Monday, April 30, 2012

Happy to Be Scrappy

On an uptown C train, I stood next to 2 women who clearly haven’t known each other for very long, but are on the fast track toward friendship. They’re at that stage of the relationship where they’re exchanging in-depth personal stories about how some of the shit they’ve survived has shaped them.

When they walked onto the train, one of them had just begun a tale about an ex-roommate who had been having sexual relations with a married man. This woman became more drawn into the affair's sordid complexities than she wanted to be, and either threw the roommate out or judgmentally implied that she soon would. The roommate didn’t like this - so she smacked the woman and they got into a rolling-on-the-floor fist fight. This fact pattern is straight out of an episode of Basketball Wives (Mob Wives too)! People really do this?

I usually resent being trapped within a loud and lengthy public conversation, especially when I’m reading. But this person was a better storyteller than the author of my book.

I never would have figured her for a savage. Before she hissed out the word “smack,” I figured her for a mid-level employee at a Condé Nast-owned magazine who habitually unwinds at trendy wine bars that don’t offer happy hour specials - which made it that much more startling to hear her make statements like: “I just kept punching and punching her, that’s all I wanted to do.”

She said the neighbors must have called the cops, because that’s who came knocking on their door “5 to 10 minutes into the fight.” Is 5 to 10 minutes a normal time frame for a fist fight? It seems epic. I’d expect someone to get knocked out of commission within the first 3 to 5 minutes. Sounds like a couple of lightweights. How’d the cops get there so fast? 

The friend-to-be interrupted with a bit of practical advice about how to better defend herself the next time she’s in a one-on-one brawl, but I couldn’t hear most of it. It gets so noisy in those subway cars – speak up, dammit! I could use a tutorial on how to be boss if a lunatic ever comes at me, and was crushed when I had to get off at my stop while class was still well in session. 


  1. Don't mess about with strikes to the skull or body. Go for the eyes, nose, and throat. All soft, all very sensitive, and don't require great amounts of muscle to cause damage.

    1. Also a very good way to kill a person and wind up in prison. It's just not worth it.

  2. Keep your guard up. And you'd be surprised at people. Corporate types especially carry around a lot of pent up rage.

  3. Good grief, people. Get a grip. We are starting to sound very paranoid here.

  4. Any action that is relayed live is more interesting than what your imagination can conjure up from reading in a book. And people can be terribly animated with their accounts of such stories. But I can assure, those things do happen... just come to SA and see for yourself ;)