I've been thinking about fighting a lot lately. How fighting is such a meaningful activity, and how I'm really sorry I have been mostly deprived of the experience of feeling my fists pummel a kids face, or having the wind forced from my lungs by the knee of an opponent. Obviously, there is something really really great about fighting. I'm just not entirely sure what it is.
I think I have been sort of a coward for a lot of my life. I've never been a big fan of confrontation, which unfortunately happens to be an integral part of the fighting experience. I just don't get riled to the point where I think the only answer is to deal pains and injuries and bruises with my fists. I am typically okay with the idea of dealing out verbal mockery, and shaming a person into submission, rather than hitting.
I think, over the last several years, I have been under the influence of the thought that "I'm an adult, and it sure is embarrassing when adults fight." But secretly, whenever I am with a friend who I know beyond a doubt could protect me from just about anyone, I always secretly want someone to pick a fight with us. Then I could participate, but not be counted upon to deal the major damage. But it never happens.
In fact, I have only been in four fights in my entire life, three of which occurred in the second grade. There was this kid named Chad. He had some older friends who were coaxing him into battling me. He then attempted to punch me in the face. I ducked, quick as a quail, and followed with a few feeble pops to his cheeks/forehead. At which point, he crumpled to the earth and yelled that he had had enough. This happened thrice, and, feeling rather full of myself, I told my mother that I was sick of beating him up. We had a nice pow wow with my teacher, and all anger issues were resolved. Really, I should have continued kicking his ass every day for as long as possible, as the next time I would fight, I would take a rather stellar beating.
As soon as Wesley’s fist met my upper cheek/eye, and the back of my head consequentially slammed into the locker, I knew that not running away had been a poor life decision. Again, this fight had been utterly pointless, and caused by older guys putting him up to it. For like, three weeks he had been asking me when we were going to fight. And, for three weeks, I had managed to avoid the conflict. I had begun to carry around a small Old Timer knife, under the delusion that I would just pull it out and threaten to cut his head off if he managed to get me cornered. For some reason, things just never quite play out as you expect. Especially involving knives and threatening to cut someone’s head off.
“So, we gonna fight today Fish?” I was getting sick of that question. “Hold on. Let me put my bag in my locker.” At least he was a gentleman about it. As I slowly entered in the combination, I realized in horror that I had forgotten my blade. So much for threatening to decapitate him. I threw my bag in the locker, and turned around. About twenty people had gathered. Heart in my throat, I sort of squared up and put my fists about chest level, as the “Kick his ass Wesley!” chants began. And then my neck was snapping back, and I was wondering whether I could get away with punching him in the dick. After two or three more well placed blows to my facial region, I sort of flailed my arms at his face in a desperate attempt to inflict come sort of damage. I think I slapped him in the ear. He then proceeded to pummel me twice more, and then a teacher walked around the corner. At that point, everyone dispersed, and I reopened my locker. I did a pretty good job of holding it together until I entered the locker room and cried like a baby bitch. It was my pride more than anything that had been wounded.
So since that time, I have been very hesitant to re-enter the world of fighting. I just remember thinking, as fist met cheek bone, "Holy shit. So that's what this feels like. This is about 75% worse than I expected."
I thought I came close recently. I was with a friend late in the eve in the Beto's drive-thru line. The line seemed forever long, and I needed to urinate. So I decided to exit the vehicle, run around the corner in an apartment complex parking lot, and piss on a wall. Upon rounding the corner, and undoing my belt and unzipping my pants, I noticed a guy walking out of a parking garage in my direction. There was an alley way about 10 yards away from me, so I jogged over to it.
Upon entering said alley, the guy yells, "Hey! What are you doing!"
I yelled, "Is there a problem?"
He yelled back, "What are you doing back there?"
I thought, is this my chance? Will this turn into a fight? Am I willing to push his buttons over a great place to urinate? Do I really want to fight with a full bladder? What if I get punched in the lower abdomen, and I pee?
I decided to push a tiny button. "What the hell is the problem?"
"I'm a deputy sheriff."
So I walked over, and he asked what I was doing back there. I said, "Well, honestly, I was looking for a place to piss. Seemed like a good idea at the time."
He said, "Oh. Well. People are back there some times. I'm really tired, I've been working 72 hours."
I said, "Oh. I just need to pee."
He said, "Well, if you go back around over there, there are some rocks. You can pee back there."
I'm glad we didn't fight, because the reality is, I'd have probably ended up with a couple of black eyes and pants soaked in urine.