Archives for posts with tag: Violent Man

Pain and Pain Pills: My Story
I’ve been putting off posting this story for eighteen months. Why? I haven’t felt ready to tell it. I feel ready now. Sort of. I’ve been putting off posting this story for the last week. I’ve got good excuses: wrapping up end of the year business, initiating start of the year business.
So here goes.
From the moment I woke up in the Recovery Room of a Big Urban Hospital in July 2018, I was all fired up on writing a memoir tentatively titled, “Sticks & Stones Will Break My Bones.” Lying on a gurney, my head swirling with the powerful aftermath of the general anesthetic, I got the title, a book outline, chapter titles, topics I needed to research (and have since researched for the most part), and a statement I wanted to make about the facts of the Attack, facts from the official police report and, later, the preliminary hearing. I wanted to make a statement about where we, as an American society founded on the principles of free debate and free speech, stand today.
The project sprang whole into my head. I was so fired up, I wanted to write complete a draft in a month. Typical me—always asking impossible things of myself. When I got home from the Big Urban Hospital in three days (that’s another story in the memoir), I asked my husband to set up my laptop on my bed. Which he did. In the few waking hours I had at that time, I sketched out the memoir as I’d envisioned it. When I was able to get up out of bed and sit on my Internet chair, I downloaded much of the research, plus bought books relevant to the topics I wanted to cover.
Now it’s eighteen months later and various factors have cooled my ardor to write the memoir, including people’s attitudes and interactions on Facebook. I’ve copied those interactions off the Internet for future illustrative use (with the names changed, the exact words edited). These attitudes and interactions constitute proof positive of the statement I wanted to make.
The facts are the facts.
But the virulence of these attitudes and interactions, the times we’re living in, have considerably slowed my pace. It may be that writing the memoir has depressed me. It may be that not being able to walk, to move the way I used to, has depressed me. What me, depressed? In any case, I’ve got several new stories to write and publish, and several new novels to finish up several of my series which are presently incomplete. I can’t afford to be depressed.
So now is the time to go back to the beginning and tell the story of my pain and the pain killers while those memories are still kicking around in my brain. My story is relevant today because, of the many crises in this country, my story has to do with the opioid crisis. National Geographic Magazine ran an article in January 2020 issue, “A World of Pain” by Yudhijit Bhattachartee with the subtitle, “Scientists are unraveling the mysteries of pain and exploring new ways to treat it.”
So here goes: To catch you up, if you haven’t been following my story.
On July 11, 2018, a sunny afternoon with the dog walkers, moms with strollers, bicyclists, and joggers everywhere, a man burst out of the flowering bushes at East 12th Street and Lake Merritt Boulevard and confronted me as I was power-walking on the sidewalk.
He tried to beat me up, I fended him off, then he shoved me into the street in front of two lanes of oncoming traffic. I shuffled my feet to avoid crashing into the cars, but the impact of his shove made me lose my balance, and I fell hard on street curb, fracturing my right hip in three places and breaking my thigh.
The police apprehended the Attacker, I identified him, then I was taken by an ambulance to a Big Urban Hospital, where I underwent three hours’ of surgery under general anesthetic. (There’s much more to it, but that’s another story.)
I was anxious to get out of the Big Urban Hospital as soon as possible. I was aware of the deadly hospital infection which plagues all hospitals regardless of their best efforts. Three months before, a former editor of mine and a renowned writer in Philadelphia had gone into a hospital for a minor procedure and died, shockingly, unexpectedly, in two days’ time of a massive infection.
On the third day after the surgery, I was running a fever of 102 degrees. I refused more fluids by IV, demanded to be released. The surgeon discharged me, and I was sent home with a walker and a big brown paper bag of pills.
Before I left, a nurse sat me down on the side of the bed and went over the single-spaced one-page printout with me, detailing instructions about taking the pills and what they were for. Most of the pills seemed ridiculous to me and not on point with what was ailing me. When I got home, I threw them all away except one.
This was the bottle of sixty hydrocodone pills, to be taken every four hours for pain. The printout had the same instructions as the label on the bottle, and as the nurse had lectured me.
For the rest of the story about my experience with pain pills, join me on my Patreon page at and help me after the Attack. I’ve posted delightful new stories and previously published stories, writing tips, book excerpts, movie reviews, original healthy recipes and health tips, and more!
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This is my memoir-in-progress about a man’s violent criminal attack on me on a sunny summer afternoon, the most terrible thing ever to have happened to me. Bast Books will publish the finished book; this is a work in progress. After I woke up from three hours of surgery, I received a blazing vision of this book. I wanted to write what I had to say in a month. I worked out an extensive outline with paper and pencil on a clipboard while recuperating in bed. I had my husband bring in and hook up my laptop so I could continue writing, also in bed. As soon as I was barely able, I got out of bed, sat down at my Internet computer, and did much research.
