Tuesday, July 5, 2011
The Folklorist: Hard Knocks
This morning, however, I got my nose knocked sticking it into somebody else’s business. We were ambling along Rosewood in the dark. There was a street light behind a car, parked between two houses in the bend. The light glared on the window. As I passed I saw movement. That seemed unusual. So I peered in. That was a mistake. Who sits in a car at 5:30 in the morning? There were two in there doing what cars were not designed for, least of all in the front seat. As soon as I saw what they were doing I turned away and the dog and I double-stepped up the road. But not quickly enough. A big man in a t-shirt emerged. He was pulling up his trousers – I heard his belt jingle as he got out of the car. He hollered after me.
“What the _______ are you doing old man?” Or words to that effect.
Perhaps I should have answered. But what could I have said? Sorry, it was a mistake? I was trying to get away instead.
The man was younger and faster. A hand landed on my shoulder. A voice, back at the car, shouted, “Roger don’t.” Roger ignored the voice, spun me around, and without saying anything, slammed me in the face with his fist. What the dog did then I don’t know. She probably wagged her tail. It was all too fast and, to be honest, anti-climatic. It was the first time I’ve ever been beaten up. I passed out with the blow, or maybe before, for I don’t have a memory of the fist actually striking my face. I woke soon enough. It was still dark. I was lying in the grass beside the road. The dog was licking my face. The car was gone.
My head hurts and my nose looks like an overripe plum. I don’t think it’s broken. Perhaps whatever feelings had warmed up inside the car had softened Roger’s punch. Whatever it was, I’m grateful. He was big enough to have done harm.
I shouldn’t have snooped. I can hear you say, “Well?”
Just the thought of you saying that makes me chuckle. And that makes my face hurt even more.