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Unfiled November 13, 2002
 
Crusading eXile Journalist Maimed in Central Moscow
 
 
Flounder in hospital bed

The eXile's deputy editor, John "Flounder" Heisel, was brutally attacked outside of his home near the Novokuznetskaya metro station last Saturday night. He is currently in the ZiL hospital in the south of Moscow suffering from a brain contusion, a broken nose, broken sinus and several broken front teeth.

Heisel doesn't remember the attack. "There are a few minutes missing," he told the eXile editors. "I bought some stuff from the store down the street, then was walking back... and the next thing I knew I was standing near my apartment entrance bleeding from my face."

His wallet, passport, cell phone and even his jacket were stolen.

Heisel is the fourth eXile staffer to be brutally attacked in as many years.

He managed to stumble back to the store, where he said the workers knew him. They called an ambulance and took him to a nearby Russian hospital.

"The doctors there told me I was all right and sent me home. I had to drink a couple of shots with the guards on my way out. So I did."

The next morning, Heisel woke up early in pain. He called the American Embassy to tell them about his lost passport. They suggested that he go to the American Medical Clinic for a second opinion.

"It was hard getting a taxi with blood all over me," he said. "I had to pay 250 rubles."

Only at the AMC did the seriousness of his injuries come to light. They were worried that he might even have a brain hemorrhage.

"It could have been worse," said one doctor.

The AMC transferred him to the ZiL hospital on Ulitsa Bakinskaya, which they described as qualified and just as good as the Kremlin Hospital.

Heisel is confined to a "lux" room to himself. He has had two spinal taps. His nose was cleared of blood on Tuesday, leading Heisel to bemoan that "now I'll be able to taste the hospital food." On Wednesday doctors are planning to drain his broken right sinus. After that, they will set his broken nose.

Heisel is set to spend at least a week in the hospital.

"When it first happened, my first thought was, 'Fuck this, I'm going back home.' But now I realize I don't want to. This could happen anywhere. I plan on staying," he said.

We asked Heisel if there were any hot chicks in his hospital ward and what he thought his chances were of getting a handjob.

"I don't know. There's one nurse that's not so bad looking, but they haven't shown any sexual interest in me so far. I'm not sure how well I'd perform. I'm not allowed to move around much."

Even a handjob?

"Well, maybe. I don't know. We'll have to see."

With his black eye, swollen face, bloodied lip and cracked teeth, he stands a strong chance of earning a mercy job. Oddsmakers at Metelitsa put the chances at 95:1, but we at the eXile think it's closer to 92:1.

Flounder will probably not be with the eXile for awhile following the brain contusion. Sufferers usually are forbidden from reading, watching television, and especially taking hard narcotics, alcohol or engaging in acts of bestiality. Heisel says that for now, he can live without all of them.

"I just want to get better and get my teeth fixed," he said.

Is Moscow getting more dangerous, or are we just being more reckless?

Hard to say. For now our concern is for our tovarisch. It must be lonely as hell in that miserable hospital.

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