I’m lying on the floor curled up in the foetal position and about six people are stamping on me. I’m too pumped up on a beautiful cocktail of adrenaline and concussion to really register any pain so my mind starts to wander. It’s really confusing down here, what with all the kicking.
I hope they get bored soon.
I should be seriously injured by now. Really, five or six people kicking me in the head and torso for a couple of minutes, I should definitely be in loads of pain.
I decide they are either crap at this or just not trying very hard.
That’s about when I feel one of my ribs crack.
I’m sure you’re dying to know what I did to deserve such uncouth treatment. Basically, I’m just skateboarding along surprisingly sober, when suddenly I feel two hands shoving me from behind and I slam into the floor.
(I realise three hours later that the fall actually broke my elbow).
I jump to my feet and turn to confront whoever pushed me. This little kid, no older than about 15 is standing there and before I can catch myself I’m raging at him and storming towards him. He’s all scared and seems to be actually shrinking the closer I get to him. I demand to know what the fuck he was thinking pushing me off my skateboard.
Anyway, just as I’m feeling all powerful scaring the shit out of this child, four of his mates step forward alongside him. Now it’s my turn to shrink. I manage to keep up the anger for all of about six words before I hear myself pitifully mutter, look guys I don’t want a fight.
I might as well have just asked them all to repeatedly punch me in the face, because that is exactly what they all do.
I’m trying to fight back by punching and kicking but it’s not long before I end up in that well known defensive posture - lying on the floor being repeatedly stamped on.
I could write a whole book on what it felt like for someone to break my rib by stamping on me but you don’t want to read that and I’m not keen on re-living it. Regardless, I howl in agony and driven by the pain I am somehow able to clumsily stagger to my feet. I have no idea how I’m upright but I grab my skateboard off the floor and blindly swing it around in a big arc hoping to make everyone stay back.
There is a loud crack followed by a scream that is too high pitched to belong to my prepubescent assailants. I nervously sweep my hair out my eyes and sure enough a girl is staggering around holding her head.
I start to try to apologise to the girl when one of the youths shouts something about me hitting his girlfriend and punches me in the face.
I’m really annoyed now.
I can’t believe they’ve made me hit a girl by accident. I grab her boyfriend by the skull and start punching him in the head as hard as I can. All while still trying to apologise to the poor girl - it’s harder than you think to apologise sincerely when you’re punching their boyfriend.
The boyfriend is fighting back of course, we’ve both got hold of each other and we’re sort of stumbling around continually punching each other in the head, all while craning our necks to try to keep our own faces as far away from each others fists as possible.
This is nothing like fights in the movies.
Inevitably I trip over my own feet and fall over, except I’m still holding his head as I do, and there is a very loud bang,
Straight away I’m back on my feet ready for him or one of his friends to attack me again. I‘m almost pulsating with adrenaline, my chest is heaving up and down for breath but I don’t feel tired at all, I feel like I could do this all day. Like this is the only thing ever worth doing. Fuck me, if you ignore all the bad bits, fighting’s fun. It’s cliché but I’ve actually never felt so alive. I’m staring at all these little bastards around me, challenging them, I’m ready to go again. I see the fear in their eyes.
Only they aren’t scared of me, they are looking down at their friend who is totally motionless on the floor. He looks exactly like a dead bodies do on TV.
All the adrenaline and misplaced feelings of invincibility flood out of me as it dawns on me that I might have actually killed someone. I stare at his lifeless body for what seems like eternity. I’m wishing really hard that I could trade places with him.
Be killed instead of a killer.
Two of his mates rush to him and start shaking him and calling his name. His eyes open and he looks around like someone whose just been woken up from a heavy drunken sleep. It’s clear that he has no idea what happened or where he is. I am so relieved that he is alive I can’t describe.
Everyone starts to back away from me and I start to cautiously do the same. One of them calls me a fucking dick and all I can think to feebly say back is, I told you I didn’t want a fight.