just looked at him, as if he didn’t understand, which might have been the case, though I doubt it. The mugger repeated it more threateningly, faster, moved closer. In his native language, Caesar started yelling, waving, making a huge scene; the mugger threatened; Caesar yelled about policemen, witnesses in the few lit windows; the mugger threatened to kill him, rape the women; Caesar shouted about jail, solitary confinement, disease. The man swung his knife, Caesar darted out of its path, swung his fist, missed, and screamed as he felt a sharp jab in the side.
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