I said that the other day out of reflex. I hadn’t said it in a long time. I was joking around with one of my buddies, play-fighting if you will. It is one of those standard responses when someone wants something from you (even if all they want is a fight) and you are trying to motivate them to make a decision.
Normally it is two guys squared up, ready to fight. Both are willing to go the next step, but neither wants to commit to the next step on their own. But no matter what the circumstances, neither wants to take the first punch. They each want the other to make the first move so that they can react. They are waiting to follow, neither want to lead.
That strategy has always bothered me. In the schoolyard, guys would talk tough. They would bump chests, push each other, talk about each other’s mommas – they would do everything but commit to the first punch. This is what I knew of school yard fights in the 3rd grade. It took an older guy to teach me that it was the one who threw that first punch who usually came out on top. It was the guy who had the heart to act first.
R.T. was an O.G. in the literal sense. He was my best friend’s older brother. He was a gangster who worked his way to the top of the game (at the street level that is). He died around the age of 26 doing gangster shit. But before that, R.T. taught me how to fight. My dad taught me how to box, my mom taught me how to find sticks and rocks when your hands can’t do the job (see how men and women attack a problem differently?). R.T. taught me how to survive for real. Continue reading ‘There is nothing between us but air and opportunity’