I know it’s been two months since I have posted here. The main reason has been two-fold, one I have struggled with some medical issues that have left me feeling weak and at times in a mental fog. The second has been due to personal issues, trying to get work done around the house and dealing with the problems that friendships can bring. Today I take to the keyboard due to a situation that occurred yesterday.
Depending on how I feel, and how far I have to walk, I will use a cane, a walker, or a wheelchair to get around. Normally if I am walking into the gas station to buy a soda and a pack of cigarettes, I will rely on my trusty wooden cane to make the dozen or so steps from the parking lot into the store. If I am making the long walk from the parking lot at the library or a local store I will use my wheelchair. Usually when I am at either of these locations I will spend a considerable amount of time wandering around either pursuing books or looking for what is on sale. The walker, that beastly aluminum monstrosity, is reserved for those days when I am weak legged and shaky yet know I will not be walking far. I mention my modes of ambulation to help the reader better understand two events that have occurred in the past two months.
A couple of months ago I was at my normal library branch, returning some books and DVDs when I had a run in with a young man. He was probably in his mid-thirties, old enough to have common sense and manners, and when I rolled up to the desk to drop my materials into the return items slots, he was standing there blocking the return area. I was sitting in my trusty wheelchair, and said “Excuse me” to him. He was talking loudly and rudely to one of the staff, turned and looked at me, and then continued to berate the elderly woman working behind the counter. I again said, “Excuse me,” hoping that he would step aside a foot or so, to enable me to drop my materials and be on my way. He turned to me, glared and said, “Motherfucker, can’t you see we’re talking!” If you know anything about me, you know that I am not one to suffer fools gladly. I looked up at him replying, “If you’d move your ass over a foot I could drop my stuff off and be on my way.”
This is when it turned ugly. This “man” standing with his elevenish year old son looked down at me and said, “Look ‘cracker’ you can fuckin’ wait.” I do not use racial pejoratives towards another for any reason, and with his “cracker” comment got pissed. I couldn’t resist replying, and told him if he moved his “stupid fucking ass” I could be on my way and not bother him. That’s when he told me that he would kick the “fuckin’ shit” out of me right there in the library. Again, not being one to back down from a confrontation, I told him to “bring it on” and that I would “knock the fuck out of him” right there in front of his kid. The young boy with him had more sense than his father, grab the dad and dragged him away, all the while saying, “Dad, it’s not worth it.” Father and son retreated into the stacks and I went about my business. Of course this made the rounds in the library, and the library system, and on my next visit I was stopped by nearly every library staff person and thanked. It seems that this person has a habit of trying to bully the staff every time he comes to the library.
The second incident occurred yesterday, August 24th. I was pulling into my local gas station to buy some cigarettes and a soda when a young woman (late teens, early 20’s) came flying into the parking lot, pulled into the handicapped spot and another spot, and went into the store. Having the disabilities that I have, and having a son that is also disabled, I am very militant about people parking in handicapped parking when they do not have the proper placarding or plates. I went into the store, and since it was a short walk I was using my cane. I came across the woman, and said to her, “Nice job on parking in the handicapped spot and taking up another spot.” My hope was to both embarrass her, and make her aware of her selfishness. This effort was lost on the woman, and she replied, “Whatcha gonna do about it motherfucker?” Her answer surprised me, and truthfully caught me off guard. She kept getting up into my face, repeating, “Whatcha gonna do motherfucker? You gonna call the cops, bitch?” After thirty to sixty seconds of listening to her screaming I finally had enough and told her, “Bitch, get out of my face!” That’s when she threw her sodas on the ground, and told me something to the effect that I was “dead.”
She ran out the store, and I went to get my soda before getting in line. As soon as I finished filling my cup, I turned and there she stood with her boyfriend. She was pointing at me, and told her boyfriend, “That’s the motherfucker! Beat that fuckin’whities ass!” I stood there holding my soda and cane looking at the two of them. As I attempted to walk past them I said, “I don’t need your fucking shit. Get out of my face.” That’s when the boyfriend shoved me backwards. I pushed him back to get by him, and as I walked past him, he hit me in the back of the head. This sent the soda and cane flying. I am NOT one to walk away from a fight, and if you have ever been in the military, law enforcement or any other “combat” type situation, you know there is no such thing as a fair fight.
