It is said that when you are about to die your life flashes before your eyes. Well I can attest to the fact that for me at least this was true. It is a nice crisp fall night in 1981. Friday night to be exact and I’m getting ready to go to bed. Its around 11 o’ clock and my roommate Scott decides that he’s hungry and in need for a sandwich so off he goes down the stairs and around the corner to the Arab deli to get something between two slices of bread. 20 minutes pass and I think that he’s been gone an awfully long time, I mean he just went around the corner to get a sandwich, but I don’t really give it much thought as I get undressed for sleep. My bedroom opens into the kitchen and there is a door in the kitchen that leads to a long hallway and the large metal door that leads to the world outside the loft. I hear Scott’s key in the door, and I wait for him to come in, so he can piddle around in the kitchen before I turn out the lights. His bedroom is through another door that leads to the rest of the loft including the living room and my studio. I’m expecting only Scott but as he enters I see that there are two large African American men standing along side of him. At first I think they are friends of his, which of course is ridiculous and then I see that one of the guys is holding a box cutter to his throat. Scott’s cheek is cut and bleeding slightly. I freeze. They freeze and our night of horror begins. I’m trying to be real calm and as I recall I do a pretty good job of it, especially since I’m only in my jockey shorts. “Ok everything is cool, just don’t hurt him, take what you want and go please.” Time comes to a halt and the long night begins. They have already taken the bag that held the sandwich and are munching on it, as they push Scott into the bedroom with me, and start to tie us up. As one does this the other goes into the refrigerator and starts flinging stuff all over the floor. Pigs I think to myself. “Can I please put some clothes on I ask” “Go ahead but don’t try anything funny.” They are older guys. “We just got out of prison,” one of them says, and I have no doubt about that. “Hey where are der women” one asks, “what are you homos?” “They just left, the women just left” I say Great now I’m worrying about being raped by these two freaking animals. Scott is quiet, and I’m starting to get angry with him for dragging me into this mess. It’s his fault I think. Why didn’t he tell them downstairs that there were a lot of people upstairs, that there was a big nasty dog waiting on the other side of the door, why why why did he allow himself to get mugged again. This is the third time he’s been mugged since moving to the city. He’s very muggable, slight, small, nerdy and very vulnerable. This would never have happened to me I think to myself. One of them has to pee and he does this on the floor of my bedroom, on the clothes that he threw off the chair. I’m tempted to ask him to please not pee on my books but I hold my tongue, because he might out of spite let his stinking yellow stream flow on my wonderful books that fill several bookcases in my bedroom. Funny what goes though your mind at terrible times. They take my cigarettes and turn on the television. Channel 13 comes on and the movie “Blithe Spirit” is playing and I think to myself that just a few nights ago me and Scott watched this delightful film and laughed ourselves silly, now it was there to mock us. Maybe these will be the last images that I will ever see. Maybe I was on my way to ghostville like Kay Hammond in the movie. One of them cuts me on the leg. Not a terrible cut, but I’m still shocked by this. I would like to kill this guy but I can’t. I’m tied up and I think my chances of getting through this are 50-50. That’s when the life flashing thing starts. I see my mother pushing me down the street in a stroller, and then the front page of the New York Times comes up like a montage in an old Hollywood movie. I see my obit on the front page. Wow not bad I think. “Young artist murdered”. This is not the way I want to get in The New York Times. Then I see my mother crying and I’m jolted back to reality by them pulling stuff from drawers, and making a mess all over the place. God I wish they would just leave. They take my coat, cut the antenna cable attached to the TV thinking that they are destroying the TV. God are they stupid. They don’t realize that there is another big part of the loft beyond the door that luckily Scott closed before going out for his fucking sandwich. They think that the kitchen and bedroom are the whole apartment. They’re leaving. In a second they are gone, and Scott and me untie ourselves from their not very tight bonds and call the cops. I ask Scott what time it is and he says “around 3 in the morning”. I can’t believe how long they were here. The cops arrive one black, one white, I can actually see how hurt the black one is when I answer their question about what race they were. “We’re lucky to be alive,” they say. I think that if those two were young black or white men we wouldn’t have survived the night. These guys were older and tired. I don’t think they had it in their heart to really hurt us, but I hate them anyway and wish them dead. News reaches close friends and several arrive at dawn to give us support. A few are in tears realizing how close we came to being killed. A few weeks later I’m walking along 7th avenue near 14th street, and I see the two guys leaning against a doorway. “Hey man” one says. I freeze in my tracks as I realize that it is them. They suddenly realize who I am and off they run as I frantically look for a cop. Of course none are around. I decide to leave New York and I start looking for a teaching job outside the city.