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The night Oscar probably saved my life.

I can't believe I haven't written about this before, it really reveals a lot about my odd thought process as well as why I fell in love with Tom. Tom worries about me because sometimes I am very naive and stupid. I think in a certain way and forget other people don't think like me. I think everyone is good, I forget there are people out there who aren't good, who are damaged and inflict their pain on others.

Back in 2000 my friend Extra-Gay-Jay was moving to New York. He was having a going away party that was quite a bar crawl, we closed down bars and then reopened others. Jay was infamous and well as famous in the Castro. By the end of the evening I was completely trashed. I gave Jay a hug, kiss and well wishes then began to stagger back up the hill towards home.

I was walking up 18th street and was turning up Hattie when I saw another drunk man literally stumble across Hattie up ahead of me. Then he turned around walked back across the street again and head down the hill toward me. I thought to myself, "Damn, he's even drunker than I am!"

I continued my stumble up the hill as he stumbled down. Hattie has a few big trees that cast huge dark shadows and we both entered shadows at the same time. All I could see was his silhouette. We drew closer together and I noticed something, he was carrying something and I saw it, I knew what it was but it wasn't registering as real in my mind. I've seen so many on TV why would I be freaked to see a gun while walking home in a drunken stupor. I walked past him before it registered. I stopped, I was clearly really drunk, because I just imagine I had walked past a man with a gun. So I turned around. A few feet away from me a man with a gun was walking away slowly, gun swinging. I stood there frozen, sobered, and trying to make sense of what was happening.

The man walked into the dark narrow space between two houses. I realized with horror he was going to kill himself. I started to walk towards him, but stopped to think if this was really a good idea, but someone had to stop him and I was the only one here. So I began to slowly walk toward him when I heard my name being curtly yelled at me, "ERIC!" Oscar was standing at the other end of Hattie and began running toward me. "What are you doing? Did you hear the gunshots?" he asked me. How I hadn't heard any of the four gunshots still amazes me. "No, But I saw a man with a gun. He went over there." and I pointed to the odd space between the houses and the man came staggering out and started to walk down 18th toward the Castro. I was so sure he was going to kill himself but in reality he probably thought the space was an alley.

My memory is a bit garbled but Oscar and I quickly exchanged on what we should do... People had already called 911, but as far as we could tell we were the only ones monitoring the guy walking into the Castro with a gun. So I called 911. It was the first time I had called 911 from my cell phone or ever. So when the person on the other end answered I just started in on what was going on when the operator interrupted me, "Where are you?"
"I'm on the corner of 18th and Hattie"
"No," the irritated operator said, "you are on a cell phone! What city are you in."
"San Francisco."
"Thank you, I am transferring you to the San Francisco police emergency unit."

When the new operator answered I began again, answering all the questions updating them on progress and description of the man with the gun. I was getting a little annoyed that he kept asking me the same questions just worded differently, eventfully he told me that there were several calls about the gunshot and Police were on the way.

Finally I saw a police car driving up 18th street, "I see the police" I told the operator and then exclaimed, "FUCK, they just drove past the guy." The police sped forward towards us and I told the operator I was hanging up since the police were here. They had sent two police officers in one car, that is it! Oscar and I quickly relayed all the information to the cops, description as well as what street he ran up after the police started to speed towards us. For some reason they seemed to want to ask us questions about what we were doing. Obviously he didn't see me hang up my phone or that it was still in my hand. I was a bit irked that he was asking me questions while the crazy man shooting his way down the street was getting away and out of my mouth came, "Calling 911 because there is a drunk man shooting a gun while walking down the street!" The asked a couple more questions before deciding Oscar and I were not the threat they were called for and headed very slowly in the direction we told them. The guy had to be long gone by this point.

Oscar and I walked back to house complaining about the police, he went back to bed and I went to my room, and it hit me. I could have been killed. What if I had reacted to him before he past me, what if I had followed him into that space between the houses. All of a sudden I was scared and freaked out and I needed to talk to someone. So at 3am, I called Tom, he answered the phone and while I started to tell Tom what had happened I started to cry. He hushed me, "Little Monkey, don't be scared, I'm on my way. I'll be there in five minutes and I'll hold you and keep you safe. You can tell me all about it once you are safely in my arms. You shouldn't be alone tonight."

