Last Wednesday I was assaulted on 11th St. near the post office on 4th Ave and just down the street from Webster Hall. It was weird, scary, and, looking back on it, oddly funny. My left hand was grasping a cup of soda and a bag with my dinner. My right hand held my Blackberry. I was talking with a friend who was dealing with a rather serious problem so I was looking at my feet as I shuffled along. In my peripheral vision, I saw a crowd of guys coming my way so I moved out onto the street a bit.
Suddenly, one of them had his chest pressed up against my left arm. I told my friend to hold on. “Yes?” I asked. He swung his arm up and then forcefully windmilled down at me and grabbed my ass with a lot of speed. “HOW GREAT IS THAT?!” he exclaimed. His eight friends all were bigger than me. They looked and sounded like they were into soccer or rugby. I thought maybe they were hyped from watching a game at a sports bar. Maybe I was on a Japaneses candid camera-type show. I wanted to clock this guy in the jugular but I was afraid his pals, who were chanting his name repeatedly, would take me out.
“Let me ask you something, why?” “YOU WANT ME TO DO IT AGAIN?!” I repeated myself. He repeated himself. It became like a Meisner exercise. I tried to remain cool. He got louder. Then he did it again. Smacking and grabbing my ass again hard.
I reared back and jabbed him squarely in his crotch. “Ahhh, that’s my balllls!!” He groaned, doubled over. I couldn’t tell if he was drunk. I didn’t know if I was doing the right thing. He kicked at me lamely. I shrugged him off and walked away.
Looking back on it, I don’t know why I didn’t drop what I had in my hands and dealt with him. I was so thrown off by the events. I was puzzled why this was happening. It was like a clown sketch that was going to go bad.
I called 311. When I used the word assault, they patched me through to 911. Even though I said I wasn’t at home, they wanted to send someone to my house. “Well, what do you want us to do?” “I was just informing you in case it happened again.”
Being a guy, you aren’t supposed to be frightened of this kind of thing. I was smaller than almost all those guys. I felt like the woman getting singled out. Maybe they thought it was fun. Maybe it’s a European way of expressing random camaraderie. Maybe it was some repressed thing coming out sideways. I don’t know.