Spoiler alert, it was a pellet gun, not a real gun! Don’t want to bury the lede here; I am fine and well!
So it’s a Monday afternoon at about 6. I’m walking home from the train as I do most every day, and I’m just around the corner from home.
I hear a “THWIIIIP” and something hits me in the side. It hurts, kind of, but mostly I’m just surprised. My first thought is, “Someone just shot me with a rubber band.” I quickly scan the street but I don’t see anybody. I’m craning my neck, trying to see my side. I keep double checking because it’s starting to hurt and it kind of seems like I should see a mark or something on my shirt but I don’t see anything, which is confusing. I scan the street again and the high rise across the street. There are people walking everywhere, but nobody looks suspicious.
Finally, I decide somebody shot me with something so maybe I shouldn’t be standing around on the sidewalk like an idiot, and I hurry home.
As soon as I got through the door I picked up my shirt and was very surprised to see a decent amount of blood. Sure enough, the pellet (I presume now it was a pellet or bb gun of some kind) hit me and made a tiny little hole where it went through my shirt. I hadn’t seen it because it was more around my back.
Alex ran to greet me as soon as I came in the door, so unfortunately he saw it. “Did somebody bite you at work, daddy?” he asked.
Now, it’s kind of funny to say I got shot, but obviously I didn’t really got shot and it makes me a little uncomfortable for anybody to say that I did. A lot of people in Chicago, and the U.S. at large, really do get shot, and I certainly don’t want to equate this with that.
That being said, it was a pretty decent wound and everybody I showed it to was pretty horrified. (I debated about adding a picture to this post, but honestly it might be kind of gross. So if you’re that kind of person and you want to see it, it’s on you to click through.)
In any case, I didn’t tell the kids I got shot because that would panic them. I just told them I “got hit by something” and had to go to the doctor so it didn’t get infected. I think we might have finally gotten them through the emotional trauma of me getting mugged, so that is the last thing I need them thinking about. In other news, CAN BAD STUFF PLEASE STOP HAPPENING TO ME NOW???
I really didn’t want to call the police, and I really didn’t want to go to the Emergency Room, but I was persuaded to do both. I kept apologizing to the police, like, “I know you guys have real crime to deal with,” but the police seemed to say reporting it was the right thing to do.
As far as the ER…what a wretched, wretched place. I guess I was more imagining the children’s ER, which is what I have more experience with. The wait was going to be EIGHT HOURS! Everybody was very angry and aggressive. After waiting 30 minutes to even check in, I was ready to get the heck out of there. If it wasn’t for the slight chance that the bb might still be in me, I would have just gone home and slapped a bandaid on it. Honestly, the thought of digging it out with a pocket knife seemed more appealing than hanging around in that ER for 8 hours.
Sara kept trying to talk me down, but honestly the only thing that kept me there was the looks on the total strangers faces in the ER when I showed them my wound. The immediate, universal look of shock and horror kept me in place. 🙂
Luckily for me, they cleaned it and poked around in it in triage, and they didn’t feel anything inside there. In retrospect, at the time I thought I heard the sound of something metal hitting the sidewalk, but I looked around and I didn’t see anything. So it most likely was not still in me, but it’s the kind of thing you want to be sure about, you know? So I ended up being home in time to read the kids a bedtime story.
Now, the unfortunate part about all of this is that this happened right next to my house. I have to walk by that corner twice a day. The only way to avoid walking by there is to instead walk down the street where I got mugged.
I know this was most likely a random act of a stupid kid, but why me? There were tons of people on the street at that time, why was I singled out? This has never happened to anybody else I know; what is this curse I’ve fallen under? Why is the universe so random and capricious?
Okay, got it out of my system.
Listen, I’m fine. It doesn’t even hurt anymore. It’s just a thing that happened, a blog post to be written. It sucks. I’m not happy about it, but after I heal up the only lasting effect will be a tiny hole in a tee-shirt I got for free. To be honest, getting shot by a kid with a bb gun is the one thing that is MORE likely to happen in Indiana than in the city of Chicago.
(Still wouldn’t mind if stuff would stop happening to me, though.)