He was there at my door in less than five minutes and I cried while he held me and whispered reassuring words into my ears. What would have happened if Oscar hadn't investigated, what if Oscar hadn't yelled my name. Sometimes I am too naïve, too trusting, and really stupid. I am still freaked out when I think about that night.

Thank you Oscar, I miss you.

Untitled 1 - Keane - Hopes And Fears


( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 24th, 2005 09:11 am (UTC)
glad to still have you with us. you write well - very clear, crisp prose. good for you!
Apr. 25th, 2005 08:24 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much.

"you write well - very clear, crisp prose. good for you!"
I never would have guessed anyone would ever tell me that a few years ago. Thank you!
Apr. 24th, 2005 10:13 am (UTC)
Scary night! Great icon! :) In between my mood swings and reading and outlining and D&D and community organizing, we should hang out! I must have my simean encounter!

Apr. 25th, 2005 08:26 pm (UTC)
Yes, I can't believe we haven't yet, you've lived here for over 6 months now!
Apr. 24th, 2005 11:48 am (UTC)
Thankfully, he was there and did stop you. That was a close call. It's funny: being drunk endangered you, because you weren't thinking straight, but also protected you somewhat, because you didn't register the gun sooner.

The police and the operator behaved very oddly: I understand that they could probably tell that you were drunk, and maybe didn't believe you, but still, a gun is a gun and deserves a better response.

This is a frightening piece. And it is tinged with sadness.

I'm glad you're all right, and that there are so many people who look out for you. I admire your openness and trust for others, I really do. But the thought that you could have been killed is really frightening.
Apr. 26th, 2005 12:13 am (UTC)
I always get happy-sad whenever I think about Oscar. There were times when I couldn't hold him close enough and there were times when I was rallying to kick him out of the house. But my anger with Oscar was always short lived. The last time I saw Oscar it was the most perfect meeting. Our last words to each other were "I love you." Oscar always claimed to be psychic but I never bought into it. Maybe he was
Apr. 24th, 2005 04:54 pm (UTC)
Lucky us! Although I suspect that some people are "protected", which gets into something I don't talk about because most people are too skeptical (including myself) and I don't know how to talk about it.

I'm crazy about Keane. I got interested in them when I heard "somewhere Only We Know" on Smallville or some other TV show that uses current music in the background. Then I checked out some other songs and liked them too. I even turned my favorite twentysomething onto them. He's an incurable romantic and a sucker for pretty tunes (we're both closet Air Supply fans) so when he heard them playing from my iPod he asked who it was. I was so glad to turn the tables on him. anyway, they're playing in Portland in the not too distant future. I'd almost go except I can't stand the concert scene anymore.

I wish I had someone akin to Tom there when I got assaulted but I got through it in any case.
Apr. 26th, 2005 12:40 am (UTC)
I feel very protected, I have had so many close calls it's amazing. I have done stupid things without even realizing the danger I was walking into only to come out unscathed. While I don’t claim to be protected, it wouldn’t surprise me to find out I was, because it often does seem that way.

I love Keane. I found them because the gardenstate blog. Zach said they were his favorite new band and the soundtrack for his movie was so amazing... So I went out and bought the album that day. My favorite song is untitled. I really enjoy introducing someone to music who is normally introducing you. Every now and then I will smile big when Tom or Lanny will say, “I love that song you played me”

I wish you had a Tom during that time too. What you went through was horrible and would have been much more bearable with someone to cry and hold you. What you dealt with was pure evil. It upsets me that he has so many friends, at least I know they aren’t true friends, since to have true friends you must also be a true friend.
Apr. 26th, 2005 04:30 am (UTC)
Zach said they were his favorite new band and the soundtrack for his movie was so amazing...
What's that about?

After I knew that I must have 'Somewhere Only We Know' on my iPod, I checked more of their music out at the iTunes Music Store and immediately fell in love with 'Bedshaped' and 'Everybody's Changing' (I love the beat on that one). Eventually I added 'Untitled' and now I'm thinking of adding more. (I just Googled them to see what they look like.)

What you went through was horrible and would have been much more bearable with someone to cry and hold you.
You're telling me! I can't remember the last person I felt comfortable enough with that I could cry in front of them and the last time I really cried was the 2 months after Matthew Shepard was killed. I'll be writing about this part sometime soon but when I went to the Victims Assistence office after my assault they asked if there were someone I could go to for support. My immediate thought was that there was no one and in many ways that was and still is true but I soon found out that people who I thought didn't even know me
came out of the woodwork and offered support. It may have only been an expression of concern but it meant something to me at the time.

