Tuesday, May 31, 2011

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Judge: Out of the Fire and into the Witness Box

There is a house about three doors down from us that looks very similar to ours.

It is semi-detached.

It has a small a small side deck.

It has the same, brown brick.

It is two stories.

It has the same cement steps and landing at the front door.

In fact, if you didn't really know any better, you might even mistake that house for mine.  There are some differences though.  The most notable difference is that a drug dealer used to live at this house until a couple of months ago.  The other difference is that on December 29 / 2010 somebody broke into my house at about 7:00 pm and assaulted me and as far as I know nobody forced their way into the house down the street to engage in (potentially) Mortal Combat with its residents.  This is a small, yet significant difference.

About three years ago my wife and I did what a lot of young people do; we decided to take the plunge into parenthood.  This was ill-advised, reckless behaviour, and believe me we have begun to pay the price for our folly.  Shortly after we had our daughter we realized two things: 1) Sleep had, for some reason, become a luxury not a necessity and 2) We were going to need a bigger boat.  One of the main problems with having kids is all of the shit that you need to raise them.  Within the space of a couple months we had amassed enough merchandise to open a Wal-Mart in our living room.  In fact there was so much spillover from my daughter's room that our living/dining room was completely filled with toys with stupid names like Exersaucers, and Intellitainers and illegal immigrant workers Jolly Jumpers.  It looked like the show floor in the baby section at Wal-Mart.  My daughter -at less than two months old- already had more stuff than my wife and I combined.  Not only had I lost my man-den, I'd lost the ability to walk through my living room without tripping over some stray goddamn toy.  It was eminently clear that our apartment was too small we needed to move.

So began our search.  As our budget was pretty constrained due to the fact that we didn't have a lot of money the opportunities were not as ripe as they could have been.  Translation: we looked at a lot of shit holes.  It's amazing how much filth a human being can endure for no apparent reason.  I mean, we can't afford a house cleaner (I mean, besides my wife who thankfully hasn't realized she could actually get paid for cleaning and still does it for free), but there's a certain bare minimum standard of sanitation.  (Unless, of course, you ask my wife.  But what does she know?  She married a fucking slob.)  We actually found one house early on, but were beaten out by $3000 by some other asshole.  Unfortunately we went in at the top of our budget and so were unable to counter, except by egging their house every Halloween and periodically spray-painting graffiti like giant cocks on the side of the house.  And while that is fun it left us looking for another house.

Eventually we found a great house that we loved with hardwood floors, huge bedrooms, a great yard, a huge finished basement which would allow me to reestablish the boundaries of my man-den and my wife to open a day care which was her plan at the time.  Even the price came in under budget to give us some wiggle room.  It was great.  I loved it.  My wife loved it... but hated the neighbourhood.  To this day whenever I ask her about why she hated that neighbourhood she can't explain it to me fully or rationally.  "I heard it was bad," is her only explanation.  A short while after that we settled for our silver medal, where we still live to this very day two and a half years later.  For a long time I cursed our decision as I thought about all the pros the other house had that ours lacked.  Then last fall we happened to be driving around town trying to get my daughter to sleep because for a little while the only way she would nap would be in a moving vehicle.  We somehow ended up driving past the rejected house, the One That Got Away.

Except now it looked very different.

Now it had been burned to the ground.

Well, "burned to the ground" is a little inaccurate (read: technically incorrect), but "gutted by fire" just doesn't have the same ring to it.  As we drove by I slowed the car and we both stared in awe.  The house we had both liked so much -the one I had been ready to settle down in- had been ravaged by man's oldest nemesis. 

"So that's the house," I heard my wife say.  "I read about this in the paper.  It was caused by some faulty wiring.  I didn't realize it was this house."

Right away the implications hit me like a ton of tits.  (Most people like being hit with bricks: me, I prefer tits.)  Jesus, I thought.  If we had bought that house like I had so adamantly insisted then right now my wife, daughter and I might be nothing more than charred corpses lying in a pile of rubble.  Somehow, some great force -Fate, Destiny, Random Chance, Luck, God, whatever you choose to call it- had interceded on our behalf.  It had deemed that we were not to be burned to death in a terrible house fire (at least not yet).  For reasons I still do not completely understand my family and I had been spared this terrible horror.  It wasn't until December 29, 2010 that I began to realize that there was a reason that we had not bought the Fire House, that we ended up where we are, and that I ended up alone on that fateful night.  I was meant to undergo another Trial by Fire: the metaphorical fire of desperate hand to hand combat.  Out of the fire and into the frying pan.

