One Note Missing (2) stepping off a bus into a brawl

April 9th

04:23 – MegaBus from Swansea to London. I've brought books but reading them makes me feel travel sick. I have a list of things to-do but it's four in the morning so there's no way. Instead I listen to a podcast about Jackie Chan. I'm not a massive fan of Jackie Chan's films, I've watched Rumble in the Bronx and a few others but I'm not a repeat offender. I learn about his strict and difficult schooling, the expertise of his stunt work (often disguised by his nice guy image) and how unlike Bruce Lee when Jackie throws a punch he often shows that it hurts his hand. After a night of broken coach seat sleep I wake up as we wind through Chelsea, cars parked along our route boast 'No 1' and 'No 2' as number plates. I flick the radio on, it auto-tunes and after the crescendo of violins the announcer tells us that today is National Siblings Day, he doesn't provide information on the day's origin (Hallmark? EU? UN?). It's not a bank holiday yet at any rate.

09:30 - Arrive at Victoria Coach Station. The cash point inside the station refuses to give me money. Twice.

09:34 – A Sainsbury's cash point is more helpful. I withdraw money and turn from the cash point to find myself arm's length away from a fight; punches flying, dull thuds, one fellah picks the other up around the waist and slams him into the pavement before repeatedly kick him in the face, it's chaotic, brutal and sustained. The street stops and traffic beeps as if they're cheering, no one intervenes except Myself and a woman. By her body language and tone of voice she knows them both.

The attack stops, the assailant and the girl disappear. The victim sways to his feet, he holds his face in his hands, he's confused and angry. I hear a mumbling about stolen money and his girlfriend disappearing with the attacker. He flys off in search for them. I stand on the pavement stunned as the violence dissolves back into the uninterested bustle of the street.

After 5 minutes the victim returns with his left eye hidden under swollen flesh. I approach him and take him into Sainsbury's to use their phone to call the police. The staff had 'seen something' through their shop window but 10 minutes after the attack no one in the store has thought about reporting it. The police arrive quickly, we make statements, the ambulance arrives and he gets seen to. It turns out the victim is homeless. The officer tells me that as part of the investigation if he goes missing legally someone needs to be notified as his next of kin. I agree to be contacted if need but the responsibility is taken off me when someone he knows bumps in to him and agrees to be his contact. There's nothing else I can do to help, its time to go. I leave him and his new next of kin and make my way towards Victoria Station on route to Lucy's Studio.

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