Thursday, May 1, 2014
Last fight, Buenos Aires (2007)
It was in Buenos Aires, in 2007, I was fifty-nine years old, and it was my last, my 22-fight, and I hope, very last fight. Like all things, once learned seldom forgotten, and if you’ve kept up its edge, you still have the edge, old or young. One must remember, those who do not know how to fight, who have not learned the skills, are quite helpless, to the point of having to use brute force. That said, having been skilled in Karate for two years, and keeping it up, throughout my life, when it came to this showdown, it was most helpful.
When the moment arrives, when you can neither walk away nor get away from a fight, avoid a fight, your blood surges forward, there is a growling and snarling sensation in the cerebellum, and if you are skilled, you want to use them all, to deaden the prey, but one must keep that madman, sedated for this moment alone, lest it escape you, and bring you down to the devil’s chamber: easy to do. I have been able to do that most of my life.
Thus, three young men approached me and my wife, near a highway and bridge, as we walked down to the inner city of Buenos Aires, a hidden somewhat, blind spot in the city, that didn’t at first look dangerous. I looked for a taxi, but couldn’t flag one down, so I decided to walk along the path of what seemed, safe, even seeing the three young men sitting on a bus stop, and paying less than a full glimpse, as if they were about to jump on the next bus.
And then they followed us a ways from behind, then got in front of us, and Rosa said, “Robbers,” and I stopped, went into battle mode, “Robbers” and at hearing me say that, they turned around abruptly. The large fellow put me into a bear hug from behind, as the other two went after my wife. I knew now this was a free-for-all.
Rosa coiled up in a fetus position, holding her purse tightly.
I had the arch-brute; the scrape started, I gave him a back punch to the nose, it may have broken, and my heel to his toes, and an elbow in his rib, he let go like he was on fire.
Then I leaped for one of the two surrounding my wife, and the tall thin one let go to challenge me, but stepped back when he seen my repertoire of hand motions, and feet, between my hands and feet he kept his distance, then the third guy let go, and came at me, as the big guy kept his distance behind me, he was frightened.
The big fellow snuck behind me, pushed me and run off, I fell, and the one of the other two went back to Rosa, as one stood a few feet away watching as to guard his friend, fearful of me, as his buddy pulled at Rosa’s purse: it was the purse they wanted, because that is what seemed to them, we were protecting the most: but had they known?
Then I turned to face the big guy again, with a plastic pen I pulled from my pocket, and was to use as a knife, and leaped at him like a wildcat, he took a second stride backwards, as I stepped frontwards, I was going for her throat, or heat, either would do, or his armpit would do, break into his lungs.
My outburst was a cry for help, there were people watching, but no one would help. The fight was an eight minute fight, and I was exhausted, immeasurable, inconceivable exhausted, what kept me up, I don’t know: a blood-lust, perhaps. I saw the big guy was terrified of my face, thus, I knew I had him, if indeed I wanted him. The tall thin guy snuck up behind me, grabbed my elbow, the hand that had the pen, and the pen dropped to the ground, and I was twisted like a clock, counterclockwise, and feel with a grisly monstrous thump, to the pavement. My elbow and knee and face scratched and bruised from the two tumbles.
Then Rosa cried, “Can I let go of the purse?”
I had forgot she was harboring the purse, and I had tried a second time to get to her, and the little guy was having a hard time, and I felt he was going to punch her—sooner or later, so I said, “Let go” and she did, and they ran, all three ran, having enough of me, ran across the street to a fence, climbed it: I was right behind them, when Rosa yelled, “Let them go,” she was fearful of me having a second heart attack. And so the fight was over, and they got a camera, worth $105 dollar and a $20.00 bill. Not Rosa’s $3000-dollar diamond ring, or my $1000-dollar ring, or my $800-dollars in my pocket, or my watch, nothing of any value did they get, and the old purse to boot, it was next to worthless.
But the point being, I had learned how to defend myself, like learning how to read and write, and being a poet, and acquiring a Doctorate Degree, all encompass, it was a process, and I knew as the day is long I knew, it would always come in handy, and it always has.
Written 4-29-2014 (1055)