Rants, Raves, & Random Thoughts

Shameless self-promotion of my writing skills or lack there of.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

When Words Aren't Enough...

There was an incident that happened last weekend, which reminded me of something that happened when I was in the Army. Confused? Allow me to elaborate.



Last weekend I met my ex-wife in the parking lot of a convenience store in a little town called Muskogee. She lives a couple hours away from me and this is a reasonably halfway point to drop off/pickup on visitation weekends.



As I gathered my son’s belongings, M and I discussed how the visitation had gone and how life in general was going. This isn’t unusual as we are still on quite friendly terms. We both count ourselves lucky to be able to maintain such amicability, especially after what was about to happen.



Just as I prepared to bid her adieu, a car came screeching into the parking lot and came to a stop behind her car and partially blocked mine. A rather grungy looking man pried himself from the passenger seat. His apparent SO sat glaring from the driver’s seat. A woman, clearly dressed for work, got out of the car on the other side of M’s and that’s when it all went horribly wrong.



They yelled, fingers pointed, threats were made. A 12 year old boy moved from car to car, not sure who to listen to as both parents tried to use him as a bargaining chip right there in front of everyone. I told my son to get in the car and turn on the radio. I didn’t want him to have to witness what was going down, but I couldn’t very well leave either, even if the other car wasn’t blocking my exit.



I tried to ignore them, smiling at my son through the rolled up window. Then I heard the woman say, “You’ve been drinking! You’re drunk and driving around with my son in the car.”



I looked at my watch. It was barely two in the afternoon. My first thought was that he needed to build some liquid courage to get up the nerve to do something major…like toss a world class smack down on his ex.



I perked up and turned to face the warring couple.
They got in each other’s face, screaming, spitting, fingers jabbing inches from each others eyes. Just as I pulled off my cell phone to toss it in the car, the woman pulled away, stormed off to the store and informed him from the door she was calling the cops. Tragedy averted.



The incident reminded me of something that happened many years ago when I was a young soldier. Some friends and I went to a bar just off base to blow off some steam after a particularly grueling week of training.



We were having a few drinks and shooting pool when this rather burly looking cowboy type came barreling through the door. One look at him, told me that he was going to be trouble. His nostrils flared and he was already breathing hard as he scanned the faces in the tiny joint. Suddenly he stomped passed us and approached a rather meek looking woman at the bar. Words were exchanged, then elevated to screaming. He insisted she leave with him, she insisted that she stay.



Without warning he grabbed her by the hair and yanked her off the barstool. By the time I could reach him, he was already smacking her in the face. He gave her two blows, one open hand, the other backhand. He pulled his arm back, hand balled in a fist. The next swing was going to be a devastating punch.



I grabbed his arm before he could deliver the blow. I spun him around and told him to leave the woman alone. He took a swing at me (understandably in retrospect) and I proceeded to pummel him. We had worked our way between the pool tables and I knocked him up on top of one of them. I grabbed him by the hair, jerked him closer to me and was about to rain down a few more blows, when a whirlwind of claws and fury latched onto my back.



The woman I was trying to rescue was now attacking me and with a vengeance. She kept screaming things like, “Get off of him! Leave him alone! You’re hurting my baby!”



By this time, my buddies who had previously just watching, laughing, and taunting, stepped in. They pulled her off and drug me out of the bar.
“Leave ‘em to it,” one of them said.
“We’ve gotta go before the cops get here,” another one added.
“That’ll teach you to stick your nose in other people’s business,” a third one laughed.


His was the comment that bothered me the most about the entire event. How can anyone be expected to sit idly by while such a travesty is taking place?


What would you do in such a situation? What in the world do you think was going through that woman’s head when she attacked me for protecting her?


‘Tis a strange, strange world sometimes.



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21 Comments:

At 8:29 AM, Blogger Robin said...

James,

Maybe you couldn't make a difference for the people in your stories, but it makes me feel a little better knowing there are people like you out there who are willing to step in.

 
At 8:33 AM, Blogger James Goodman-Horror Writer said...

Thanks, Robin. If we always turn the other cheek, who will be there to step in when we're in need?

I still can't figure out why that woman reacted the way she did though... I would've thought she'd be happy that she didn't get drug out of the bar.

 
At 8:35 AM, Blogger Kelly Kirch said...

Yeah, I can't explain her reaction at all, but if I were in her shoes I'd be a sobbing mess of gratitude. I also would have hit him back before the first strike landed.

I had a boyfriend once who raised his hand to me. He never followed through, just raised his hand like he wanted to hit me. I told him right then that if he ever did even that motion again, I was outta there. Our relationship changed anyway but he never made that motion again.

 
At 8:36 AM, Blogger Kelly Kirch said...

Just a weird thought... you saw my blog yesterday right? Maybe it was playacting BDSM??? Extreme. Yuck.