Fast forward three months.  On the morning of March 13, 2011 I woke up in a state of high alertness.  This was unusual for me, because I usually barely wake up in a state of sleep-drunken grogginess.  I don't know if I have some kind of medically diagnosable problem, but no matter how much sleep I get I almost always wake up feeling tired and weary like I barely slept at all.  But on the morning of March 13 I had no problem getting up.  I was showered and shaved before my wife and children were even awake, which is rare.  Normally my daughter is up and out of her room between 6:00 and 6:30 and either downstairs making a mess or jumping on my head in a futile attempt to wake me up and my wife is usually poking me to take our son who has been up since four or five in the morning.  But that day was different.  That was the day of my very first appearance in a court of law (not related to public nudity charges). 

I had received a subpoena a little over three weeks before "commanding" me to appear in courtroom 305 at 9 o'clock in the morning to testify against the person that was accused of and who -due to a wide array of evidence I was not privy to- was widely believed by the cops to be the selfsame asshole who broke into my house that fateful night in December.   When I first read the subpoena the first thing I thought was that they didn't have to "command" me to appear.  I was glad to finally get my say in a court of law on this subject.  They could have just "politely asked" me to appear.  Well, I suppose "glad" wouldn't be the correct term either.  The feeling I was experiencing was anxiousness: excitement tempered by anticipation of the unknown.  It was the same as the anxiousness I get sometimes before a big presentation.  I wasn't worried so much about the story I would tell.  I had no reason to lie.  I was worried more about the practicality of the process: where I would sit, how loud I would have to talk, what to wear, what the actual courtroom would be like, procedural stuff and the like.

I contacted the detective working my case in a fit of panic and set up a meeting the week before what I later learned was a preliminary hearing to determine if there was enough evidence to proceed with a full on trial.  I talked to the crown attorney (that's the same as district attorney for any Americans or foreigners who only get American channels on their TV units) and then went to watch my video testimony which I had given way back on December 31.  Now, I've been involved in theatre before, and even had a brief television project which aired on the local cable channel (more on that later).  I'd also "starred" in a series of embarrassing home movies filmed by my mother during every waking moment of my childhood, so I was no stranger to seeing my recorded self on a television screen.  But this time was different.  As I sat there watching my battered and bruised past self describe the events that transpired on Dec 29, it seemed more visceral this time.  It hit me then: this shit was real.  I was watching a police recording of my own account of a break-in at my house and an assault on my physical being.  I was watching the victim of a violent crime and myself simultaneously, and so I was unable to remain emotionally detached.  I wasn't feeling sympathy for a victim: I was reliving the most terrifying moment of my life (to date).  It wasn't hard to watch in the way that I had to turn away because I was overcome with emotion.  It was hard to watch because as the (sightly heavier) on-screen version of me humourlessly related the events of that night, I began to relive that sensation of complete and utter powerlessness I felt when I first realized what was happening some three months previous.

After I reviewed my testimony -which it turned out I didn't need to do because all of the details I mentioned then are still as vivid today as they were back then- I was led out of the office my the smiling crown attorney.  Due to a miscommunication I went back home, not realizing that the detective was still waiting for me at the courthouse to show me the courtroom I was going to be testifying in.  (The crown attorney told me the detective was at the "police office" and I heard "police station" not realizing that there was an actual "police office" at the courthouse.  I felt kind of silly later, but how the fuck was I supposed to know?)

Jump forward to the day of the trial and I'm waiting outside the courthouse reading an old issue of Cosmo, the only publication I could find in a hundred foot radius that wasn't about refereeing sporting events or random lookout locations in the Rocky mountains.  Cosmo was a good choice, though, because it had lots of useful tips on "how to please my man," and because despite being a publication supposedly designed for young women it typically has a large percentage of pictures of scantily-clad women, and half-naked (attractive) women tend to have a calming effect on my heterosexual DNA.  I was just about the take this issue's quiz to determine my favourite part of m own body when a strangely familiar face showed up.  I saw my next door neighbour walking down the hall towards me and the first thing I thought is How the hell do I know this person? because I'm not a very good neighbour.  After she came up and started apologizing it suddenly dawned on me who she was.

