I was sitting drinking quietly at a table and idly watching three rough young men - builders I presumed, judging from the mess they were in - surrounding a drunk young girl beside the bar. Drunk or drugged, maybe. Perhaps both. She had a very short skirt, was slumping a bit, and I was pondering the thought that she might be a prostitute.
And then I heard the men laughing, quite loudly, and pointing at her and saying, 'Oh Jesus look at that!'
And then she turned a little towards me and I could see the reason for their laughter. She was knickerless, and with the little skirt riding up her thighs her vagina was exposed as a big puffy slit, and looking somewhat red and sore.
And then one of the men put his big hairy hand on her thigh, slid it slowly upwards, and then just shoved his finger into her, right up to the knuckle.
And his pals laughed out loud as the one who was inside the girl began to manipulate her a bit, the finger moving in and out as she looked at him, too drunk or doped to react properly, but sufficiently aware to say, 'Get out of me!', which he did.
And then as everyone in the pub watched, she slid from her stool and fell to the floor.
The barman walked wearily round from behind the bar, picked her up by the arms, and escorted her out of the door.
It was just another night in a rough pub.
Until, that is, about five minutes later, when I saw the girl wander in through the opposite door, stagger a little up to behind the big man who had been fingering her, lift up a pint glass from the bar, smash the top off of it, and thrust the jagged end into her assailant's back, around the kidney region.
That was what took the level of squalor and violence well beyond the usual, and as his blue and white striped shirt grew deep red the woman rather calmly smashed another glass, and I, and most of my fellow drinkers, headed quickly for the door.
Nobody died. Several people bled.
Then there were the two pretty and, I initially thought, rather civilized young girls who pulled up beside me in a car one afternoon and wound down the window. I stopped walking, expecting them to ask directions.
But as I bent towards the car the fresh-faced blonde in the passenger seat opened her blouse and showed me two bare breasts with very pink nipples.
'It's all for sale,' she said. 'You want some?'
And her companion, the driver, giggled, put her hand between her legs, pushed up a short skirt and said, 'Me too if you want.'
Her dark pubic hair was exposed, as I just smiled, backed away, and said, 'No thanks,' almost apologetically actually, as if I was declining the bland offer of a sales assistant.
Then there came the night when there was suddenly a noise through the wall of my bedroom, from a neighbour who never normally made a sound. There was just a female voice screaming, 'Ahhhhhh My baby! My baby! Oh Jesus my baby!'
I thought someone might be attacking a child, so I sat up, ready to go to the phone, but then there was just silence. Nothing. And in the morning I happened to walk past the woman, or at least I presumed it was the woman, and although her eyes seemed a bit red she just smiled weakly, as she normally did, and offered a quiet, 'Hi'.
Then there was the evening when I was walking away from my car and a scrawny little teenager called out, 'Hey pal, is this your car?'
I called back, 'Yes, Why?', when I was about thirty yards from him, and then had to watch as he calmly stuck a long blade into each nearside tire and ran off.
And yet we are the pinnacle of evolution, apparently, or of evolution on Earth at least, and just the pinnacle of evolution so far, which may not be very far at all ultimately.
But still... billions of years of atoms and molecules and ions bashing into one another, maybe, and interacting to make replicating chemicals and living cells and all manner of creatures entrapped within the endless horrors of life and death and predators and prey and driven by nothing other than the tendency of that which survives and reproduces to survive and reproduce some more, maybe...
I suppose it does make sense really, after all. We've done not too bad maybe, but we have a long way to go, perhaps.