I grabbed this 20ish year old man, and threw him into the display rack. The female started to punch me, so I grabbed her around the neck with one arm, and had him against the rack by the throat. My intentions were to choke out both of them, and end the fight right then and there. Unfortunately, the floor had become wet from my soda, I started to lose my footing and slip. I ended up letting go of the female, and she proceeded to pick up my cane, hitting me in the head with it. After about the fourth or fifth hit I remember thinking to myself, “This bitch hits hard.” I don’t remember how many times she hit me, but eventually it made me let go of her boyfriend, and I fell to the floor. I could hear the store staff yelling that they were calling the police, and this pair of criminals (there is no other word to describe them) kicked and stomped on my head several times before they attempted to flee the store. I wasn’t done yet, and grabbed a hold of the male’s leg before he could escape. As I said, there is no such thing as a fair fight. I grabbed him around the ankle, and proceeded to bite through his jeans, most likely taking a chunk out of his calf. My thinking, as I was fading into semi-consciousness was that there would definitely be some mark on him for the police to identify him.
After that, things pretty much blurred out until the medics arrived.
The police arrived, getting statements from the store staff and from me as I sat in the ambulance. During the time we were waiting for the police to finish their investigation, the woman and man called 911 and told the police that I attacked them. The investigating officer came to me, and asked again what had happened, and again I told him that the entire fight started over the handicapped parking. He asked if I had pulled a knife on the couple, I do carry several with me at all times, but I had not. The couple was with other police officers several blocks way, and telling the police that I attacked them and pulled a knife. The officer told me to sit tight, as if I was going anywhere strapped to a gurney. He went into the store and reviewed the video tapes, and came back to the ambulance. He opened the back door, looked at me and said, “Dude, you got your ass kicked.” I laughed and said, “No shit, I was there.” I asked him what was going to happen, and he said if I was willing to press charges, the pair was going to jail. I told him that worked for me.
The ambulance transported me to Wishard Hospital, and after sitting in the hallway for an hour or so I was finally moved into the triage area. The right side of my face was swollen, my jaw was out of alignment, and my right eye was blurring in and out. I had multiple contusions on the left, right, and back side of my head. Cuts all over my face, neck and shoulders. Plus a headache from hell. A C-Scan revealed no broken bones, but I did sustain, what the doctor called, “pits” in the bones of my face. Probably caused my having my head stomped on.
After being released from the hospital a friend picked me up to drive me home. I asked him if we could stop at the gas station (yes the same one as the fight), I still needed (wanted) cigarettes and a soda. When I got inside, the clerk, who recognized me as a regular, asked if I had heard about the “big fight.” I looked at her and told her I was the big fight.
Since all this happened yesterday, I have been chastised by my daughter, “Papa, you need to back down, you can’t fight like you used to.” My close friends think I am nuts, perhaps they are right. I still have a swollen face, broken glasses, half-dozen or so lumps on my head from my cane, and a hell of a headache.
I write all this not to disparage any particular racial or ethnic group. Violence truly knows no bounds or group. I write this because I have noticed a growing trend towards racially or ethnically related violence, especially among a younger generation. The media is full of stories of young groups of men and women roaming communities and attacking people for no other reason than they are of a different color or ethnicity. A generation has come up that knows no societal boundaries. They take seething anger out on the weak, perceived or actual. They do not value life, privacy or the rights of others to live life in peace. My fear is that there is a coming tsunami of violence that is going to sweep this country, and the loss of life and property will be extensive.
Last night as I packed my face and head in ice a friend asked me if the beating was worth it. I told her yes. There are things worth fighting for: respect for others, your country and community, your family and friends, and the right to live your own life without having to fear violence from a malcontent. The only way we will save our communities is for everyone, and I mean everyone, regardless of age, race, sex, color, creed, etc., to stand up and tell bullies, gang-bangers, thugs, criminals, and others that wish to destroy our way of life that we will NOT be sheep led to the slaughter. The fifty-seven men that signed the Declaration of Independence swore at the end of the document, “[W]e mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” It is time for the people of this country to remember this pledge, and be willing to stand up to those that would subject us to laws of anarchy and violence.