Friday, January 13, 2006

Holiday Vacation: New Year's Eve 2005-2006 - Pt. II

We'd had enough and were ready to leave, so we headed to Five Points Station. Unfortunately, hundreds of other people had the same idea and we ended up in a sea of people. Screw that. Somebody could stab one of us or somebody could start shooting and we'd hardly be able to defend ourselves, let alone seek help.

I told everyone (we'd long since locked hands/arms to stick together) we were leaving so we turned around and went right back up the escalator. Like some other folks, we walked to Peachtree Station. I figured there'd be fewer people there, so maybe it'd be safer. After an interesting walk of a few blocks, we made it to the station, found our train, and got on. *whew*

A young lady on the train mentioned that a guy had slapped her, earlier. She and a couple of young ladies were discussing the incident and similar incidents they'd experienced. A tall drunk guy kept fussing about how wrong it is to hit girls. Great. Too bad he wouldn't shut up. Oh well. He seemed harmless enough.

He was also lost, apparently. He and another drunk young guy were wondering, separately, whether they were on the right train. I tried to help explain where they were and where we were going, but after having to repeat myself a couple of times, I realized they were TOO drunk to have a conversation with. Oh well. They seemed harmless enough.

At some point, the young lady who'd been slapped (again, this was BEFORE any of us ended up on that train) was joined by her boyfriend or whatever... the guy who'd slapped her. He basically admitted as much so the other young ladies said, "You're not supposed to hit girls. RIGHT?" This was directed at Ranting Drunk Guy. Obviously, he was gonna go on another rant about not hitting women, except The Boyfriend told him to, "Shut the fuck up."


So, Ranting Drunk Guy calls his buddy over. It turns out that his buddy is the other drunk guy. I call him Feather Head because he had feathered highlights in his hair.

They surrounded The Boyfriend, who'd since shut the fuck up, and I stepped over to keep things calm. Yeah, right. First, Feather Head had The Boyfriend's neck. I told The Boyfriend to try to shake that off. It may hurt his pride a bit, but it's not worth a fight. Then Feather Head slapped his ass in the face. Ouch. I tried to tell him to let even that go, but things got hectic. FAST.

Next thing I knew, Feather Head punched the SHEEYIT out of The Boyfriend and Ranting Drunk Guy was on his ass, too. Between the two of them, he was getting his arse good and kicked.

By this time, I Feather Head and I were rolling around the train (which was still in-motion), falling on seats and whatnot. A couple of other guys, maybe friends of the drunk guys, to break things up. Thank goodness. The only way I could've kept things from getting worse would've been to stop holding people and start hitting people. I had no interest in doing that - especially for some asshole who likes to slap his girl around.

The guys were soon separated. I tried to appeal to their chivalrous sides by saying,"You're trying to protect her, right? Well, she's crying." They weren't fighting, anymore, but they were still itching to. I reminded them that there were children on the train, witnessing the events and, while that didn't immediately impress them, Feather Head ended up apologizing to me. I'm not really sure why. Maybe he thoughts the kids were mine.

Feather Head's apparent friend apologized, too - multiple times. I still don't know why.

At one point, it felt like they were apologizing on behalf of all white people to me, the representative of all Black people.

The Boyfriend, who'd suffered a punch that *I* felt just from HOLDING the guy who hit him, got the hell off the train, soon after. The young lady went with him. I didn't expect any different. She was crying when things went down and probably got knocked around quite a bit when they started fighting... correction, when they started kicking ol' boy's ass.

Anyway, The Boyfriend was cursing ol' girl out and "shooting the bird," at her, as they walked through the train station. Some young ladies on the train, who I felt kinda instigated the situation, said the guy deserved that ass whuppin'. I pointed out that he probably did, but she left with him, so she'll probably catch one, soon enough.

I'm sure they felt somewhat better knowing that the bad guy got his ass handed to him, but there are consequences to these sorts of actions - consequences no one on that train would have to suffer. (That turned out to be a lie, as my leg and hip were hurting from the scuffle, for a few days. But, mostly, I was fine. My earpiece fell off and some mobile phones ended up on the floor, but somehow, my cool-ass shades stayed on my face, the entire time. Weird. No one in that situation ever saw my face without those shades.)

Some folks think I'm crazy for having gotten involved in that fight, but I'd feel a helluva lot better being able to say I did what I did than what others did on that train. They were cheering these guys on and yelling shit like, "See?! I told you it ain't just Black people who fight. White people are violent, too!"

Ha. Ha.

Yes, something could've happened to me, but I'd have felt worse if I'd have stood by and watched that shit go down in front of those kids. We need to do better and the only way things will get better is when we take an active role and MAKE them better, whenever we can.

I know I've got a reputation for protecting assholes, online, but this wasn't just a Cap'n Save-A-Ho moment. There were no cops or security guards on that train, but there were a few dozen people. The only way there'd be a fight is if we all allowed it.

I decided not to and I took my lumps for my decision. Oh well.

I don't want a cookie, for what I did. I just want us all to do better.

This was a helluva way to introduce the ladies to ATL and a pretty sorry ass way to start the new year.

At least we went to Cheesecake Factory and had an awesome server and great food, a day or so later. That kinda helped.
Also, I spent some time with my father's side of my family (whom I've barely seen in the past 20 years) before NYE (and before the bout of "pink eye"). We had a nice time, together, and I received something that belonged to my now-deceased grandfather, whom I really didn't know. It doesn't mean the same thing it would've if HE'D given it to me, but the fact that my aunt saw fit to pass this item along to me was a greater gesture and it was another example of how interested they are in having a relationship with me. I feel very lucky to have them in my life.

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