Early Sunday morning, when we were leaving the bar where Keaton works, some jerkoff picked a fight with him…and ended up getting knocked out with a busted nose. Instead of leaving him there in totally deserted Old Town, me and Keaton got the dude into Keaton’s truck to drive him to the ER at Huntington Hospital It’s less than a 5 minute drive from where we were.
“They’re gonna ask how this happened,” Keaton said to the dude once we were on our way. “Your answer is that you were in the garage and not paying attention and I opened the door of the truck and hit you with it in the face by accident. They’re probably not going to believe you, but, unless this ER is different from the ERs in every other place I’ve lived, they’re gonna let the story go rather than bothering with a police report. It’s a Saturday night. They probably have bigger things to worry about.
“Besides, your sorry ass ain’t filin no charges against me even if you wanted to. I busted your face up in self-defense. You started it and I got a witness. And just because I’m driving you to the ER doesn’t mean I’m sorry I fucked you up.”
We were at the hospital by that point. Keaton parked the truck rather than having them come get the asshole at the curb. He was still bleeding, but we knew he could walk.
The blood all over his face and clothes got him plenty of attention when we got inside. We stood next to him when he talked to the triage nurse. He gave her the car door story exactly as Keaton had told him to. Right before they took the dude back to work on him, Keaton told him to give him his car keys. The dude handed them over and gave Keaton a description of his car.
“You wanna stay here just in case they need something?,” Keaton asked me. “The Uber’ll be here in 5 minutes and I’ll be back in less than 15.”
I said I’d stay in the waiting room. It’s not like I was next of kin or anything, but I reckon I did feel a little responsible for the dude. Looking back, maybe I could have done something to stop the fight. No fuckin way I was stepping in front of Keaton’s fist, but I could have tried to at least talk him out of knocking the dude’s dumbfuckass lights out after he busted his nose.
Nothing happened while I was waiting, so I just played Clash of Clans and waited for Keaton to come back. Joyce stays up real late on Saturdays, so I thought I might text her and tell her I was in the Huntington ER…but then I realized this probably wasn’t the kind of story you share with a girlfriend like Joyce.
Keaton was back as soon as he said he’d be. He told the nurse he had the dude’s car keys and that the car was in the parking lot. She said she’d give the dude his keys, but Keaton insisted that he be the one to do it. The jerkoff had trusted him with his car, and so he was responsible. It took a few minutes, but word eventually got back to us that they only just started working on the dude and it would be at least half an hour before Keaton could see him.
So he came and sat next to me.
He didn’t look too bad, but you could tell he’d been in a fight. Lucky for everyone he was in one of his black work vnecks, since black doesn’t show blood. Still, he still had plenty of blood on his jeans, the right to the dude’s chin had taken a bite out of his knuckles, and he was gonna have a bruise where he got sucker punched. Since I’ll bet he thinks looking in the mirror is gay, he probably didn’t know what he looked like. I told him to go to the restroom to get cleaned up a little.
He came back looking better, which I reckoned was a good thing – just in case anyone wanted to ask more questions about how the dude got fucked up. I once got picked up by the cops for public fighting, and, believe me, it ain’t fun.
(That happened one night when I was 16: all the cops did was call Dad and tell him to come get me. Even though I kinda knew that was all that would happen, being driven away by the cops in cuffs is scary as fuck. Of course, they were probably trying to scare me. They succeeded lol. The fight’s a long story I’ll tell y’all another time, but you may want to know that I didn’t get in trouble with Dad when we got home. I got in the fight because I was standing up for one of my friends (it was Turner); that kind of fight was always ok with Dad. And, just in case y’all were wondering, yeah, I kicked that jerkoff’s ass lol.)
It took closer to an hour for someone to come out to get Keaton so he could give tonight’s jerkoff his car keys. When Keaton got back, he told me the dude was pretty tore up on pain medication and didn’t recognize him right away. Getting KOd usually means you’ve got a concussion, so they were keeping the jerkoff overnight in the hospital.
I was kinda tired since the beers were wearing off, but I was also hungry. So we headed off to the IHOP, where Alicia was surprised to see us coming in at 4:30 instead of our usual 2:45. Keaton told her some of the story in Spanish and she laughed. So I reckon he left out the serious injury part.
The rest of the night was pretty quiet. We didn’t talk too much over our steak, eggs and pancakes. That was the first time I’d seen Keaton in a real fight; it turned out just like I thought it would. He’s just one of those dudes you don’t fuck with. Usually you can tell that just by the way he looks at you, but some dudes don’t get the message.
One reason we didn’t talk is that we were both starving. Keaton even ordered a second stack of pancakes (which he got for free from Alicia.) I’d say that was because he worked up an appetite, but it’s not like he went 15 rounds with the jerkoff lol. I hadn’t busted a dude’s nose, but it had been a long night for me too and I worked up an appetite from all the excitement. It was almost six hours since I ate the last chili cheese tater tot at the Dog Haus.
“Fuck am I tired,” Keaton said when we got back into the truck. “Don’t tell me you’re going to church today.”
I always feel guilty when I don’t go, but I think with everything that had happened, I had an excuse to sleep in. Not that I could sleep in all that late: I still had to be at the store by 12.
“How are we going to find out how the dude is doing? We don’t even know his name.”
“Why should I give a fuck about what happens to that dumbfuck? His fucked up nose and concussion are his problem now.” Keaton had been careful not to give anyone his name at the hospital, although I reckon the dude could eventually have tracked him down through the bar. The Volcano doesn’t have too many 6’1″ 215# bouncers with thick Texas accents who wear cowboy boots.
On the other hand, Keaton did have a witness, and the dude did say something about having gotten what he had coming after he started the fight. He got his ass kicked and his nose busted fair and square.
When I got home, I decided I could use a beer before bed. It had been a long night…and, even if you’re just dropping off someone whose nose your buddy busted, hospitals are pretty dang stressful places. If you’d told me all this was going to happen when I headed out to cheer Sloppy Joe up, I might have stayed home and watched my Canadian TV show lol.
And one more thing about that Saturday night: I wasn’t going to tell Joyce anything about it. As far as she’s concerned, I was binge watching Due South until 4 AM.