Twist and Shout

Twist and Shout
Life is never straight (Joey Kulkin photo)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Trenton, My Trenton: Beaten and Bloodied


TRENTON -- A few things happened in a short amount of time. I saw the man standing in the island on Southard and Perry. The light turned green. I was going to make a left onto Perry but I slowed to a stop because I saw him holding a sign that I couldn't read but it didn't matter because he was asking for money for one reason or another. I don't know why I stopped to give this guy money, but I did. During the day it's one thing, but to stop at night? In Trenton? And yet I stopped. I thought he was hungry. I told him to cup his hands together so I could dump a plastic thingamajig full of coins into them. There was maybe 92 cents, or maybe 118 cents or maybe even a buck.98. Or maybe only 62 cents. I don't know. But there was more silver than copper, or whatever it is they use to make pennies.

As he approached I saw his face, and it was disturbing. Not the blood on his forehead and on the bridge of his nose, but the contusion on his forehead that was the size of a baseball. I got a little nervous. "Dude, your face is bleeding. What happened? "I'm from Paterson. I just got beat up and robbed." "Get closer so I can take a picture of your face." I took one shot but wanted a closer, crisper focus. Then I heard something that momentarily scared the shit out of me: it sounded like the cocking of the hammer on a gun, and for the splittest of seconds I thought I was going to be shot and carjacked, that maybe this whole situation was a ruse, a setup. But that thought snapped out of existence soon as the driver in the truck behind me honked his horn. I took another photo then tried activate the flash, but I couldn't fucking activate the flash, and then another car honked its horn. So I said fuck it and made the left turn and left the bloody man on the island.

But I called the TPD and told them about a guy on the island with a bloody face and a knot on his head the size of a baseball and asked them to go check on the guy. The officer who took the call said he'd send someone.