A literal sucker punch

Yesterday I messaged a friend that I had been sucker-punched in the head. He said, "I saw, I'm so sorry." He thought I was talking in metaphor, because my grandmother passed away Friday morning and there has been much reminiscing on Facebook.

Grammy's death is too big a thing for me to wrap my head around yet. I thought I'd be able to write about it by now, but it's going to have to wait until my heart and my head get in sync. There are too many moments, too many scenes, too many memories that don't connect with each other to write about her yet. I keep mentally stumbling across things, like the way she called me "My Elizabeth" since I was a toddler, or the alternate lyrics she taught me to John Phillip Sousa, or her funny sweaters, or the time I told her the sky was a different color blue where she was, and dubbed it "California blue," which she said always came to mind afterward when the sky was clear over her house in the San Joaquin Valley.

So I opted to spend the weekend with my menfolk doing family things. Man, Boy, movies and noshes are my anti-drug. Then on Saturday afternoon, we decided to go on to Fright Fest at Six Flags, because it's a family tradition we didn't think we would get to this year. It was part distraction, part family time. At least up until I was assaulted.

Boy was riding the rollercoasters while Jim and I headed for the scare zones. We were walking up a main thoroughfare when we were briefly separated by a large crowd of young people heading the opposite direction. Fright Fest is always crowded, and this year was no exception.

Jim was about ten feet in front of me when someone hit me in the back of the head hard enough to knock me flat on the ground. I remember the impact, which felt like a two-by-four flat against the back of my skull, and then my brain paused the recording. Next thing I remember is the pavement under my hands and hearing Jim yell.

I never saw who did it, and I have no idea why they would. I don't know if it was some kind of oh-so-hilarious game - hit the fat woman and make her fall down - or if I bumped into someone in the crowd without realizing it and pissed him off. Jim didn't see it - he heard the sound of the impact over the crowd, and turned around to see me on the ground.

Everyone else took off. Fifty people around, no one hung around to help. Sometimes people suck.

Bonus points to Six Flags, which had five or six security people there in minutes. I wasn't much help to them; he hit me from behind, so I never saw him. (Or her, not to be sexist.) They offered me medical assistance, and took all the information we had, which wasn't much. I was still rather stunned, but I wanted security to know, because maybe the next person they hit wouldn't have such a hard head.

(Yes, within an hour we had the joke about the guy wandering around Six Flags with broken fingers. There, we made the joke so you don't have to.)

I'm okay. I had a headache all last night and this morning, but it seems to be fading as Sunday draws to a close. Jim was an Air Force medic, so he was monitoring me all evening: pupils equal and reactive, no aphasia or difficulty speaking words that others understood. It hurt to comb out my hair last night, but Jim checked over my scalp and the skin wasn't broken, no big lumps. If the headache persists tomorrow, I'll arrange to get checked out by a real doctor, but I think if I were going to have serious problems, they'd have shown up by now.

No nastiness on Six Flags: we've been going there since 2004 and never had a single problem. No one has ever tried to break into our car, or steal anything, or even been rude and confrontational with us, much less physically assaulted us. It could have just as easily happened on the street or a parking lot or Wal-mart.

I'm a bit disgusted with myself, to tell the truth. I've been hit before, and never gone down like that. Twenty years ago I'd have kept my feet, turned around and punched back. I'm three for three on muggers and never been knocked down. But all that was a couple of decades ago in a galaxy far far away, when I was young and immortal. I must be getting soft and weak in my old age.

Also, I'm charging Jim $1 for every time he asks me if I'm okay. He's up to $14 now. When he hits $20, I'm going to make him buy me books.

I hope every one of you had a better weekend than I. Tonight the air is cold, and the world is a little colder too, because sometimes we lose people who made it brighter and warmer, and sometimes people suck. If there is someone you haven't called for a while, tonight is a good time to do it. Say the words, because you don't always get another chance.

All of you? Thank you for being in my life. Yeah, even you.


  1. I love you. All of you. Feel better soon.

  2. I'm sorry this happened to you. I hope karma bites that SOB back big time.

  3. OMG! I'm so sorry that happened and I hope they caught the culprit! Why do people have to be so mean?

  4. No cameras at Six Flags? NONE? I am so sorry, and I would be totally gobsmacked. (And I am the one who conked herself fore and aft in the head this weekend.)

  5. holy crap :( that's horrible. i'm so sorry!

  6. What the heck is going on these days? Hope you are feeling better soon...and yes, there's always karma for the person who did it.


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