It turns out that my strategy on December 29 had partially worked.  During the fight that took place in my driveway I had tried to be as conspicuous as possible -mostly in the form of manly cries for help- in order to draw attention from neighbours or passers-by who would then in turn either A) Come out to see what the problem was and maybe give me a hand, B) Call the police, or C) Capture the whole event on video and post in on YouTube.  Unfortunately for me my plan was flawed from the start because all the cries of help in the world (no matter how manly they might be) could not trump the sociological urge to "mind your own business."  Some people -my neighbour included- might have thought that I would have been a lot angrier upon learning that someone had witnessed most of the fight yet neglected to call the police.  But I wasn't mad.  In fact, I found myself sympathizing with her predicament.  Before this incident I, too, would probably have hesitated if faced with the same dilemma: the urge to help someone who could possibly need it weighed against the mandate not to be seen as overreacting or interfering in somebody else's business.  This is a line that has been socially programmed in all of us, and it is a valid boundary, and it something that has to constantly be reevaluated and readjusted.  My neighbour explained to me that she hesitated to act because she thought I was having a fight with a friend that simply got out of control.  In all fairness that is a fairly likely scenario and it offered a plausible explanation for what she saw.  Before this incident I probably would never have considered calling the police for fear of being wrong and wasting their time.  Now a lot of hesitation has been burned out of me and I wouldn't stop for a second before calling the police if I witnessed something similar now.  The possibility of being wrong and potentially sticking my nose where it doesn't belong is now heavily outweighed in my mind by the more horrible possibility that somebody else might be calling out blindly into the darkness only to have their cries fall on deaf, scared ears.  Just like my work philosophy I would rather get into trouble for doing something than for doing nothing.  I can no longer live with the regret of inaction.

After chatting with my neighbour and hearing her apologize several more times, the courtroom was finally opened and the detective working my case invited me in to show me the courtroom (for real this time) and so I could watch a few of the cases being heard before mine to get a "feel" for the ebb and flow of the legal process.  I sat through two such cases and two things occurred to me.  The first thing I noticed was how the accused (who all pleaded guilty in this case) didn't look like criminals.  I wasn't expecting disfiguring scars or eye patches or goatee stroking or sinister eyebrow raising or anything blatant like that (although the eye patch thing would be cool).  I'm not sure, but I was almost expecting some kind of aura or something like they had been mystically marked by some supernatural force that would make them immediately identifiable to "normal people."  But the simple fact was that these people (technically criminals who plead guilty to their respective charges) looked like dozens of people you might encounter on a daily basis who had broken no laws at all. I thought that perhaps I wasn't looking hard enough, or that my Spider-sense wasn't working right.  I was shocked that I couldn't just sense a criminal nearby, that the smell of their crimes didn't somehow emanate from the core of their being and waft into our metaphysical noses.

The second thought that struck me was how sad most of this shit was.  These weren't criminal masterminds robbing banks or holding the city for ransom or trying to assassinate the mayor or shooting men in Reno just to watch them die.  These were people with serious problems and addictions who seemed to lack money and any kind of social support system.  And while these things should by no means be used to excuse their actions, their stories seemed more tragic than diabolical.  One particular case stuck with me.  It involved a young Native woman brought up on charges related to racking up over four grand on her on-again off-again boyfriend's credit card (who, it turns out, was in jail at the time) and spent the money on drugs instead of on retaining legal council for some other charge, threatening another young woman, and being caught with seven grams of weed on her when the cops searched her purse at the station (although she kept insisting that she only had half a gram of Mary Jane and the rest of the substance they found was tobacco).  Through the course of the case it was also clear that this woman had several children each from different fathers and that she had tried to raise money to pay back her boyfriend by stripping at a local club, though -all due respect- she wasn't exactly stripper material.  Or at least nothing that I would imagine anybody paying for.  I'm not saying this out of spite, as I probably wouldn't make it as a male stripper for much longer than about two minutes, only to emphasize how sad the whole thing seemed.  The other reason this case in particular stuck with me was that the woman -Angel- also happened to have the most ironic name imaginable considering the circumstances which seemed to add to the absurdity of the situation.

After forty-five minutes of illicit drugs, stolen property, and sexual assault it was going to be my turn.  Now shit got real.  The phone call was sent down to holding (I guess) to bring up the man accused of breaking into my house and trying (however unsuccessfully) to kick my ass.  Now a Canadian courtroom is a little different than the ones you see in (mostly American) television and movies.  If the defendant is already in police custody he or she apparently doesn't get to sit with his or her lawyer, but instead has to sit in a glassed-in pen which looked exactly like an NHL penalty box.  This seemed especially fitting seeing as one of the few facts I knew about the man accused of my attack was a hockey player who apparently at one point had himself been drafted into the NHL.  The irony factor was admittedly off the charts that day.  As it turns out this would-be MVP had already been convicted of some other crime for which he was serving two years. 

