Once upon a time, a woman I loved asked me a hypothetical question. She was sick of my procrastinating way of dealing with things. She was tired of my way of waiting up, seeing what is going down, and most likely not doing anything to really influence the situation, lazy bastard that I am. She said, if you were coming to meet me, and you saw that a man was molesting me, what would you do? I said, I would wait and see… see if you can deal with it alone. So then she asked the next pertinent question: what would you do if he laid a hand on me, got rough?
I wondered if I should really tell her that those are the moments I am glad I don’t carry weapons. I can only hope that there are none to hand, if it should ever come to that. I am, generally speaking, a peaceable person. I don’t want to hurt anybody, I really don’t. But I know myself. I know what puts me in a rage, and I know that the control I have then breaks.
I told her I would then immediately intervene. That is, as far as it goes, the truth. I didn’t say that I would probably pick up the nearest blunt object and whack it across the back of his head, and then pounce on him and smash my fists in to his face until my knuckles broke. I didn’t tell her that, should a gun be at hand, I might very well simply shoot his fucking brains out, on the spot.
Now you’re probably thinking: what a bullshitter, bragging about what he would do, if. But you don’t get it. I think violence is wrong. I’ve been on both ends of violence, and either way, it basically sucks. I know what others are capable of… been beaten so bad I landed in the hospital. I know what I am capable of, and I like that even less than landing in the hospital. I know I’ve enjoyed being violent, and that’s worse still. The last thing I would brag about is my capability for violence.
Have you ever, like me, woken up one fine morning and wondered where the blood on your knuckles came from? Horrible thought, isn’t it… but worse than the thought is the fact. Memory dawns on you… and you realize that violence is horrible. It’s bad. Though it may even seem necessary at times, it’s still wrong. It’s the last stupid exit you take when you know no other way out, or when you are so drunk that you are reduced to base instincts. Or when the situation is so intolerable that… I don’t want to think about it any more.
It’s those moments, when I am not fucking around anymore, that frighten me for myself. For all of us. I realize then what humans are capable of.
I shouldn’t have written this post. It reminds me of the beast in me, the anger I fight to keep down day for day. The beast that wants to fight and kill. Better to be lazy, and to let things go their way. Just please don’t put me in that position where I see no other way out. Please, brother, don’t force me to it. Cuz’ I ain’t violent, until that moment, dammit, until that very moment…
Sitting at the bar
Not drunk, just drinking
Listening to the music
Thinking how beautiful it is
Loving people, loving life
How to feel good
Being good natured
Until that moment
Fucked with me
I didn’t want to hit anyone
In the head
Until that moment
Until that very moment
*Flesh and bone, motherfucker.