Now it is over a year later, and I’m still sorting out my thoughts, my research, my reactions. Other people’s reactions, too. There are many facts—controversial facts—that may figure into my story.
This will be difficult for me. But I’m working the writing out exclusively on Patreon, with introductory blogs on WordPress. When the memoir is finished and polished, I will give you, my Patrons on Tier Four, the ebook of the memoir (and all of the rest of posts on the Tiers, of course.) And then I’ll start something new.
And so….
Sticks and Stones Will Break My Bones
Copyright 2019 by Lisa Mason
After the Attacker shoved me into the street in front of two lanes of oncoming traffic, and I shuffled my feet to prevent myself from crashing into a car, and I fell on the concrete street curb on my hip. Heard my scream strangely echoing.
After all that, I calmly sat up, saw my cap and sunglasses from where they’d fallen in the gutter, and picked them up.
In retrospect, I’m amazed how calm and rational I was. In retrospect, too, when I looked at the videos that the police took with their body cameras and the still photos, I’m screaming in pain and clearly in shock.
It’s odd that I don’t remember that at all. Other than my strangely echoing scream, I remember being calm and rational. I don’t remember the pain.
Three bicyclists immediately surrounded me with their bikes, shielding me from the Attacker. (Later, I saw the bicyclists standing around the scene on the police videotapes, so I didn’t imagine that.) I looked to my left and saw the Attacker striding down the sidewalk along Lake Merritt Boulevard, still yelling. He rushed at another woman with long, dark hair. She’d been approaching me on the sidewalk, witnessed the Attack, and backed away from him in a hurry.
Then he advanced on a young white man with blond hair holding a skateboard to his chest. The white man brandished his skateboard defensively, and they exchanged yells. I couldn’t see much of the confrontation, because the Attacker had his back turned to me at that point, but the white man shouted, “Give me back my skateboard.” I saw the Attacker run down the switchback, holding the skateboard, toward the lake.
Two women rushed over to me with their cellphones. One called 911, summoning the police and an ambulance. The other called my husband, who was just getting home. He ran outside, intending to jog around the lake to the crime scene, which I described to him. Luckily a neighbor was just pulling out of her driveway and drove him in two minutes to where I lay in the street.
Meanwhile, a kindly man knelt behind me, offered me water, and advised me to lean against his chest. He said he lived at 1200 Lakeshore, and I told him it was beautiful building.
I tried to stand up again, could not. My legs were like water, and the right leg lay at that tell-tale odd angle.
We waited for what seemed like a long time—it was rush hour and the police and ambulances were busy with car accidents on the freeways, I suppose.
Finally, a police car pulled up, a tall handsome black-haired officer climbed out, and took my story as fast as I could tell it. He immediately got back in his car and sped away. We all looked at one another like, “What was that?” and in another minute, police cars were speeding around the lake with their sirens on.
Another police car stopped next to the scene of the Attack, another white police officer got out, and took my full story. He asked for my name, address, phone, and email, asked did I have an ID.
I carry a little card case stocked with Author’s business cards in my jogging bag (you never know when you may connect with a new reader!) and gave the police officer several cards so I wouldn’t have to repeat the information.
Much later, I found out that the police officer had been videotaping me. He took my business card, with a nice little photo of me and the legend “Author”, clipped the card to his clipboard on a report that said, “Victim # 1.”
Several police cars and an SUV pulled up. I saw a police officer interviewed the woman with long, dark hair. She was pointing toward the bushy hill where the Attacker had been standing.
At last an ambulance arrived. My husband got in the front with the driver. Two emergency medical technicians lifted me, screaming in pain (there’s a nice police photo op of that), onto a gurney and loaded me inside. They closed the rear doors.
An EMT, a tough older man, quizzed me about my prior health conditions (none), my allergies (none), my smoking and drug use (none). When I tried to prop my right leg up, he said, “Forget it.”
In the interval, the police had apprehended the man who Attacked me on the other side of the lake and asked if I wanted to identify him.
“He can’t see you,” the EMT assured me. (Did you know that ambulances have one-way mirrors on the rear windows? You can see out, but the Attacker can’t see IN.) A police officer brought the Attacker, handcuffed and struggling, to the ambulance doors.
“That’s him,” I said at once. I had no doubt whatsoever that was him. The EMT told me the man had also accosted a police officer in the course of the arrest (actually, the EMT told me the man had bitten the police officer). That information remained hearsay until later when I verified through the District Attorney the man had accosted several other victims, including a police officer.
To the Hospital
* * *
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