Monday, May 07, 2007

My Brief But Illustrious Pugilistic Career, Part 2.5

When I was in my senior year of high school, I had this girlfriend. Let's call her G. She was my first girlfriend and, as such, I loved her with all the heat of a thousand novas. Or, at least, I thought I did, since one's first experience with love is informed by nothing beyond teen movies and Catcher in the Rye. But G was my girl and I was her boy and I was happy as could be. Because I was getting some.

I was a relatively popular guy in high school, predominately because I crossed a lot of cliques. I was on the football team, so I was in with the jocks. I was pretty creative and took a bunch of art classes, so the theater kids were okay with me. I was black—still am—so the black kids were cool with me, and the hispanic kids kind of came with them. I was smart, if unmotivated, so I was good with the brains, as well as the faculty. Knew a couple of stoners, but they didn't really care one way or the other. I was sitting happily at the center of the vin diagram that is the pre-collegiate educational system.

But G, flush with the newfound power women realize they have over men and unable to temper her use of that power, liked to play games. And she got it in her mind to see if I was willing to fight to preserve her honor. Or something. So, I was talking to a bunch of friends in the Commons area of our high school—it was towards the end of the day when people had some free periods scheduled, so it was pretty crowded—when I look over and see this underclassman (let's call him Shaun) shove my girlfriend.

I grabbed him by the shirt and threw him against the aluminum shutters that closed up the cafeteria. He told me that G pushed him first. Which I flatly didn't believe. Why would she? But I think I scared him, and he backed off. And the bell rang and life moved on.

But it didn't. Because Shaun was buddies with his kid named David. And David decided that he didn't like me. And David had friends. And David decided that he wanted to go to war. For pummelling his friend, who shoved my girl. And it escalated to USA/Soviet Union levels of finger-on-the-trigger madness. Setting dates for schoolyard confrontations which never happened. Walking around with football team protection. Shouting matches. Sharks and Jets without the dancing.

It got so bad that the Principal of the school called David and I into his office, so he could get all Colin Powell on our asses and defuse the situation. He wanted to know the problem. I told him my side. David told him his. Mr. Principal believed me, since I was a good kid who'd never been in a fight my entire time in high school. We all decided that this level of hysteria was silly, shook hands, and went our separate ways, letting go and letting God.

Except David didn't. Not that he started anything, but he endeavored to make the balance of my senior year as uncomfortable as possible. Which he only partially succeeded in. Not that I was afraid of him, or any of his cronies, but I didn't really want to have to analyze every situation I was in, looking for defensible positions or high ground.

Only later, after I graduated and decided to attend a commuter college to be closer to my girlfriend, did she reveal her actions and motivations. And later still, she cheated on me and we broke up.


So, that's the non-fight which took over Baldwin Senior High School for, like, a month.

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