That the joke was on me"
- I Started A Joke, by The Bee Gees
So there I was, at the bus station, waiting for friends to arrive so we could go downtown and visit with women in prostitution as we did about twice a month. At the bus station there are two roads where the buses run, and a platform in the center where people change buses. I was sitting on the platform, watching for my friends, when I saw a blind man crossing the road towards the platform. He walked carefully, his cane moving back and forth in front of him. An elderly gentleman was crossing at the same time. He wore an old but neat brown suit and had a frailness to him. He and the blind man walked parallel to each other, each heading towards the platform, when the elderly gentleman nearly tripped. Instinctively he reached out and grasped the arm of the blind man, steadying himself.
The blind man flipped out.
He raised his cane and struck at the gentleman, hitting him across his shoulders and head. The two men crumpled to the ground. I jumped to my feet and rushed to the edge of the platform, along with several others who saw the surprising scene. A police officer and a couple of other men reached the two men on the ground just as a bus drove along the road between myself and them. When the bus rumbled past, the police officer was holding onto the arm of the blind man. His cane was bent. The gentleman was walking away with a look of pure confusion and bewilderment. Someone rushed towards him, handing him his thin wire glasses, which had been knocked to the ground. The blind man gestured wildly, speaking to the police officer. Though I couldn’t hear what he said, it seemed clear what had happened:
The blind man felt a hand grab hold of him and made the snap judgement that he was being robbed, so he reacted with self-defense. Likely, he had been robbed before, taken as an easy target, so he resolved not to let it happen again without a fight.
The men went their separate ways. The spectators standing near me went back to waiting for their buses, murmuring. It was such a strange and violent scene, unfolding in a moment of misunderstanding.
Eventually, my friends arrived and we boarded a bus to go downtown. I keep thinking about those two men. It would be so interesting to know what went through their minds during and after the incident. How they told the story to others. I would be so curious to hear it from their perspectives.