Monday, April 04, 2005

The Freaks Come Out at Night

There are people walking amongst us who are not like you and me.
I don't mean in the "I'm special and unique" kind of way.
I mean in the "I'm the reincarnation of Napoleon, and John Lennon gives me instructions via the TV" kind of not like you and me.
I'm not making light of mental illness, because if you've got someone you care about suffering with it, it isn't all that funny...well, sometimes it can be...but you know what I mean.

It goes without saying that many homeless people suffer with mental illness, and if you live in a large city you've no doubt encountered someone in your daily travels who has either engaged you in amusing conversation, or hurled obscenities at you for no discernable reason.

This brings us to my story:
One summer evening, a long time ago, me and The Mister were waiting to see a movie at the Uptown Theatre on Yonge Street (pre-sudden cave in) and we decided to kill some time at the KFC a few doors south of the theatre.
While we were sitting together and talking , we noticed a disheveled, crazed looking guy staring at us from the street.
He came into the restaurant, walked directly to our table and stood staring at The Mister like he was looking at his long time nemesis.
Now, The Mister is not one to beat around the bush, and asked scruffy if he had a problem.
His reply was to lunge at The Mister and grab him by the throat sending everything on the table flying, including The Misters gold chain.
The next thing I know, The Mister and The Lunatic are fighting in the middle of the restaurant.
I scrounged around searching for The Misters' chain, and came up looking around only to find every single patron in the restaurant squeezed up against the counter, and the staff behind the counter with their backs pressed against the refrigerators.
I yelled for someone to call the police, but no one moved.
The Mister had The Lunatic against the front window, but The Lunatic had what looked like a death grip on The Misters throat.
Me, being someone who just can't stand around while someone I love is in what looked like peril...I moved in with a bunch of trays and started banging The Lunatic on the head with them.
Well, apparently I was in the way because The Mister yelled, "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?!?...GET AWAY FROM HERE!!!"

A few moments later, some men came in off of the street and helped The Mister eject The Lunatic from the restaurant.
The Mister and I thanked the guys who helped and we sat down in a booth to collect ourselves.
It was then that the other patrons came over to ask if he was ok, and how they had "seen the whole thing", and how "the guy attacked for no reason", etc.
But, while it was happening, they were all cowering at the back of the restaurant like a bunch of cockroaches when the kitchen light is turned on.

On the way out, The Mister gave me a lecture on not ever jumping in if that ever happened again...suddenly, we heard a commotion.
We turned to see the same lunatic engaged in another scuffle about a block south.

I wondered if he survived the night or if he continued attacking people at random until someone beat him to death.