I do love this city. I walked down to Adams Morgan Hardware on 18th because I needed a wrench and three small screws for some Ikea stuff to help organize the new pat. It is so wonderful for this boy from the suburbs to walk in the city and be able to accomplish tasks using only hoof power. I have lived in some cities with my DOS time, but even then the freedom to range was not like it is here. Maybe I will own a ranch to escape to at times, but I love living in the city, and I particularly love this city.
I was returning home, with the screws but not the wrench as I did not bring any of the bolts with me. Dumas. As I arrived at the intersection of Lanier and Quarry, crossing Quarry continuing up Lanier I paused, because a minivan had pulled up and I wanted to make sure it did not turn, running into me. Then I noticed to the van’s right was a small red hatchback pacing the van in reverse. This possibly large man was behind the wheel yelling at the minivan driver to f-off because he has a black ass or is a black ass, I was not sure what he said, until – “Nigger.”
I yelled at the man, without thinking, to “shut the fuck up” and he turned to me immediately. The van drove off between us, past us and Lanier and then Argonne Place and the red car has stopped in the intersection. “Fuck you!,” I could see him fumbling for the seatbelt. I slid the earphones out my ears and unplugged them from the iPod (stopping the playing and saving battery power) so I could wrap the cords around the device. He stepped out of the car – a huge, real porterhouse of a man.
If I have not talked about it yet, I am average. Average height. Average weight. Average physical shape. I have always been more athletic than the next guy, but not enough to be overcome my genetics. But this guy is a monster compared to me. When I was in 3rd grade I had one day really pissed off a 6th grader. He came after me and by the time he had caught up to me I was off school grounds and in the alley that ran along the back border. There was, fortunately for me, a pipe on the ground and I picked it up just in time to hit him in the back twice. He ran off and I did not get in any trouble (I am not sure he even complained, having received an ass-kicking by a 3rd grader). Well, isn’t Karma a bitch (why is Karma a woman)? I have been in fights all my life, even some overseas that could have ended very badly for me, but they never did. Payback.
“Yes, I was scared,” I told the police who took my report. “Yes, I was scared,” I told the nurse who cared for me my night of observation in the hospital. “Yes, I was scared,” I told the officer who booked me on assault charges. “Yes, I was scared,” I told Lucy when she bailed me out. But, I am from Texas and I have some weird notions of how a man is supposed to live, which is a good reason why we should not be in charge of large militaristic organizations.
I learned this lesson a long time ago as an undergraduate: even though a fight may seem inevitable, if I swing first I will get charged for instigating it, especially if (I learned back then the guy was the son of the county DA) the guy is an off-duty cop. Judges also seem to think it appropriate to augment your bail, even though you did not know the guy was a cop and even if he parked his car and came out at you. Government sucks. This is was between the two of us, why was the government involved? I got my ass kicked, why do I have to pay bail on top of the hospital bills (insurance does not want to pay much of what I think they ought to pay, a fight that is even harder given the result of the police report.) But, then again that may just be the plight of a Texan in DC: bad things will happen. I should not have involved myself in the affair.