Writing 101 – Day One Challenge
‘Free-Write for 20 minutes then publish the stream of consciousness.’
I don’t really know what this means. Every time I try to free-write it always ends up looking like a dear diary post. Well if that what the goal of this post is, then by all that is good, I will OWN it!!
That sounds pretty big coming from a guy who feels like he’s lost all semblance of gumption in his life.
Some people who know me, know that recently I was the victim of an assault while sitting in my car outside of a local bar which sent me to an emergency room overnight. I won’t get into the gory details, but it took two days to get the blood off of my car. The reason I bring this up is that I didn’t fight back. Not one defensive wound. In fact I remember briefly waking up while the EMTs hoisted me into the ambulance. I clenched my fist out of pain and the EMT telling to unclench because it makes them nervous, and I remember thinking, “Why? If I didn’t even hit this guy why would I hit the people taking care of me?”
Some of the biggest changes in my life have come from getting knocked out. Some punks at the school yard near my house dislocated my jaw when I was about 12, and that got me into Kenpo. Some jerk mugged me barely a year ago, I chased him down and got my wallet back, after he tried to lay me out with a clean right hook. I didn’t fall down. I just leaned back with the impact of his punch and then put out my hand. He dropped the wallet and ran. The cop who finally came told me:
“At least we know you can take a punch”
I’ve made the comment before, while amongst friends, that it feels like I’ve getting shit on a lot the last few years. Some have commented that I might be alcoholic, or just too nice, or some other advice-like platitude. I know I struggle with drinking too much and maybe that’s all it takes to be an alcoholic (I freely admit that 23-25 was a whiskey blur) but I’ve cleaned up a lot and still take care not to be obviously stupid when I go out.
What gets me in my craw, is that I’ve never hit back. Never. While there is something to be said for Christian charity and turning the other cheek; there’s a significant difference between repressing the urge to hit back, and having it not even occur to you until after the event has past and you’re mopping up your own blood.
I keep coming back to that from the newest Rocky flick… “It’s not about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you get hit and keep getting back up!”
At least we know I can take a punch.
Still feels hollow. There’s no follow through, no retaliation. I don’t even really get angry anymore. Upset, hurt, depressed maybe… but if I had to throw a single adjective onto my emotions after these incidents over the course of my life it’d be shame. I should have been able to protect myself. Should have been smarter and avoided the situation. Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda….
Maybe I’m a lover and not a fighter, or as my gaming friends have called it “Meat-shield”, maybe I just trust in my ability to talk my way out of situation too much.
The greatest downside of these story’s is the feeling afterwards. I feel like I need to break something, the need to hurt something. The need to bite.
Don’t worry, I’m not planning anything silly and like I’ve already said, I’m mostly numb. This lack of gumption seems to follow me into my personal and professional life, having lost a couple jobs in the last few years and wandering into uncomfortable situations all around.