The Battle of March 10th, 2012: An Unlikely Tribute (Part II)


When Mr. Blackshirt-Asshole-Raucous-Friend-#4 stumbled slowly back up from ground to knees to bent-over-hands-on-thighs once he'd finally climbed to his feet, his friends swooped down on him - half-checking-up, half-coat-checking him, to keep him from doing anything additionally stupid. That is, all of his friends but one. My very own biggest fan, Mr. Hippy-Ass-Skank-Steeze, instead ran back up to me and R.  We'd caught up with M by then and completed our own - albeit more righteous - friend-check

Mr. h.A.S.S. got my attention by coming up to stand directly in front of me, then took hold of my hands and stared beseechingly into my eyes... and proceeded to grovel. (So bizarre, right?! I know it's wrong and totally biased of me, but I was starting to suspect him a Gemini. =P)  He says to me, "Hey, listen, listen, listen, I'm so sorry, okay? I take back everything I just said, please accept my deepest apologies. We're drunk and I didn't mean any of it, let's just be cool. Okay? Please just forgive me, okay? I swear we won't let our friend do anything else.  He's just really drunk, he doesn't even know what he's doing. I'm sorry for everything I said, okay? Will you please forgive me and forget all about this? We're so sorry for everything, okay?"  And so on and so forth.

At this point Friends #1 & #2 had come up to us as well, basically agreeing with everything Mr. h.A.S.S. was spouting (and to be fair, neither of them looked much like heavy-weight fighters so much as weepy lovers, to begin with), and I think we were all just kinda reeling after this bi-polar-like shift in events, anyway.  As a matter of fact, the only one arguably consistent in sentiment was Mr. B.A.R.F. himself, who even now strained with drunken half-heartedness against the first tree-peeing guy's hands, as the second held the first back from charging R, who stood beside me.

Seeing this sudden transference of directed aggression, R piped up and said loudly to Mr. h.A.S.S., "Look, even now your friend's trying to attack us! Swear on your honor that this is really over, and walk away. Swear on your honor that you'll calm him the fuck down and get him the fuck outta here, and we'll be done, too."

Mr. h.A.S.S.: "I swear it on my honor! I give you my honor. He's not gonna do anything, okay? We're leaving now, okay? My deepest apologies. Have a wonderful rest of your night, you guys."

Still half-shocked and with adrenaline a-pumping, nonetheless I do my best to take it in stride and firmly shake his hand after I nod my head in acquiescence. Again, pointedly looking at the single female friend who's finally starting to de-panic a bit now, I tell them back, "Deal.  You guys have a good rest of your night, too, okay? BE SAFE. Stay outta jail tonight, okay? Seriously. Be safe. Have a good night."

And we back away without turning around.  And they do the same.  And then we all turn our backs to each other and go our separate ways: us heading back to the hostel; them to wherever their fates might lead them.

After a few strides a cop car pulls up to the intersection of the street that'd we just moments before been standing in the middle of with our new-found enemy-friends. Immediately M runs up and starts explaining how Mr. B.A.R.F. had just chased and assaulted him, etc.

Now, to be fair, M was the only one of us who'd just had his physical safety most directly threatened, and true, he wasn't exactly privy to the truce we'd just made with Mr. h.A.S.S. as representative for Mr. B.A.R.F. & co. But nonetheless, a truce we had made, and cops certainly played no part in our acceptance of their apology. With all this weird honor-y stuff swimming around in my head, I run up to where M is heatedly making his case into the window of the paused police cruiser, which carried two seriously hesitant police officers. As I walked up one of them glanced at me and asked us collectively, "Have you guys been drinking tonight?"

I replied, "We had two beers between the two of us all night. We're not drunk, but they certainly were. Nonetheless, everything's fine now. We worked it out, no one got hurt, and we're from out of town, anyway, so we won't even be around by tomorrow. So thanks for stopping but it's all good now." Although I'm not entirely sure why, I could see relief in their eyes as though I was letting them off the hook somehow.

M clearly didn't want 'that to be that', and he'd yet to catch up to my 'let bygones be bygones' attitude.  But he accepted it, and with grace.  Mostly because when he tried appealing to the cops one more time, one of them responded with something to the effect of, "But y'all are going your separate ways now, right?   So then the situation's resolved, sounds like..."

And so M and I returned to where R stood waiting for us on the sidewalk of the intersection, and we continued our short pedestrian journey back to the sleepy little hostel we'd booked the morning before.

Our minds and emotions and bodies buzzed with the unusually heightened level of excitement they'd just been exposed to, and it was hard to fall asleep that night. We verbally replayed the experience to each other and to ourselves, analyzing each move and word and counter-action we'd felt and seen and acted upon. Shit like whatall went down that night, definitely makes a soul stop to consider... just about everything. And especially that which comprises human nature: our own or "the other," in many ways really just the same, differently colored.

(Anyway, that there's one way to ring in the 10th. Of course, if I were pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty Katie Sue, I'd probably have left some bloody lips behind me, rather than just bruised egos. But then, that's just one more reason to miss her. And heaven knows we already have too many.)

-L (3/18/12)

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