March 16, 1992: Jumped on the Upper East Side

Fifteen years ago I got my ass kicked by four guys from New York’s Upper East Side. The scar from the stitches I needed above my right eye is still visible, if you look closely enough.

Back then I kept a sporadically updated journal, a habit I acquired thanks to my college english teacher. In it I scribbled a brief and slightly incoherent transcript of that attack:

March 16, 1992. 1:00 a.m.

Home, Bayonne. Can’t really sleep. Got jumped & beat up early Sunday (yesterday) morning (2:30-3am).

4 white guys thinking Tim & I were gay, jumped & beat the shit out of us.

We pulled up along side them, red light. They: making kissing motions, licking lips, etc. Us: returning same. One guy gets out motioning us to “come on,” picking a fight type thing. Before I know it, another guy pops out of the car, & smashes into Tim’s passenger side windshield, slightly shattering it.

Tim pulls off, smashing into their car. We’re flying, making a couple of turns to try & escape them. We turn into a hospital emergency room drivein type thing, & Tim stops to check his car.

As we stop, their car comes screaming through the entrance, & crashes into Tim’s car.

Again Tim takes off, I’m screaming “find a fucking precinct,” Tim is freaked & we come to a red light. Tim automatically takes right, leading us right into a dead-end.

Just like a bad fucking movie.

So we’re stuck in this cul-de-sac, & they again come flying down, again smashing into the car. I yell “unbuckle your seatbelt” to Tim, which we both do.

Suddenly the windows are being smashed, we’re being punched & kicked around the head, them yelling “get the gay; get the nigger”.

They break away, doormen come down, cops appear, ambulance appears.

I’m not sure why I ended it there. We were taken to a hospital for evaluation and treatment. I suffered a gash above my right eye which required several stitches to close. I lost one of my eye contacts, so I was half-blind for the rest of the evening. My favorite part is the cop who took my statement; in response to the “get the gay get the nigger” comment, he queried “so are you?” I presume my skin tone wasn’t in question, so he must have been asking about my sexual orientation. I have always wondered: would my answer make the attack more or less excusable?

Tim was my roommate in 1992, when he, Anton and I lived in a house in “butt-fuck Bayonne” New Jersey. We’d gone to a club of some type in lower Manhattan, and had just dropped his girlfriend off on the Upper East Side.

To this day I’m not sure why those guys engaged us in the first place. It was only after we glanced over at them and saw what they were doing in our direction did we respond in kind. I’m not sure why they did it, and I’m not sure why we did it back.

I’m also not sure why we didn’t dash into the emergency room we’d driven through. But clearly we weren’t thinking very well that evening.

Every few years this incident comes up for some reason. I was chatting with my buddy MichaelL about it, I don’t even remember why, and then a few days later found my old journal.

I’ve read a few of the entries in the journal, and while most of them are pure navel gazing, some rise to a level of passing interest to people who aren’t me. I plan to transcribe a few of those entries here.

Meanwhile, don’t go throwing kisses at strangers. Even if they’re doing it to you, you might not appreciate the end results.