The color of the squirrel
Rather, the squirrel is adapted to the eyes of potential predators.
My Litterbox of the Soul...go ahead, take a peak
Damn. I’d tell you “something’s wrong with me”, but that’s not really true. Or at least, this morning I did something that was simply what my body and mind both knew I had to do: A punched a guy in the head on the E train.
It started at Roosevelt Avenue, Jackson Heights as I remember. Some white dude approximately my age and weight parked himself next to me and held on to the pole near me in such a way that his arm passed between my arm and my body, with his elbow just touching my ribs. That is not acceptable subway etiquette in New York, even on a very crowded train. As the guy on the other side of me moved down (and as I moved to create more space between me and elbow-guy) this guy kept slowly moving too, so I couldn’t get away from his elbow parked right at my ribs.
And then, as my station approached and I pulled up my bag to put my book away, the guy held his arm solidly, refusing to budge it at all even though my arm and bag had to pass through his in order for me to get my book into it. So we traded words: I said something like, “You’ve had your elbow in my ribs and you keep coming down even though I’ve moved”. He said something like “Well where do you want me to go?” And I said, “I don’t know, but you can’t keep your elbow there”. From there he moved to insults and curses so I told him we’d get out at the next station and solve this like men.
When the train stopped I said: “We’re getting out here,” and he replied, “I’m not getting out.” So I turned to go, wondering if perhaps I should grab his hat and see if he’d follow me out to get it, but I changed my mind. But as I left that’s when he said, “Next time bring your wife to fight me” or something like that, so I just punched him in his giant meaty head. Since it was crowded some guy started shouting: “Woah! Woah! Stop that! Stop that!” But the guy kicked me in the thigh so I gave him a round kick to the ribs that landed pretty good. Actually, I was surprised he didn’t go down when I punched him in the head, but I guess his hat cushioned some of the blow.
When I was a younger man I’d worry about whether I did the right thing or not or could have avoided the incident somehow. But I know that, given the circumstance, this was a natural expression of who I am now, good or bad. To avoid such situations in the future I will need to change in such a way that I find a “natural” and honest way out of such situations (ie, as opposed to freezing up and doing nothing out of fear of doing something “wrong”).