As soon as I knew that I might be meeting my attacker face to face for the first time in broad daylight since the incident I once again became very anxious.  I couldn't sit still and my hands grew restless.  Finally two cops escorted him in and sat him down in the penalty box.  I took a deep breath and looked over at him.  After a while I realized I was staring at him, but I couldn't not.  I was desperately searching his face, trying to force myself to recognize him even though on the night in question my attacker had worn a hat and a scarf covering his face.  I thought I saw something in his eyes -the way they were spaced so closely together over his nose that sparked something in my memory, but I couldn't be sure.  I wasn't sure whether the vague familiarity I sensed was my brain actually piecing things together from the three or four seconds I saw my attacker's face without the scarf or whether it was a result of the unconscious suggestion that this was "the guy" or some combination of the two.  There was a short recess so I had ample time to examine this specimen though I don't think we ever locked eyes in a dramatic showdown of wills.  The only other thing I was really able to discern was that this guy was fucking huge, a fact that impressed several cops who my wife (who was waiting outside the courthouse with my son at this point) overheard talking in impressed tones about how I took down this hulking tower of beef.  (Like I said, the cops are fairly certain this is the guy.) 

Finally after what seemed like an unnecessarily long wait my time came.  I was called to the stand to tell My Story.  I made my way to the front of the courtroom and sat down in the witness stand next to the judge.  I was promptly directed to stand back up to take an oath to tell the truth.  When given the choice I opted out of swearing on the bible even though I was tempted to look like the witnesses you see in the movies, but thankfully reason won out with the realization that religion has no place in a court of law, or anywhere for that matter.  I sat down -for the second time- and the process began.  The crown attorney started off asking me how to spell and pronounce my name, where I lived, and if the good-looking kid outside was mine.  The defence attorney chimed in with a playful "No contest here, your Honour," to the cute kid comment prompting a laugh from the courtroom.  I was taken aback once again.  Not only were the prosecutor and the defence attorney's not mortal enemies, they were even congenial to one another.  I had expected some kind of animosity, but to them it seemed like just another day on the job.  Which I suppose it was for them.  Just like doctors they were able to emotionally detach themselves from the horrible shit they dealt with every day and ended up drawing the line not between each other but between themselves and the rest of the world.

The rest, as they say, is history.  The crown attorney began by asking me questions about the night in question and I started weaving my tale.  After a while I began stopping periodically because the crown stopped asking me questions and simply prompted me to "Please continue," or "Go on," and I so I obliged.  I made sure to try and speak loud and clear both for the benefit of the court reporter and the high school class that was there on a field trip for the day.  The other cases were short, and I felt lacked drama, so I tried to tell my story as compellingly as possible in the vain belief that I could engage the Facebook/texting generation for any length of time without some kind of testimony app that they could purchase for $1.99 on their iPod (or Blackberry if they were sold out of iPods).  I didn't realize until my wife told me afterwards but it turns out I had used up the better part of an hour and I hadn't even been cross examined, which was the part I was most curious about.  I wasn't worried about my testimony because I knew what had happened to me, but I wasn't sure what angle the defence might take, and as of this point in time I still don't.  The defence attorney warned me that his questions might seem "nitpicky" and he was right.  I couldn't divine for the life of me what relevance most of his questions had to the pertinent facts of the case, but I tried to answer them to the best of my knowledge.

After over an hour of testimony my time in the spotlight was finally over.  I got ready to leave the witness box when I was stopped by the judge.  This scared the shit out of me because in watching the other cases he seemed like a hard-assed, no-nonsense guy.  I don't know if it was the setting or the judge himself, but I immediately felt like a little kid about to get in trouble from the teacher.  I remember reading somewhere that the way to deal with a rampaging judge was to establish dominance by making yourself as big as possible, maintaining direct eye contact, and making noise like a rabid baboon, the only known natural enemy of the judge.  I tensed my body, ready for action.  Before I could react, though, the judge started into me.  He said he had two things to tell me.  Oh no, I thought, here it comesWhat did I do wrong?  The first thing he told me was that if there was some kind of medal for bravery that he could give I would definitely be entitled to it.  The second thing he told me as that out of the thousands of witnesses he had heard over the years I was one of the best.  The Fear subsided and I left the stand without having to imitate any monkeys whatsoever.  Now, the article in the local newspaper The Nugget covered the hearing and the official quotes from the judge are slightly different from my recollection (which you can read if you want by following the link at the bottom of the page, or by clicking here), and far be it for me to dispute the reported facts all I'm saying is: who's the fucking great witness here?