It upsets me that he has so many friends
He's made his journal "Friends Only" now so spying on him will not be interesting (for me) anymore. What I find revealing is the number of people who feel no compunction about friending him by saying such things as "Well, you haven't done anything to me so I want to be your friend." What they don't understand is that he is totally manipulative and can seem like the most charming person as long as he is not thwarted. Then there is the nature of the Furry Community which, I suspect, is highly dysfunctional and many of them seem incapable of rational thought.
Apr. 26th, 2005 06:39 am (UTC)
Zach Braff was the director of the movie Garden State. He picked out all the music for the movie and it was an amazing soundtrack. He has amazing taste in music so when he mentioned in gardenstateblog that Keane was his favorite new band I had to check them out. Give a listen to some of the songs from Garden state on iTunes.

I wish I could have been there for you when all that was going down. It's probably a good thing his journal is friends only, you don't need to have anything to do with his fucked up warped world anymore.
Apr. 26th, 2005 01:49 pm (UTC)
Come to think of it, for all I know, it may very well have been Garden State wherein I first heard that song. I got another song from Hopes & Fears last night giving me a total of 7.

Thank you.
Apr. 24th, 2005 05:23 pm (UTC)
You remind me a lot of me. What you did. What I'd do. What I want out of someone. I hope I get a Tom someday. Tomorrow would really be helpful.

Happy Birthday.
Apr. 26th, 2005 12:16 am (UTC)
Unfortunately there aren't enough Toms in the world. I'm sure you will find your Tom soon. You are kind, smart, creative and your new friendster photos make me drool.

Thanks for all the birthday wishes!
Apr. 26th, 2005 12:55 am (UTC)
I think I have. I know who my soul mate is, potentially anyway. I feel he is one of them. I am just not sure if circumstances will ever work out to where we are supposed to be together. But fate has taken us this far, so I leave it to chance. Funny thing, his name is Tom too.
Apr. 25th, 2005 04:56 am (UTC)
I think everyone is good, I forget there are people out there who aren't good, who are damaged and inflict their pain on others.

this is hardly a flaw and is probably one of the reasons that we get along so well as i'm very much this way myself. although i repeatedly say that i don't have a very high opinion of people in general i will admit that i still expect everyone to be as honest and trustworthy as i am. many times i'm shocked and disappointed to find out that they aren't. i find it very hard to conceal my true feelings and usually if i don't like someone it's impossible for them not to see it. i'm a true believer in tactfulness and being polite but this is very different from pretending to like someone when you really don't.

i'm glad that you had oscar there to serve as your guardian angel and then tom to provide you with a shoulder to cry on. if we are judged by the company that we keep, you must be an individual of great worth. but you already know that i think that...
Apr. 25th, 2005 04:58 am (UTC)
btw, i'm still waiting for the big birthday post...
Apr. 28th, 2005 12:07 am (UTC)
I don't really see it as a flaw either, but it definitely allows me to get into trouble easier. I have to admit I also am not surprised by the stupid things people do, but I am shocked by deceit and rudeness. Unfortunately if I don’t like you, there is a possibility you will not know it. On the other hand, if I hate you, you know it. I tend to be nice to everyone despite my feelings about them. It’s almost impossible for me to be mean. Sometimes I wish I could show people how I felt about them. I think your way of doing things is best.
Apr. 25th, 2005 05:49 pm (UTC)
Awesome story from an awesome person.


Apr. 25th, 2005 05:50 pm (UTC)
I am so sorry.
Happy B Eric.


Apr. 25th, 2005 08:21 pm (UTC)
Re: I am so sorry.
Don't be sorry. Thank you very much! I didn't advertise my birthday... plus I don't really wish people happy birthdays on LJ anyway.

Thank you very much!
Apr. 25th, 2005 08:24 pm (UTC)
Re: I am so sorry.
But your special.


Apr. 25th, 2005 07:33 pm (UTC)
Eric: I think I've heard that story many times after our slightly tippsy jaunts up 18th but you never mentioned what happened after with Tom. I was so happy to read the story with LOVE as the context of the tale being told. Maybe Oscar is still watching over you. It was so good to see Tom. (And you - of course Happy BDay again).

Apr. 26th, 2005 12:08 am (UTC)
It was good to see you too, I never seem to get enough Lanny time. I think with all the amazing luck I have there has to be an army looking over me.
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )