“I am ready…are you?”
I will never forget the first time I heard those words. Every time thereafter, the words still leave me feeling like I have been rubbed the wrong way. A bit like a standoff between a cat and a dog.
About two decades ago, I was in an altercation with a very unruly fellow. Totally uncouth; his mouth did call for blows, and his mouth did receive the said blows. He had the worst social skills my young life had ever encountered. He had no sense of modicum or decorum. He was obstinate in his views and I, irascible. It was not a pretty beat down.
I hate to fight. But the chap would not stop taunting, cursing and swearing. Maybe it is because I was raised Baptist, I elected to put the fear of God in him.
I hit him hard! Severally. In desperation he picked up a rock and let it fly. I reflexively turned my back and tucked my head to my chest…the rock hit me like a rubber bullet (a tale for another day). I spun around, adrenaline numbing the pain. My eyes caught a castaway table leg and I picked it up and advanced.
He knew. In retrospect I saw it in his eyes. He was going to be permanently damaged. Onlookers knew too. I heard their silent “oh god no!” As I closed in on my quarry.
She knew too. Because she was suddenly between us. Switchblade held at waist level. His last line of defence.
I took in her average height. Attractive features blurred slightly from a life poorly lived. Her eyes stopped me dead in my tracks. They were devoid of emotion. Steely. Focused on me. Her lips were open, chipped front teeth bared.
“Move or I’ll make you sorry” I remember hissing.
She answered me not a word.
Remarkable on her part. Because back then, my reputation required she be turned to toast.
“Are you crazy? I can make your life a living hell.” I threatened.
Still the stare.
“Do you want to die? Here and now?” The situation was getting embarrassing. Coward was actually comfortable behind this urchin.
“I am ready; are you?” She countered evenly.
The gauntlet thrown. My bloods boiled Vesuvius… I was going to Mount Krakatoa this couple!
The intellectual in me fortunately showed up. Reappraised the situation, and I stood down.
Jane and I have been friends for decades now. Potty-mouth was her brother (yes, past tense. Yet not by my hand. A less forgiving man I hear). She was Queen of a female sorority on campus. I have heard horrifying tales of their initiation ceremonies. Their inhuman hazing of recruits. And proclivity for martyrdom. Very extreme young women.
Here’s to The Ladies of Rage…and to queen Jane… You’re still alive darling?! There is (definitely) a God that loves you for some reason I can’t fathom. Lol…#bighug#