Arcade Violence

Thursday night cops sounding sirens down the main street to stop a brawl between a boy who had his face mauled by a rottie when he was young and a boy whose father was a reformed criminal, until he got back into the life. On the way down cop one says to cop two after this we gotta get something to eat cause I haven’t eaten all day and the other replies that yeah well I been drinkin since lunch time and got the shakes see look at this I can’t stop the shakes here, bad. People with wide open eyes and yelling mouths keep tooting horns and trying to break the fight up from their cars cause they’re too scared to get out now that others bigger than the boys have taken sides and it’s moved into traffic. Punches are exploding all round. Somebody says you black cunt and gets knocked down by an Islander kid with arms bigger than his body and he’s rolling round crying but the punch thrower doesn’t stop kicking him, and some others in bright orange council vests have stopped punching and are trying to pull him away from the kid. They’re losing. While the boy with the chewed up face has brought out a fish gutting knife and he’s saying c’mon, c’mon while the other kid with the bad past is trying to pick his teeth up from the gutter. Now the blue light is trying to flash through the traffic, but it’s stuck by the rubber neckers and interjecters. An ambulance pulls up behind the cops. Inside the ambulance the two ambos sit with black rings under their eyes, exhausted and thinking least this will be easier than a heart attack victim, but the chances of getting attacked are greater. Seated by the window of a cheap but classy restaurant, a mother has stopped feeding her young son lasagna and covers his eyes, whispering it’ll be ok soon, it’ll be alright.

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