The club looked larger and even more filled with people from the second floor. I had just being there for less than an hour and I already felt a little claustrophobic, even though the place could fit a large plane inside, without the party goers of course. Most of the people were dancing, or their version of dancing, while some others tried to talk over the music on the second floor. People went up there because it was the lounge section and it was supposed to exist in order to mingle with others and just have a great time only drinking but the sound was too loud, even though it shouldn’t be. Anyway, people did their best to talk but I was too tired of trying to understand anything so I decided to go to the bathroom.
I gave up to that fast as the line for the bathroom was very long and some people ere saying guys were fucking or something there so I just decided to exit, pee in the back alley and then come back in. I had a seal on my hand to do so I crossed the sea of dancing people on the ground floor and reached the door fast, as I felt more and more the need to go and pee. I finally went through the door, after having to push some guy flirting with this big hairy man, called bear in the gay slang.
The day had been a very hot one so the night was very refreshing, not excessively hot nor cold. Just a nice weather to go to where the dumpsters were and pee. I closed my eyes for a second; wanting to concentrate on not drinking any more liquids but then I heard something. It sounded like a moan or some kind of complaint. I finished peeing, put it all away and then stopped and made no noise. There it was again, someone sobbing or something. My first thought was thinking than some guys had decided to take a trip to the back alley and have some fun but if that was the case, I would have heard some other moaning or at least two people breathing and I could only hear one. I walked away from the main entrance of the club, to where many bags filled with people, others with other type of garbage, had been put into a large pile. Then, I saw who had made the noises and felt really guilty about thinking those were sex sounds.
As I had my cellphone with me, I called an ambulance right there. As I waited, I got closer to the guy: he had been beaten up pretty bad and was lying on the dirty floor, sobbing, incapable of saying a single word. Apparently, he was in a state of shock and couldn’t do more than just complain and sob. I tried to pull him out of the pile of garbage but he complained louder so I decided not to do anything. Then, I saw the light of the ambulance behind me and I stood up fast towards them, in order to tell them where the victim was. In no time, they had him on a stretcher and in the ambulance. I was about to turn around when of the paramedics told me they needed someone to go with him to sign papers and son. It could be anyone. So I went with them.
When we got to the hospital, I had to call my friends to tell me where I was but no one answered the phone. Of course, they were still inside the club and no cellphone, unless in front of their faces, would be noticed. A doctor came out to talk to me and told me they had to get the wounded guy to surgery. Apparently, the beating had been worse than imaginable and one of his lungs had been punctured. He had many broken ribs and was now hallucinating, babbling something that no one could really understand. I had to sign some papers saying it had been me who found him and that I had to be responsible for him for the time being. It felt like the right thing to do and, to be honest, it had been too shocking not to be both concerned and pissed about it.
I stayed in the hospital all night. A nurse called Anita was kind enough to give me a quarter in order to get a coffee from a machine. I talked to her while I drank it, telling her I had just found the guy in an alley and had no idea of who he was. She told me that he wasn’t the first gay guy to come in like that. At least five in the last few weeks and it was rumored to be a very violent gang who also assaulted immigrants and prostitutes. Every victim had survived except for the youngest one, who had died only a week before. I thought to myself that, those guys in the club, most would never live through that. Guess they were the lucky ones.
When the clock hit six in the morning, I was about to fall asleep right in the waiting room. I had nothing on me except my cellphone and wallet but nevertheless I had always been careful not to fall asleep where someone could take my things away. And after I had seen that night, I doubled my efforts not to fall asleep, even in a hospital. Thankfully, the doctor came out again and told me the surgery had been a success. He had to stay in the hospital to get better but he had been one of the lucky ones: other had been more brutally attacked and had tougher recoveries. The doctor also told me they had tried to locate his family and they had ben successful but they lived far away and, apparently, wouldn’t travel for their son.
When I heard that, my heart shrunk. I felt so bad for the poor guy, all alone in a hospital with a family unwilling to move from home for their victimized son. But, yet again, it wasn’t such an uncommon thing. I decided to go home and rest. Then, in the afternoon, I would visit him again. When I got home, I realized I had no keys so I had no other option than to wake up my flat mate. He was a weird guy and didn’t even say a word when he opened. He just went straight back to bed. I did the same, getting naked fast and into the covers, falling asleep in a heartbeat. My last thought went with the guy in the hospital, broken body but still alive. Was he awake? Was he wondering why that had happened to him?
When I visited later that afternoon, he seemed to be much better than the night before. And I felt very guilty about thinking this, but when I entered the room I almost choked, as I hadn’t realized how beautiful he was. He had short blondish hair and green eyes. He was tanned and very tall. Maybe that was why I couldn’t really move him from the garbage. He was very nice and thanked me for what I had done. He recognized, very openly, that his family was not coming and that he was going to try to get better fast in order to go back to his own place soon. He worked in a hotel as a lifeguard, also teaching tourists how to surf. His name was Michael but he told me to tell him Mike, so I did.
I visited Mike every single day for the following week, until he got better. We chatted for hours, even making nurses come to shut us up. He didn’t share the room but apparently we were too loud for a hospital. The saddest moment came when he confessed me that his main attacker had been a guy he had liked in the club and that he had tried to flirt with him. That’s why they went to the back alley and the other guy surprised him with two more guys and beat him up. Kicks, punches, insults… It all flew towards him and put him on the floor. The really sad part was that he told me that after the beating, the guy that he had flirted with had tried to rape him but that the other guys decided it was best to leave so they did.
It is very awkward to see a beautiful person sad or crying. I know this sounds bad but that’s what I thought after he told me his story. You just never think about someone that looks like a model in such a situation. Yet there was Mike, a short way from male perfection, beaten up by life. Anyway, we also chatted about nicer things, like our jobs and lives in general. As it happens, we had some people in common and he even recalled having seen me before but I had never seen him, I told him I would remember. Mike went red with this statement and told me that if I continued that way he would believe anything else I said. So we joked around with that and just became friends.
When he was released from the hospital, I drove him to his house and had him installed. One of his arms was in a sling and he couldn’t walk a lot or very fast but he was alive. That day we ordered chines food and I realized I couldn’t keep doing what I was doing. If it went on like that, I would fall in love with him or become obsessed or something and it would be uncomfortable for the both of us. So I decided to be a friend and nothing more. Sure enough, we did exactly that and in a couple of weeks he was dating some big muscular guy he had met at the beach. I was happy for him, mainly because he looked really happy, and it was the first time I saw him like that.
Me, I went on with my life too. No, I didn’t met anyone and no; I wasn’t in love with Mike. That would have been too easy. I just wondered, every time I looked at him, about some many things in life. My first thought was to ask myself why would anyone do that to another person? Is someone’s existence so unbearable you have to kick them and almost kill them? But then I also thought about me, about how alone I was and how easy it was for mike to just get back on his feet. It seemed unfair somehow that life and people favor some over others just because of their looks, for good and bad. My conclusion: it was all a tragedy.