Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Nothing Special

I need to start carrying a digital camera.

20 minutes ago we cleared a fight. When it was all over one big man was kneeling on the floor, blood pouring from his mouth and nose and trickling from the corner of his eye. He was holding a towel to his face that quickly soaked in blood, snot and saliva. A tear trickled through the blood like some kind of obscene smearing eye shadow and in a semi-circle around this kneeling man was a spray of blood smeared with foot prints of a scuffle.

There was nothing special about it, nothing special about the fight or the scene or the aftermath. I know that without a picture this will just be an entry in my personal log that I might run across in a few years and draw a complete blank.

A lot of my writing is about trying to share my "nothing special". This is what a fight looks like: someone comes up behind you and grabs your hair and slams your face into a wall and you can't see and you spin and throw a wild punch and it connects and you feel your hand break and nothing, nothing,nothing happens to the guy who grabbed your hair he just starts pounding and you hear someone yelling "break it up" and you try to stop and he doesn't and he's just pounding and you can't see and hands pull you apart and you can't stand up and everything is blurry and then you're shaking and... humiliated... That's pretty much what one of the fighters described to me. That's a normal perception in an ambush. Nothing special.

The other one just said, "It's a misunderstanding. Bunch of men, some testosterone. It happens, you know?" He was cool, no shakes. He'd decided to beat this man into a pulp and he'd done so. Business as usual. And that's nothing special either.

I want to do a photographic montage of contrasts:

The most beautiful dojo you have ever seen with polished floors and a shrine and crisp white uniforms contrasted with a tiny cell covered with blood and OC and the obvious trail in the blood where we dragged the crook out.

The defendant in court with his expensive suit and haircut and lawyer contrasted with the damaged body of his victim.

The loser of a boxing match with his battered face and brave smile contrasted with the misshapen skull and toothless face of a guy who has been slammed repeatedly into the corner of a concrete wall.

A perfect tournament TKD round kick to the head contrasted with a guy curled in a ball on the floor of a bar as multiple people slam boots into his head and body.

The contrast is interesting, but only to people who have only ever seen one side of the equation. If all you have ever seen is dojo training and tournaments, kata and boxing matches a crook attacking you while you are standing at a urinal and trying to drive your face into the pipe sounds outrageous. But it's nothing special. That's the way these things happen when they happen.

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