 
At 8:41 AM, Blogger James Goodman-Horror Writer said...

lol, I bet you would've tore him a new one. :D

Oh, yeah...I saw the blog. I even commented early on. :D You know, I never thought of that, but I guess it is a possibility that they were both willing participants...yuck indeed.

 
At 8:44 AM, Blogger Kelly Kirch said...

I did indeed see your comment. And the lack of continued involvement. LOL. Don't blame you in the least. It got, er, um-- heavy.

Ya know even if it wasn't playacting, she was a willing participant in an abusive situation. Sometimes it's cause they get beat down but sometimes they ignored the option to leave. You still did the right thing. I bet she never forgot your act either.

 
At 8:49 AM, Blogger James Goodman-Horror Writer said...

lol, yeah...it got a little heavy for me. :D I did read all the comments though. It was interesting thread to say the least.

That's true, either way, she was with him of her own free will. I wonder if they are still together...

 
At 9:11 AM, Blogger Bernita said...

Cops and courts see this all the time.Or used to.
Nevertheless, glad you waded in. How could you not?

 
At 9:14 AM, Blogger James Goodman-Horror Writer said...

My thoughts exactly, Bernita. I wonder what goes through the minds of both the attacker and the attackee, that this could be allowed to proprogate from generation to generation...

 
At 9:31 AM, Blogger lime said...

oh, i agree with you completely james. i don't know how someone could just sit and watch that sort of horror going on and do absolutely nothing.

i stepped in on a group of teenagers beating the crap out of an 8 year old once. i realized after the fact that i'd have been one hurting mama if they decided to all turn their fury on me instead. fortunately they dispersed. men don't beat on women, and big kids don't beat on little kids. it just ain't right.

 
At 9:32 AM, Blogger lime said...

well, ok, women shouldn't beat on men and little kids shouldn't beat on big kids either but in that case i figure the beatee can usually defend themselves well enough to end it.

 
At 9:40 AM, Blogger James Goodman-Horror Writer said...

Oh, wow, Lime. Good for you. The fact that you did wade into the middle of them probably scared them enough not to even consider turning on you, cause you know...you must be crazy. :D

 
At 10:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Son,
I am proud of you "as usual" for coming to someone in needs help but as your mom It did worry me because there is so many dangerous people in our world today that he could have had a gun and turned it on you. But I am happy you stepped in and even happier that you are safe
love
MoM

 
At 10:53 AM, Blogger Kelly Kirch said...

I'm with Mom. :) Glad you're safe, happy you stepped in.

Very cute that your mom comments. Mine's afraid to.

 
At 11:04 AM, Blogger James Goodman-Horror Writer said...

Thanks, mom. No worries. Haven't you realized it yet? I'm bulletproof. :D Seriously, though I appreciate your concern, but you know me, I'm a man of action. I usually don't fully consider the consequences until the smoke settles. :D

lol, Kelly...yeah, my mom loves to read anything I put out there. She's one of the biggest champions of my writing. :D

 
At 12:28 PM, Blogger Angie said...

I commented on your Myspace - the response was probably too long to put on here. It may give a little more insight as to what's going through the head of the "attackee" though... not necessarily all of it, nor would it be consistent for every person, but there is a mentality there that's sometimes very hard to break.

 
At 12:36 PM, Blogger James Goodman-Horror Writer said...

Ah, yes...It was a very insightful response and I really appreciate you sharing it with me.

There were several other interesting points made on the MySpace page as well. You all have definately given me plenty of food for thought.

 
At 2:44 PM, Blogger Carrie said...

I remember when I was 16 and my boyfriend came in to my house with my girlfriend and 3 or 4 other boys. He grabbed me by my hair and dragged me. He locked me in the bathroom where he repeatedly slammed my head on the wall. Not one of the boys would do anything. My girlfriend went for my brother who lived in the garage apt. He kicked in the door as Travis was choking me. I don't know why people don't want to get involved. Maybe they are just scared for their own safety. And if she was protecting someone that hit her, you can't do anything about that. You are a hero James!

 
At 2:53 PM, Blogger James Goodman-Horror Writer said...

That sucks, Carrie. You brother should have smacked around the boys that were just watching for been so callous. Thank goodness, he was there, to break it up!

 
At 10:17 AM, Blogger ciara said...

i think you did the right thing. unfortunately, women like that have very low self esteem so she's gonna stay w a loser like that because he only hits her because he 'loves' her, right? then i'm sure he probably tells her that no one will ever want her and all that mumbo jumbo that arseholes like that say to women who won't get out of those types of relationships.

 
At 11:13 AM, Blogger James Goodman-Horror Writer said...

Thanks, Ciara. We can only do what we can and leave the rest up to fate. :D

 

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