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.
Labels: random thoughts, rants, raves