After my testimony I waited outside the courtroom with my wife and son (my daughter was at her grandmother's house) for my neighbour to give her testimony.  I wasn't allowed to listen in, I suppose in order to avoid cross contamination of our respective testimonies lest this whole mess actually go to trial and we had to testify again.  Once again I heard from several cops and lawyers how awesome my testimony had been, although I personally didn't think that it had been that compelling.  I also learned that was why the crown attorney stopped asking me quesions after a while and just kept telling me to "Go on."  Apparently I was so good for a while that I bent the space time continuum altering the fabric of reality and I negated the need for questioning all together.  Or at least, that seemed like the mot logical conclusion to draw.  After the whole thing was over my wife and I decided to have a three way... of irony by using a gift card that had been given to us by a friend shortly after the incident as a way of saying "Hey, here's some food to make you feel better" to have lunch at Kelsey's.  While revenge is a dish best served cold, irony is best served warm with a plate of nachos and a greasy pulled pork sandwich.

As we ate lunch I couldn't help but think about real estate.  Three properties in particular: my house, the burned down dream house, and the house down the street that looked so much like ours.  This triumvirate seemed -at best- loosely related, but to me they bore a significance that bordered on religious.  The pieces fell into place in my mind.  First my family and I had been spared a firey death in the burned down dream house by whatever supernatural force had been watching our backs.  Next, we ended up living in our current house, down the street from a drug dealer.  Finally, on the night of December 29, 2010 my house was broken into having been mistaken for the drug house down the street.  "But wait," you might be saying to yourself.  "How do you know that this break-in was the result of mistaken identity?"

The answer is far simpler than you might suspect, though I'm still not sure if the cops are down with my theory.  The first clue comes from the intruder himself who broke into my house demanding "the drugs and the money" (as detailed in my previous article Don't Try This at Home).  It was obvious to me even then that he was looking for a a specific stash at a specific house, of which neither belonged to me.  The second clue came mostly from my wife, but also from other neighbours who have since told us they have seen some odd behaviour in our neighbourhood.  Specifically in front of our house.  My wife has told me that she has seen people get dropped of in front of our house and walk down the street to the house that looks like ours.  The most memorable recollection I have is an incident last fall when my family and I came home only to find a young woman waiting on our doorstep.  We were understandably confused because we had absolutely no clue who she was, and she was understandably confused because she had just spent an unspecified amount of time waiting at the wrong house.  As she stood up a man from down the street started waving and calling her down towards -you guessed it- our friendly, neighbourhood drug house.  The third clue didn't come until just a few weeks before the hearing.  My wife was outside washing the car (because that's her job) with my daughter (on the job training) when a woman from down the street stopped by and filled in the missing piece of the puzzle, something we had suspected but now was confirmed.

This woman confirmed that the drug house was indeed a drug house and the woman who had been living there with her daughter was in the business of selling drugs.  She told us how she lived right next door to the drug house and had called the cops and CAS on her neighbour on numerous occasions.  She even gave us a name.  And it all fit.  There had been a confirmed drug dealer living at the house in question at the time of the break-in at my house.  Our house was also a drop-off point for people going to visit the drug house, which I know my the testimony of my wife and various people on my street who not only told me they saw people getting dropped off and walking down to that house, but that these people only ever seemed to stay at that house for a couple minutes at a time and that sometimes these people would even sneak through our backyards to get to this house.

And this all suddenly made me very angry.  Not because I had been victimized by somebody who was looking for a completely different house who had confused mine with that one, but because out of all the potential thieves and would-be criminals out there I had been stuck with one of the shittiest and most amateur you could ever hope to encounter.  Not only had he completely fucked up his intel and wound up at the wrong house, but he had blown his opportunity of catching me off guard by first intentionally alerting me to his presence instead of trying to take me completely by surprise, and then failed to control the situation and even failed to lay a proper beat down on me.  Where was the professionalism?  The passion for the work?  It was these kinds of rank, amateur mistakes that would ever keep him from going pro.  And frankly, it's a little bit insulting.  The best the universe could muster to throw at me was this third rate, drug addled fuck up who couldn't even complete a successful home invasion?

