You get a bit of trouble here and there in the city centre. As much as I try and avoid it, in a place like this, it will always find you. People leave the pubs and clubs on a Friday night and they take the anger and bitterness they have in their own lives and direct towards you. Standard stuff. Sometimes it’s easiest just to take it, let them shout it out until they get bored or until you get up and move on to somewhere else. Like most things, it really depends on how I feel in the moment. On this particular occasion I am confronted with such trouble. He’s right in my face giving it this and that about “scroungers” and “parasites”. He’s close enough that I can smell the alcohol on his breath but there’s also an alertness about him that suggests a different fuel source for his spitting vitriol. He’s standing over me as I’m sat cross legged in a cosy we corner on a now empty street. I’m not really listening to what he’s saying but I remain readily alert to any indication that he might turn this into a physical altercation. There is a woman there with him. Standing behind him, far enough back so as not to seem a participant in her boyfriend’s verbal assault but still close enough to enjoy a front row view of the night’s entertainment. I’ve experienced a few iterations of the girlfriend variable.
1) She joins in with her man’s 2 minutes of hate.
2) She tries to drag the man away (either because she’s bored and wants to go home or she’s horrified by her boyfriend’s actions and can even be apologetic (“…Really sorry he’s not normally like this…”)
3) She hangs around in the background, enjoying a decent end to a good night out. Not ballsy enough to get involved but silently willing the situation to escalate. Often she’ll film it on her phone.
Before this guy turned up I had been lost in a fairly deep meditation, my mind neither he nor there. It’s this fact that is working in his favour right now. I ‘m too relaxed and at one with my surroundings to care. I even feel a modicum of empathy for him. The man is bent forward at the waist in a 90 degree angle, his face inches from my face. I’m zenned out ma fuckin nut right now so his voice is nothing more than the sound of music in the distance and his breath is like a warm breeze on a chilly night. There’s something about the woman’s face though. As she watches on she’s looking at me, our eyes connect for a moment and I get it. I know what she wants. She is a subtype of variation no. 3. There’s a malice in her otherwise deadpan face. She doesn’t like this guy. It might be the case that they have been together for a while but she’s reached the stage where she could take him or leave him.
On another note. There’s a morality that comes with defending oneself. Especially if you possess a skill set that grants you a certain amount of power over another individual, within the context of unarmed physical combat. The true martial artist will always remove their ego and take the opportunity to either de-escalate the situation or simply run away. If pushed to defend themselves, the martial artist in their stoic, heroic majesty and with great sadness and regret, will use the least amount of force necessary, to either restrain or incapacitate a fellow human who has overstepped their physical boundaries. But the thing is, sometimes there are people who just need their fuckin cunts kicked in.
The man continues to berate me, a few flecks of spittle from his mouth land on my face and I decide, quite arbitrarily that this is the point at which he has crossed the line. I stand up with the intention of making some space between the two of us to assess the situation. The guy misinterprets this.
“Aye that’s right, Get yersel tae fuck, the Clyde is that way”.
Jesus that’s quite nasty, I think to myself. I must have said it out loud because he responds
“Nasty? I’ll show ye fuckin nasty” etc, etc.
When I’m comfortable with the amount of space I’ve made between the two of us I turn around to face him. About 12 feet of damp pavement separate me from this absolute fanny.
“Whit ye fuckin lookin iht?”
I cock my head to one side, smile and stare at him. I’m pretty sure this is all I need to get the desired response.
He advances towards me, arms outstretched and chest puffed out. How did we evolve such an impractical fighting posture? Unbeknownst to this total fuckwit, he steps an inch inside an invisible line, over which, violence is permitted. I hit him hard on the chin, my middle knuckle sending a shockwave through his brain. I anticipate that he’ll fall backwards so I reach with my other hand and grab his thin tie. His legs give out from underneath him and I let him fall to arse in a controlled fashion using his tie like I’m letting down an abseiler (the amount of people that die cracking the back of their skull on the concrete after a single punch. It’s just not worth it). As his arse hits the ground I give him another had hard dig on the nose, breaking it and watch the blood explode all over his nice white shirt. He gives off a weird noise like he’s squeezing out a massive shite. Hnnnnnnnnnngg. I place him carefully on his side in the recovery position and take a step back to admire my work. The woman trots over.
“Is he awright?” She asks
“He’ll probs be fine but I’d still phone an ambulance”. I tell her, shaking my head all disappointed in the world.
I start walking away but turn back just before rounding a corner and see the woman on her phone, she’s nudging the guy, who’s still lying on the deck, with her foot. I’ll have to find a new spot to sit for the next few months in case I run into him again. A guy can only take so much head trauma. I turn to jog off in the opposite direction but I almost stand in some dog shite. That gives me an idea. I scan the cobbled street for some fallen twigs and sticks. I find one that’s fit for purpose. It was just the right thickness and most importantly, it had a little bend in it. I use the stick to scoop up some of the dog shite and head back towards the unconscious guy. I try to get the woman’s attention. She’s talking to someone on her phone and standing quite close to the guy. The guy, had now rolled onto his back but still looked completely out of it.
“Watch out the way” I shouted, gesturing with a waving arm for her to stand to one side.
She looked up confused but complied. I was a good 50 feet away at this point. I held the stick out in front of me like an Olympic judge holding up his score for a gymnast. A small crowd was gathering now. Some of the night’s stragglers who were probably heading to the nearby taxi rank. Some people were asking if the guy was OK. I didn’t let them distract me though. I had to get in “the zone” Using the index finger of my other hand I pulled back the top end of the stick making sure not to touch the dog shite, I aim it slightly upwards and then let it go. The wee brown dod left the end of the stick and I knew within myself that it had taken a clear and true trajectory through the night air. As the dog shite reached the peak of its high arc, just for a second, it glistened moistly in the moonlight. And so it landed with the softest of splats right on the guys lips. He didn’t even flinch. It was Perfection.
The small crowd of 10 or 12 people all started applauding and whistling. People will always appreciate when something rare and special happens.
“Oh my God! What a shot!” Said the guy’s girlfriend. And then quickly back to her phone “Sorry yes…I’m still here…Yeah, he’s breathing but he’s not moving”.