I did not have many confrontations on the streets in the South simply because I did not mix and mingle with anybody, kept to myself trying to quell the demons in my head. Portland was a different story, there were a lot of homeless folks.
This is a story about the one of the few time punches were thrown. They landed on me of course, but I did not mind; I was playing the White Knight you see.
My dad, once I was in my teens and he had quit drinking, used to tell me stories about his bar days. He came too once, out of a black-out rage, with his hands around some poor fella’s neck. The bartender had used a beer mug across the back of my dad’s head as a means of bringing him around.
I took a couple of shots to the head the other day myself breaking up a fight between a young couple who like meth. It started with them screaming, and I mean screaming, at each other in front of McDonald’s. I grabbed him once there when he looked like he was going to lose it. He is a wiry little shit and stronger then I thought, so rather than putting him on the ground I let him go.
Ever try logic with people who are really going at it? My pleas to have them separate for a while until things cooled down went entirely unnoticed. Finally the woman took off on her bike, but said something that made him mad, so he chased her for a block and they started screaming at each other again, once she got off the bike. He was really crowding her space and she pushed him back. Then he grabs her, so I run across the street, grab him and throw him off.
He tells me to let him go I say,” Not this time, not until she is gone.” So he threatens to hurt me. That is when I took a couple of punches from short range until I got him secured against the wall. Anyway, for a brief second there I felt a sort of blind rage run through me, in that instant I would have done anything it took to end the guy. I am glad it passed quickly.
Once she had taken off, he calmed a bit, started crying and said she was saying untrue things about him. I was meditating on things trying to calm down and the thought kept coming that my actions were power based, which is true. I completely lost it and was screaming as loud as they were at the end of it.
They took me out of my peace by taking deep into my childhood past. My parents used to yell at each other more or less every day. As a kid you feel powerless to stop your family from falling apart, no matter how desperately you want to.
So my actions including, that rage moment, were just unexpressed desperation from my younger days, trying to change things and people that didn’t want to change.
Man that kind of thing can really feed the ego. The sidewalk was really crowded when all this was going on; guys in suits were coming up to me and telling me what a great thing I had done, shaking my hand. Next day a woman who had watched things go down and looked like she had been through some similar things in her own life, handed me five bucks and thanked me profusely.
A while back I had the thought that when I became peaceful on the inside, there would be peace around me in the outside world. That obviously hasn’t happened yet, but I was grateful for the moment because it allowed me to process and release some childhood dust.
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