On the other hand I suppose I had to feel good about my double play.  Not only had I managed to assist (if only in some small way) with the capture of a semi-dangerous, quasi-intelligent criminal lowlife (with undoubtedly small genitals) but I had also helped kick a drug dealer's ass out of the neighbourhood.  Several months after the incident my wife and I noticed that there was a moving truck parked down the street in front of the (then suspected) drug house.  It was later confirmed by the Mystery Woman from down the block that it was our drug-dealing friend who had chosen to relocate, I can only presume because of the extra heat that had been brought down as a result of my encounter with my attacker because after the incident the cops started knocking on doors and stepping up patrols in the area, and I guess she figured she had best get while the getting was still good.  Incidentally, the original name for this article was going to be "How to Kick a Drug Dealer's Ass Out of Town," and then detail my story in the context of the steps necessary to do so, however the steps would have been too hard for the average citizen to follow (eg. Step#1: Almost Buy a House that Burns Down, Step #2: By Happenstance, Move into a House that is Similar in Appearance to that of a Local, Small Time Drug Dealer, Step #3: Have Your House Mistaken For the Drug Dealer's House By a Small Time Crook Who Was Once an NHL Draft Pick, Step#4: Kick the ex-NHLer-Turned-Incompetent-Criminal's Ass in Full View of Your Neighbour, etc.) and potentially not applicable in every situation.

And now with this chapter in this strange and terrible saga finally closed I look back on the great chain of events that led me to this point and I wonder.  I suppose that to some I might seem like a fatalist with all of my talk of Supernatural Forces, and Powers of Fate and the Universe that seemed to have a plan for me, though I still cannot see the purpose behind them.  However, I don't see life in those terms.  I can't believe that there is only one master plan and that our everything in our lives is preordained and couldn't have happened in any other way.  Other than the fact that that worldview would be extremely depressing, I just don't believe it to be the case.  If we are guided completely by Fate or God or a Giant Magical Octopus for that matter, then free will is completely irrelevant (because by definition it wouldn't exist) and we would be absolved of any and all crimes and stripped of any successes.  It also seems kind of fucked up.  When you think about what kind of universal force would orchestrate rape, murder, war, Two and a Half Men, and thousands of years of other atrocities, it leaves one to wonder the nature and intent of such a force.  I can't see that there's any sort of stable plan in any sense of the word, and if this is the plan then I want no part of it and thoroughly chastise and denounce the planner. 

Much like Mulder, I believe that there are forces at work that we can't comprehend.  I believe in fate in only its most basic sense, insofar as that eventually we will all meet the same, ultimate Fate.  Indeed the concept of death is easily recognized as the precursor to the idea of fate, and in that limited sense I suppose even I would have to acknowledge a certain belief in fate or destiny.  But neither would I say that I am a believer in the total power of free will either.  No matter how much we may try, there are simply some things that are beyond our control in this world.  What I believe in I suppose would best be described as Not-So-Random Chance.  We all end up at the same destination, but we get to choose our own path how to get there.  We are confronted with situations that are sometimes beyond our control, but we can always control one thing: how we face those situations.  It's like the Kobayashi Maru test in Star Trek.  In life (and death) we are faced with situations where even though we might make all the right decisions, we will still lose.  The important thing isn't winning or losing it's (as Rudyard Kipling the famous racist poet would say) how we greet those two impostors.

The only rational way that I can conceive of life is as a combination of fate and free will as best characterized by a giant pinball machine.  We're all balls (some of us steel, some of us made of softer, fleshier materials, and some -like my attacker- made of shit) being bounced around by giant, metaphysical flippers.  Now imagine all those balls able to change their own trajectories, even if just slightly, and you have the Ordered Chaos which is life.  We get bounced around by the flippers, off the rails and the bumpers, and some of us might stay up there for a long time, but eventually all balls meet the same fate (A-hem...).  As for me and my balls, we will forever be altered by what has happened to us.  We've made a pact with each other to eliminate doubt and hesitation from our lives as much as humanly possible.  We've decided to strive to be harder (fuck I'm good) and stronger than we've ever been before.  Though we've been dealt a hard blow (though not as hard as some others have been dealt) it has become our mandate to keep moving forward to try and post the highest score we possibly can before being knocked out of the game for good.

Related links:

Newspaper Article #1
Newspaper Article #2
Newspaper Article #3 (it took three times before I finally made front page)
Don't Try This At Home                         


  1. I am amazed at your story! What happened to your attacker? Did it go to trial? Did he get jail? Fill me in with how this story ends! Thanks!

  2. Still waiting on that ending Anonymous... Once I know the world will know