I got shot in the leg last week. I live in Chicago, in the Hyde Park neighborhood, which traditionally doesn’t see a lot of shootings. Hyde Park surrounds the University of Chicago and the University Police Department is the third-largest armed force in Illinois. Hyde Park is where Barack Obama lived (about six blocks from me) before he had to take a job out of town. Cook County board president Toni Preckwinkle lives on my street. She controls about half of the patronage for the Chicago political machine, including jobs with the sheriff’s department. I’ve...

I got shot in the leg last week. I live in Chicago, in the Hyde Park neighborhood, which traditionally doesn’t see a lot of shootings. Hyde Park surrounds the University of Chicago and the University Police Department is the third-largest armed force in Illinois. Hyde Park is where Barack Obama lived (about six blocks from me) before he had to take a job out of town. Cook County board president Toni Preckwinkle lives on my street. She controls about half of the patronage for the Chicago political machine, including jobs with the sheriff’s department. I’ve walked all over Hyde Park at all hours for thirty years, un-shot the entire time.

But at 3:10 a.m. on Friday, I was walking home from a late-night writing session at a colleague’s apartment a block from my house. (I work as a games designer.) A car pulled up, and two guys with guns jumped out and aggressively requested my 2014 MacBook Air.

I wish I could say I carefully considered whether my life was worth more than a nine-year-old computer and (more importantly) a manuscript I hadn’t backed up, but I acted without thinking and ran. After six or seven shots, I felt a hard thump on the back of my right calf. Then the two geniuses remembered that stuff about the third-largest armed force in Illinois, jumped back into their car and tore off. I counted my blessings and let myself into my house.

It was then that I noticed an awful lot of blood on the floor around my foot. The gunshots had, it turned out, awakened my wife Sheila, who wondered if I knew what had happened. Suddenly I did. “I’ve been shot in the leg,” I told her. She called 911 and both sets of police — University of Chicago and Chicago Police Department — showed up almost immediately. In between questions, one of the cops put a tourniquet on my leg. I’ve heard since that if the tourniquet doesn’t hurt more than the bullet wound, it’s not on tight enough. This one was on tight enough.

Eventually, I got a moment to myself in the ambulance, where I hoped our cats hadn’t escaped while the police were wandering in and out of my front door. When I got to the hospital, they checked me in under a pseudonym for my own protection. (Opsec forbids me to reveal my cover name here, of course.) The very competent, very calm (not to say a little bored) trauma team rolled me over a few times to look for more bullet holes but found only two. The bullet went through, in and straight out, missing the bone and both major blood vessels. If you’re in the market for a gunshot wound, I recommend this one.

An orderly rested a cell phone on my chest so I could talk to my wife. Another put a toasty warm blanket on me and I considered taking a nap, but a pair of cops showed up to take my statement. They enjoyed the process so much that they brought in a Chicago police detective, who introduced herself as Detective Knight. “I’m mostly on the night shift,” she explained, which sounded to me very much like a sloppily written basic cable show: Knight Shift. We shared a good laugh about that. I hope. As she left I told her: “I hope your series gets picked up.” I’ve read since that symptoms of shock include confusion and light-headedness.

Eventually, the trauma team wheeled me into an emergency room where Sheila joined us and I discovered that she’d heard all of my conversation about my shooting and basic cable with Detective Knight. (Sheila believes I’ve been confused and light-headed most of the years she’s known me, so it’s OK.) By this point, I had come under the wing of Kayla, a pink-haired, bright-eyed nurse. I told her I thought I might want some pain medication. Kayla obliged, but then revealed her training in the George S. Patton school of trauma care: she wanted me to get out of bed and walk. I very much did not want to do that, but (unsurprisingly) Kayla won.

The resident physician showed up to nod at my leg intelligently. She gave me permission to mix acetaminophen and ibuprofen, which struck me as extremely thin gruel for a gunshot wound. In fairness, my babbling about cable TV and General Patton may have ruled out anything stronger. By 7:25 a.m., Kayla had tied my bandage and I was discharged into my neighbors’ Volvo.

When we returned home, the cats were fine. My wife’s demon cat had won the mental bet I made with myself by not lapping up the pool of my blood in the hall. Is any of this news? Chicago Man Shot In Leg? There were 2,600 shootings in the city last year. So instead I leave you with an unexpectedly gothic thought from pink-haired Kayla, which she shared with me as she adjusted one of my IVs: “I know people worry they’ve lost too much blood. Don’t worry, you keep making more. Just like tears.”

This article was originally published in The Spectator’s UK magazine. Subscribe to the World edition here.