It Made Me Spit Blood

The first time he hit me in the mouth was a shock. It was a sucker punch. I didn't see it coming. In school they would have said that it rang my bell and it did. For a moment I wasn't quite sure where I was or what had happened. I suspect that he hit me another time or two, but I am not really sure.

Maybe that is why I fell. I'd like to say that I took his best shot and laughed it off, but that wouldn't be entirely true. As I felt my legs go out from under me I reached out, fumbled for something to hold onto. With my right hand I managed to grab onto an arm, or maybe it was a shoulder. I am still not real sure.

But what I do know is that I pulled him down with me. It wasn't intentional. Just a case of dumb luck but sometimes dumb luck is all that you need because I landed on top of him. And then it was on.

Two guys clutching, scrambling, grabbing and cursing at each other. I didn't know who he was or why he had hit me. I just knew that I was angry and that the jackass who was responsible was still trying to send me on an unplanned vacation.

Truth is that I am in desperate need of some time off. Too much happening. Too many things going on. Trying to stay in control and realizing that there is only so much you can do. However a trip to a rehab facility is not my idea of a good time so I was most uncooperative.

Adrenaline kicked in and inside my head I could hear Rage Against The Machine singing Bulls on Parade. It is not happy music. It is not the kind of sunshine and rainbows stuff that you sing with your children. This is seek out and destroy. Grab his right arm and dislocate his shoulder so that he can't hurt you again.

The days of the honorable schoolyard scrum are gone. If there was any doubt in my mind about that his sucker punch took care of it. Back then a guy who threw a sucker punch then faced a severe beating from a group of guys. It just wasn't done. If you wanted to be a man you acted like a man.

Not that any of this matters. If you force me to defend myself now I will use any and all means at my disposal. It is not melodramatic, it is reality.

It took a good two weeks for those bruises to heal. It is not a lot of fun to spit blood and even less to see it come from other unexpected places. But the physical pain isn't really the problem. Those scars eventually heal and fade away.

It is the mental and emotional distress that is the issue. The inability to sleep and the lingering unease in unfamiliar environments take a toll upon me and I just don't know how much longer I can keep it up.


Shira Salamone said...

Good grief, Jack, I certainly hope this is some of your fiction writing!

If not, I wish you a r'fuah sh'leimah/complete healing.

Jack Steiner said...


I feel fine, but I appreciate the well wishes.

Irina Tsukerman said...

Oh, I really thought it was fiction! : ( Glad to hear you're ok.

Jack Steiner said...


No, it really is fiction. Sorry if that was unclear.

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