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Kris Leenim, Visual Merchandiser

"I can’t leave. I just wouldn’t like living anywhere else."

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That’s a nasty scar on your head. What happened?
A couple of months ago I was D.J.-ing at a bar called 2A in the East Village. At about 1:30 in the morning, I was walking over to a deli to get more cigarettes. The next thing I know, I’m waking up in a hospital a day later, with a titanium plate in my skull.

My God, that’s horrible.
Yeah, apparently someone hit me on the back of the head, and my head smashed down on the curb. My necklace, wallet, and shoes were all taken.

Were the shoes special for some reason?
No, they were just $20 Toms. My wallet had like $300 in it, cause I’d just gotten paid from my gig. When I woke up, I was all disoriented and tried to take out my IV and leave the hospital. I had—oh jeez, what’s it called?—bleeding of the brain. I was in Bellevue for a month.

What was it like when you got out?
It was pretty hard. The first thing I did I probably shouldn’t have done. I went to go see a My Bloody Valentine show, but there were a shitload of people there and it was just too intense. I had an anxiety attack; it wasn’t smart of me to go having just gotten out of the hospital. But they’re one of my favorite bands and they hadn’t played in years.

Do you feel unsafe in New York now?
You know, I’ve never been mugged before and I’ve lived here my whole life. I grew up in Brooklyn Heights, and when we were young, kids used to steal our shell-toed shoes, but no one was trying to kill you. I feel like this was just bad timing and bad luck.

So you’re not thinking about leaving?
There’s no way. I can’t leave. I just wouldn’t like living anywhere else.

Has it changed the way you view your life?
I can’t really think about it. I just kind of move on.


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