by Joe B.
Thursday, Sept. 26, 2002.
The title of the column is
Wednesday is a hectic day not only because of K P F A’s P N N radio show in Berkeley where I flubbed lines over and over.
Afterwards a Thi Chi class in San Francisco will not wait for me.
Being late for it is bad form though it couldn’t be helped this time.
It is a relaxing hour, relearning the forms from an instructor is much better than trying to learn from drawings in a book or video’s.
Relaxed, refreshed, and energized I began walking towards home.
Just as I’m at 7th street crossing over before stepping on the sidewalk I hear a loud "Move."
Still walking slow on the green light. "Get Out The Way!" Finally getting the message I look around saying "WHAT’S YOUR PROBLEM?"
"YOU’RE MY PROBLEM"
Gingerly I move aside saying to the ‘bro with nice but angry constricted face"YOU OWN THE STREETS, ITS ALL YOURS." While I’m thinking "what with this guy, whatever it is its not my fault."
I felt an old tingling of fight or flight butterflies in my belly I haven’t felt those feeling is years.
He is a handsome looking face that women like and this made me angry because he’s the kind of guy that has women or men falling all over him.
I wondered, if he does this to strangers when he’s angry as something else what does he do to women or male lover’s it that state?
That quip about him owning the street could’ve goaded him into a fight an I’m ready to snatch his ass off the bike and throw it across the street then bash his face in and break a few fingers for good measure.
All that anger as if he has some important life or death meeting and where is he headed?
To drop his bike on the street and meet up with a friend a few feet from me.
I am glad he had not gotten into my face because in my past anger management wasn’t my strong point it got me thinking back why I had taken up exercise and Martial Arts in the first place.
Years ago in New York City as many children did I rode in a yellow bus, had free milk which I asked and took home and repeating second grade didn’t help either.
As always there’s a kid harping on me riding on the bus, calling me retarded and making my life shit for weeks.
I had kept it in, not telling my parent’s holding it in until one time after school.
I decided that I’d rather get beaten up than go through the name calling and feeling my tummy churn in constant fear.
I still don’t know what made me do it but I hit this kid thin and skinny in the belly and as he held his belly I grab his neck, knock him down and began hitting his head against the steps.
It felt good to get all that fear out of me as his head thumped on the stone steps. Some adult or group of kids stopped me and by this time the kid is bleeding from his nose, lips, and was trying get his breath back. It felt good, I was still shaking, but he’d never bother me again.
Then I was chased all over my block, had to take secret way in and out until my mother told me to take a knife in a paper bag and my step father said
"You have to take them one at a time" I finally get fed up running away and did beat them up separately and I had no more ganging up me anymore.
Then I remember when another kid picked on me because of my eye and I had a wooden bat he ran and an adult said "don’t throw that bat!"
I didn’t throw it in the air but hard on the ground and I seemed to will the bat to follow the kid as he ran and as he turned away the bat hit a rock or something an it actually hit his back knocking him down.
I still don’t know how the bat could be thrown straight then slant catching the kid.
Some of the adults and other kids had this "What The Fuck" stricken look in their eyes but I didn’t understand it either but played if off like it was what I planned all along.
But when I move to Oakland, California in 1968
changing High School’s twice again doesn’t help one form lasting friendships.
In Frick High School some jerk guy pulled my gym shorts down in full view of everyone boys, girls, luckily I had underwear on but still embarrassing.
I didn’t care pulling my shorts and going off the field.
My brother and I were enrolled in a Martial Arts class for defense, self esteem and I think for me anger management.
I had without thinking rabbit punched the guy in the mouth and throat, I was trying to hit his mouth again and missed. He had been chewing gum and it was caught in his throat and he’s choking.
I didn’t care. Weeks later outside on Frick’s green lawn I running track or doing some group exercise and I’m tired so I didn’t see a shopping cart full of exercise equipment baring down on me.
At the last minute I see it someone yells "look out"! Its too late as I ran to avoid the cart that had yellow or red vaulting pole tied down like a spear.
And like a spear it got me when I tripped, and fell the end of the poll caught the left side of my throat just below the Adam’s apple.
I was bleeding feeling my throat leak. I’m helped up to the infirmary.
It wasn’t serious but that someone would go to that much trouble to get back at me is sobering.
I knew who it was and I had to heal before going after him but by that time girls, martial arts, weight training and swimming took over my time.
My mother hoped the Art Of The Empty Hand would help with self defense and self esteem and it has but that getting gored, speared, pierced in the throat tells me I hold this in and explode on the guy or let this go, give us both breathing room.
Letting it go is hard but I’ve learned control that inner rage.
Until this bike guy went ape at me being in his way.
I thought I the anger had gone but it was only dormant.
Why is it every time I learn better ways of relaxation someone else is hell bent on testing the limits?
The bad feeling I have is this guy and I will have another run in and I’ll play WWF’s/WWO’s [World Wrestling Federal/World Wrestling Organization].
"Ruthless Aggression" on him before he finishes his tirade, throw his bike somewhere beat his face or break fingers.
I’ve had control of my emotions for over 20 years but this guy seems to be the type that once they have a fit they’ll do it again if the same situation happens.
There could be a part 2 to his I hope not, Its been a long time since I went ape shit off on someone.
I might have to do so again just to teach him everyone doesn’t act the same way twice.
PS. POOR has recently moved and though we’re
still in a state of flux.
I will place email and private mail and phone numbers. (That reminds me, to get a automatic voice record machine so I can mail or talk to reader’s.
But this may take a few weeks. Please be patient folks.
For Joe only my snail mail:
PO Box 1230 #645
Market St. San Francisco, CA 94102