July 28, 2013
Guerrilla #1 took my thumb and pulled it slowly back, looking me straight in the eye and telling me over and over with a grim certainty that I would pay”and for some idiotic reason I still said this all was “unfair””so he pulled the thumb beyond the ligament and snapped the bone. They then pinned me to the ground and laid into me harder with the pleasure of a captor having gotten his prey. Kicks to the kidneys and head followed…until I remembered what all this was about and I threw all my cash at them. “OK! OK! I give up! Take it!”
After one last kick to the ear, broadsiding my jaw and cheekbones, they suddenly released me.
I was at a loss. Money gone, cards gone. The glasses I”d had made in the Johnny Depp style”gone. Shirt”torn. People were now avoiding me, as opposed to the other way around.
I staggered away from [E]manuel[le]. Two young female students helped me pick myself up when a youngster (16 or 17 years old) came after us, playing with a gun and saying he would kill me if I didn’t hand over my phone.
I remembered him. He”d been loitering at the door while the big boys had been restraining me.
Apparently, he meant it. The girls told me I had to go. They bundled me in a passing taxi and told me to leave the neighborhood and not to come back.
I didn”t need persuading.
SIRIO-LIBANES HOSPITAL. ONE DAY LATER.
Test results and X-rays on a doctor’s table.
“It’s an intra-articular fracture of the thumb,” I heard a doctor’s voice say. Then: “Where are you staying?”
“At the Intercontinental. On Alameda Santos,” I replied. And that was where I wanted to be right then more than anywhere: the Intercontinental. I”d never stay anywhere else.
I”ll tell you the rest but for now, give me a break. My hand is killing me. Don”t forget, I”m using one arm here. The other one’s in a sling.