Turns out this book I’m writing is a lot more about confrontation that I had originally suspected. The writing is very organic, not planned at all, and this is just one thing that’s taken me by surprise. So, with this in mind, I thought I’d write about fighting. I’ve been presented with fighting, both literal and figurative, and thought this might be a good time.
I was at Wienerschnitzel with Sean recently… I took a booth when a kid jumped in and then jumped out again, and I stuck my tongue out at her as if I was playing along. I can get a bit silly like that but the girl seemed to have fun, so… I thought nothing of it… for about a second… when her father stepped up, about an eighth of an inch away from me, and said, “Did you just stick your tongue out at my daughter?” This guy was about six feet tall, 250 pounds, which is coincidentally what I am… but, with him, it was all muscle.
I’m about to get beat up, I realized.
I’ve done a pretty good job not getting into any fights for a long, long time so, I figured, I was due. But I was shocked to hear my voice say, “Don’t worry, man. I was just kidding. It’s okay.”
That’s good… nice and patronizing…
“You don’t stick your tongue out at my daughter,” Brutus growled.
Again, the voice came, “We were just playing around. Nothing serious. It’s okay.” I was so damned reassuring. I knew that, any second now, my face would get very bruised.
You know what he did?
He walked away.
I thought, “How did that happen?”
“I thought he was going to kick your ass,” Sean’s hoarse voice told me.
“My too,” I agreed.
You just never know.
Now, don’t get the wrong idea. I wasn’t spoiling for a fight. In fact, I often think I should be more willing to fight. Not just to defend myself but to fight for things I believe in… or to fight for my friends, even when they’re the people I should fight.
Case in point: Tim Clostio.
Tim was the best man at my wedding. He’s one of my best friends in the world, a favorite for #1. Vicky and I have known for a while that Tim’s had a drinking problem. When I was going through the worst years of my life, drinking with Tim helped me get through. But I stopped needing to drink when I got over Rosa. Tim, on the other hand, never found a reason to stop.
Recently, we thought he was doing better. He changed jobs, reduced his stress, and he said he’d stopped drinking, with the exception of a couple drinks on the weekends.
This weekend, I found out he’s been lying. I drove down to his house to find out that his drinking is horribly out of control. And I just didn’t know what to do.
Mind you, I’ve tried talking to him over and over – but he refuses to recognize any problem. It’s an old story, but it’s a true one.
The part that makes me feel even more guilty is his relationship with Sean Roberson. Sean was the best man at my first wedding and he self-destructed on booze… now, it appears to be Tim’s turn.
And I just got so sick of it, I got in my car and left, angry at Tim for taking my friend away and replacing him with this pathetic lush.
It’s hard to know when it’s the right time to fight or what is the right reason. I’m not sure if, in either case, it would have done any good.