Today I punched someone in the face. Sounds crazy I know, but it’s a fact. I was returning to the office with a co-worker, after lunch, when I was asked by a squatter/punk-type guy whether I “had any money for blah blah blah.” I responded with a simple and brusque “no” returning to my conversation (which, of all things, was about mega-churches). Said guy, unhappy with my response and lack of interest evidently, proceeded to kick me in the back of the leg. Weird right? So I turned on my heels and punched him full-on in the head.

“You what?” Yeah, ridiculous I know.

Believe me, I’m not proud of it, no matter what the The Boxer of Quirinal image above might lead you to think (I had to choose some image after all). It just happened. Instinct, or too many years of pent-up anger, I don’t know. There was a loud thwapping sound. The guy put his hand to his head, looked at me in grimacing confusion, and then continued on his way, as did I. The bizarre episode only lasted about 20 seconds. And yet…

I have not had a violent physical confrontation with another human in years. Many years. I can’t even remember the last to be honest. I imagine punching someone in the face probably once a day but am just not that kind of guy, or at least don’t think of myself as such.

In as much this interlude has effectively left a whole host of odd, forgotten, emotional and psychological shockwaves rippling through my mind. My general comfort-level is such that an argument between my girlfriend and I can make me lose my appetite. But actually punching a stranger full-on in the face, even if in retaliation? The whole thing just makes me feel out of sorts, and if I’m being honest, the testosterone-fueled invigoration, the vague embarrassment, the regret at losing my cool, the painful hand, the feeling of having stepped, however briefly, into the twilight zone (or reality you might argue)... I’d just as soon do without it.

We live, obviously, in a violent world. Violence is entertainment, news, comedy, tragedy, hobby, and profession here on planet Earth, today just as it always has been. So I guess feeling obliged, as an individual, to punch someone in the face every decade or so ought not to be so surprising. Perhaps, really, I ought to just count myself lucky, that the world has required so little violence from me to this point.

Anyhow, I’m not much of a diarist, as you know, and I apologize for this rude interruption of flow, but this episode is as curious and unexpected as any out-of-left-field ephemera I might normally be sharing. For me at least. So I thought I’d take the opportunity to ask you, my genteel and eminently civilized readers, when was the last time you actually had a violent physical confrontation with someone? And how did it leave you feeling?

Dated: 07.09  Comments: 11   Permanent link to this post:   Email this post: »