SPidge Tales

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Getting Punched in the Face at the Public Library

“The jealous man can forgive extraordinarily quickly (though, of course, after a violent scene), and he is able to forgive infidelity almost conclusively proved, the very kisses and embraces he has seen, if only he can somehow be convinced that it has all been ‘for the last time,’ and that his rival will vanish that day forward, will depart to the ends of the earth, or that he himself will carry her away somewhere, where that dreaded rival will not get near her. Of course the reconciliation is only for an hour. For, even if the rival did disappear next day, he would invent another one and be jealous of him. And one might wonder what there was in a love that had to be so watched over, what a love could be worth that needed such strenuous guarding. But that the jealous will never understand.” Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

“When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.” Matthew 6:5-6

Yesterday I got punched in the face at the library. At the public library. I sat at a computer screen in the middle of the main room, minding my business, when what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a fat man (not St. Nick) rudely berating his dear. I sprang from my seat to see what was the matter; the angry man screamed and screamed much blather.

This was no scene from a Clement Clark Moore medley. A short fat man, appearing in his mid 30’s, about 5’6”, 230 lbs, wearing shorts, a t-shirt, a baseball cap, and a mean looking goatee, confronted a woman in the far corner of the library’s main room. Presumable his girlfriend or ex-girlfriend, he began yelling and swearing at her, commanding her to give him the keys to their house. Me and the four or five other male patrons (all appearing in their 50’s and 60’s), glanced eerily at the confrontation, not sure whether to intervene or allow the lady librarians to politely ask him to be quiet and/or leave.

He grabbed the woman, and at this she yelled for the librarians to call the cops. She tried to walk away, but he followed her. Me and the other men got between them. I stood between the man and the woman. The fat ass told me to get out of his way. I stayed where I was. Apparently, this made him a teeny-weeny bit mad. He took a ring out of his pocket and put it on his finger. Now, that’s the sign of a real man.

I glanced around to make sure the woman was okay and the other men were around (yeah, I was concerned for my own pretty face, too). Wham! He gave me a quick bop in the nose with his right fist. It didn’t really hurt. My first thought was, “shit, I better not have a broken nose.” Thankfully, my nose turned out okay, with two small cuts and a little bleeding. Another man wasn’t so lucky; the short fat guy bit his arm.

We noticed a knife on the fat man’s belt and backed away. The woman ran to the back wall. He got to her and grabbed her hair. Fortunately, the cops arrived then and pulled him away.

I didn’t feel personally violated or hurt at the punch. But I pressed charges at the police station anyway. And I hope the man who got bit does too. This is a case of an abusive relationship, and sadly, sometimes the woman blames herself and actually believes the man when he says it won’t happen again. If it takes me pressing charged to get him put away, so be it.

I passed on taking the ambulance to the hospital with the man who got bit. One, I really wasn’t hurt, and two, I had a doctor’s scheduled anyways for later that day. Which I kind of wish I hadn’t, because what I most felt like was going to the bar and having a drink, something that would have to wait for after my doctor visit. Along with this thinking in twos mentality, two things went through my mind all day after this happened:

(1) What makes a man believe he is justified in hitting a woman? This man truly believed that he was in the right. He could not understand why everybody confronted him. Why do women go for these jealous, emotionally fragile, sorry excuses for men? The apologies of this sort of man are not authentic but rather manipulative attempts to allow himself to abuse the woman again.

(2) I know Jesus said we should keep our good deeds to ourselves. We should be good without any desire for reward or honors. We should be like the guy who prays in quiet, not the man who brags about how righteous he is. But I am a flawed human like all others (save Mary and Jesus) since our first parents ate the fruit of the tree. And, I will say that my actions “were nothing; anyone would done what I did if he were in my place.” But, did I like it when a couple of older ladies witnessing the scene complemented me on my bravery? You bet. Will I tell the story about my adventure in the library when people ask me throughout the week how I got this cut on the right side of nose? Damn right I will. Will I tell it in a way where I downplay my actions but secretly hope people are impressed anyway? Yes.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Pidge,

Your account of the incident is good (it ought to be. it was, after all, your pretty face). But I like the honest answers to your own questions at the end.

7:29 AM  

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