Make no mistake about it, I never enjoy getting hit. I am not one of those guys who wishes that I could be an MMA fighter. I donâ€™t need to prove my masculinity by stepping inside the ring to see who is the last man standing.
That is not because I am a pacifist or have any moral issues with hurting another human being. I donâ€™t. Never have. Don’t go out of my way looking for trouble but if it finds me I am not always good about turning away.
I should be. It would be the smarter move to walk away. It would have saved me a lot of trouble but I am not that guy. I donâ€™t play or consciously think about it. I just do it and when I do it is without concern for consequences.
Last Saturday night I went out for a drink. Didnâ€™t have a particular destination in mind or a need to be with friends. I just wanted to have a beer and watch whatever ballgame might be on the television.
It wasnâ€™t a night for small talk nor was I an angry or upset. I just felt like being among people but not with people.
I chose a local college bar. It fit the bill of what I wanted and was close enough to my place to not worry about how to get there and back. All I needed were my own two feet. That suited me just fine. Human powered transportation. Environmentally friendly, reliable, steady and safe, mostly.
Most nights it would have gone down exactly as I expected it to. I would have walked over, ordered my beer and burger and eaten my meal in quiet. This time I pulled the Joker out of the deck.
And I knew it.
Hadnâ€™t been there more than five minutes when one of the kids bumped into me and gave me a glassy-eyed stare that told me he was too drunk to recognize that there are some people you just donâ€™t mess with.
I didnâ€™t say excuse me. He had bumped into me and frankly I wasnâ€™t in the mood to kiss his twenty-something ass. I saw his two buddies and the girls they were speaking to. I knew that he was going to act like an asshole. I knew that an apology would have defused the entire situation, but when trouble comes looking for me I donâ€™t flinch.
So when he called me an asshole I punched him in the face and watched him crumble. If this would have been a movie I would have been worried about his little friends who most certainly would have joined in, but it wasnâ€™t and they didnâ€™t.
I finished my beer and I walked out of the place. Not because I was asked to leave or was afraid of getting arrested but because the little prick soured me on the place.
Two blocks south of the joint a man stepped out from between two cars and pointed a gun at my head. He didnâ€™t look like the speed freaks you sometimes see roaming around the edges of society. Didnâ€™t look like any of the junkies I have seen at all. His eyes were clear and his hands were steady.
â€œGive me your wallet.â€
His voice was flat and there was no intonation in it.
â€œI donâ€™t have a wallet.â€
For a moment there was a flicker of something in his eyes and then it was gone. He walked up to me, put the gun against my head and repeated â€œGive me your wallet.â€
Make a note, donâ€™t ever point a gun at me unless you intend to use it. I donâ€™t take kindly to it and I donâ€™t appreciate being threatened. I am not afraid of dying. I am afraid of being crippled by some jerk off who canâ€™t shoot straight.
And when I get scared I tend to get angry.
So I reached up and wrapped my hand around his wrist and pulled the gun away from my head. When he didnâ€™t shoot I realized what had just happened and I really got angry. One quick twist and a small step to my left and that gun wasnâ€™t in his hand anymore.
Smarter men would have taken the gun and run away. Smarter men would have gotten out of there, but I proved not to be that smart.
Instead of running I took the butt of the gun and hit the guy in the head with it twice. â€œDonâ€™t ever put a gun against my head unless you are going to pull the trigger.I hope that hurts motherfucker.â€
And then I dropped the gun next to where he lay in the street and resumed walking home. Probably would have gotten there without incident, but he shot me. Clipped me on the Â left side and put me on my ass.
Maybe I should taken the gun with me or fixed things so that he couldnâ€™t use his hands, but I didnâ€™t. Remember when I said that I pulled the Joker from the deck that night, well I think getting shot qualifies as one hell of a reminder.
Some people have all the luck in the world and some people,well they have none. Me? I am somewhere in the middle.
Cop said that I should be grateful that I didn’t die and that I ought to go to church and say thanks in person. A smart man would have just nodded his head, but I am not that smart so I told him that g0d was for suckers.
Apparently my luck extended to finding the one cop that was easily offended but because I am not smart enough to keep my mouth shut I made it worse. I told him that of all people cops should know better.
“With all the bad shit you see you really have to be stupid to believe that some mighty being protects the murderers, crackheads and pedophiles.”
He might have let that go, might have given me a break but I took it a step farther and told him the guy on the cross was the model for the zombie shows. That sent him right over the edge and it is how I got handcuffed to a hospital bed.
“Getting shot doesn’t make you a hero, it just makes you another stupid jerk.”
I almost responded to him, but by that time I was more interested in getting the nurse to give me another shot of whatever would numb the dull ache.
I’d like to tell you that was the end of a very long day but instead it was really the beginning of a very long night. I told you, I pulled the joker in the deck that day.