30 May 2008

Beating Annie Lennox to the punch...

If you have the MP3 of Annie's 1992 hit "Walking on Broken Glass" on your computer, or otherwise within reach, go ahead and cue it up while reading this.

One of the most memorable, if dubious, tales from my time living in the now defunct Seminole Twin Towers at Arkansas State was an incident which took place, ohhhhh I'd say some time during the Spring of 1985.

It was around 12:30 a.m. and we'd been having problems with another student who was trying to take retribution on one of our wingmates. His name was Clark; as I had little dealings with him (he lived near the other end of the hallway) the only reason I remember his name was because he was something of an 'informant.' He was referred to by some as "Clark the Narc", and he'd earned the scorn of some druggies that'd been busted due to his information.

What happened centered on simple vandalism -- already the word "NARC" was spray-painted on his door -- and all of us were on guard and listened out for this little hooligan. Okay, again, it was 12:30-ish, my door and Lance's across the hall were open. I was watching a movie on TV, and clad in my 'late-night' garb, i.e. T-shirt, shorts, bare feet. Lance was in and out of my room. Well, just as he was crossing the hall going back into his room, there was a noise, and Lance yelled out, "THERE HE IS!! LET'S GET HIM!!!!!" Lance tore down the hall after him, as the miscreant ran for his life.

[cue stock music from The Streets of San Francisco]

Without thinking (we all wanted to sack this bastard), I followed Lance after him. He hit the middle staircase downward, and went two flights down to the sixth floor. Lance was ahead of me, as we turned the corner from the stairwell toward the elevator lobby.

I turned that corner, my body and bare feet pushing the laws of inertia as much as they could ... just as I heard Lance warn, "WATCH OUT FOR ......"

Too late. I felt crunching sounds below me, followed by a sensation as if I'd just stepped in some water.

Yeppers, someone had broken a beer bottle dead center of the elevator lobby on the 6th floor and I got it with my bare feet.

Mr. Bastard got away. Suddenly I was dripping blood down the hallway, right past my friend Phil's dorm. Phil came out wondering what all the racket was about, and there he was as I passed him, shedding my vascular fluids.

And what did Phil say? "Ummm, the Red Cross always needs blood, but this isn't what they had in mind."

Did I mention having attended college with a bunch of wise-asses??

Phil loaned me one of his towels and I then limped my way back to #810 using the 6th floor hallway to the far stairway (leaving a nice trail of red along the way), as Lance kind of "escorted" me back to my room. It's a good thing I had a footsoaker in my room (souvenir from an ingrown-toenail removal earlier that year). There were a couple of shards of glass embedded in my foot, and I pulled 'em out -- channeling Wile E. Coyote after slamming into a cactus.

Miraculously, there weren't any serious wounds. I didn't even visit the health center, no stitches were called for; the only thing I felt was a little pain for several days.

So there you are. I walked on broken glass with my bare feet, and lived to tell about it.

Even though the bastard got away. @#$%!!! Fortunately, he didn't mess with Clark again ... he knew we were watching.

Ciao for niao.

--Talmadge "Foot Soldier" Gleck

No comments: