synthetic zero

June 4th, 2012

So, walking down 14th Street tonight with my friend River and we notice this crowd surrounding the Duane Reade entrance. There’s some commotion in the entryway vestibule. People have their camera phones out. I decide to walk over and investigate; a big drunk guy is confronting another guy, yelling insults and flailing at him with fists. I walk over and try to talk them down… at first it seems to work, the other guy walks away, but the drunk guy persists and yells insults, causing the other guy to come back, but he sees me and I’m yelling “Hey! Chill!” and he walks away again, etc… but the drunk guy keeps yelling insults and finally the other guy breaks and attacks and they start to get really into it.

Immediately I leap in between them. There’s this whole crowd of people, nobody is doing anything except gawking, and the two men are grabbing each other’s throats and fists are flying and they’re grabbing shirt collars and I’m trying to keep them separated. It’s REALLY tiring doing this, believe me. I get them to stop grabbing each others’ throats. Some of the flying fists glance off my face (not serious, but I can feel it an hour later)… but somehow I manage to push the drunk guy out of the door and I interpose my body between the two of them. The sober guy walks into the store and meanwhile River is talking to the drunk guy and I turn around and we’re telling him to chill, it’s not worth it, it’s not worth it, and he finally calms down and walks away.

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2 responses to this post:
  1. Melinda says:

    On behalf of every living thing (including those two men) that might have had to suffer the cascade of consequences that could have followed upon a full-blown fight, I thank you.

    It could have turned out worse for you. But it didn’t. Did you go through any sort of deliberation before you acted so beautifully?

    What, do you think, was the impetus behind your action? It’s important for me to understand these things.

    June 9th, 2012 at 11:30 am
  2. mitsu says:

    I think afterwards I thought a bit more about the potential danger involved. At the moment, I simply looked at the situation and assessed it sort of in an instant, and it felt manageable. I’ve been in countless martial arts classes and I could “read” to some extent the body language of the two men; neither seemed to be serious threats, the big guy was simply a belligerent drunk. I did briefly consider the risk to myself but it seemed incumbent upon me to step in and try to help. Of course, I didn’t really anticipate it actually coming to blows, I’d hoped it would defuse before that. When it escalated, however, there was nothing for it but to step in between them, had to act quickly to try to prevent a serious degeneration of the situation.

    Later I think I considered the danger again more fully. However, I don’t regret what I did. I’d do it again, or so I hope.

    June 10th, 2012 at 1:31 am

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