I am still bothered by something… and I don’t know why.
Last night I had to ask a guy to leave the club. I’ve done this many times before with many different guys. This guy had become overly rude (there is a certain level to be expected and tolerated) and he had become grabby with the girls. When he was not suseptable to my talking with him I had to be more direct and tell him to leave.
He left, but with a full pint of beer. Since it is against the law to carry beer outside, I followed him. Yet something about it struck me as odd. The man had a plan. When he took a few steps outside he turned, hesitated, and I could see his body gathering intensity. He was about to throw the beer at me and then charge me. When he moved his arm to throw, I ducked back inside the bar and closed the door. I then went back around to the DJ booth and grabbed the baseball bat. I had a feeling he was going to come back in and I didn’t want to be unarmed when he came in throwing a beer glass. If he just left, that would be fine.
I chatted with a friend for a bit, leaning against the ATM with my bat behind my leg. After a few moments when he didnt’ come back in I went back to the DJ booth. Soon, however, he came back in and stopped a few feet into the bar. He looked at me and I could tell by his face that he wanted some. I told him to leave. He didn’t comply. His right hand was in his jacket pocket. After a short showdown he made a step toward me (we were about 8 feet apart) and his hand came out of his pocket and moved back in a jerk. I thought I heard a snap, the sort of snap that you hear when you open one of the classic BUCK hunting knives. I pulled the bat out from behind the DJ booth where I had been keeping it hidden. His eyes got wide at the sight of the bat. He slowed… but then he came on. I swung in an overhand chop at him. I wanted to get his attention, hurt him, but not really break anything… so I wasn’t really wholly into the swing. I hit him across his upraised wrists. I told him to leave. He didn’t. He came back into me again and again I swung down at him. He did it one more time and I again hit him. On a fourth time he came in low, I could have bashed his skull in if I had wanted, but I didn’t. Instead I think I might have swung low and sideways and grabbed him. We knocked down two bottles of liquor but I out leveraged him, brought him down a few feet away from the bar onto the floor. As soon as I had him down on the floor and trying to force the baseball bat through the back of his neck, a friend of mine was there and holding onto his legs. Soon there were four other guys, all wanting something to hit and more than willing to kill this guy. I let the bat go to a buystander and I held the guy in a choke hold. The bartender asked if I wanted to call the police. No. I yelled in his ear and said that if he didn’t leave, I’d do both things to him, beat the shit out of him and then call the police. When he got up he eyed the five of us as I told him to not fuck around and leave. He smiled at me and pointed to me, telling me that he’d get me, and he left.
The guys were all pumped, the girls were all excited, everyone seem to enjoy it. I didn’t. I was bothered, irritated, and pissed off. I had to hit a guy with a bat. I berated myself that I wasn’t able to see this coming, that I didn’t handle it in a situation better to get him out of there without such an ending. I’ve done the same many times, saying the right thing in the right way. Not this time.
Something about the guy put me on edge. The way he smiled at the end. I didn’t feel like I wanted to be leaving the bar alone at 3:00 am, so I called a someone to bring me an old friend, just in case. I hoped and prayed and hoped some more that I’d never have to pull a .357 on anyone, but I would not let myself be the victim of stupidity.
Now it is the next day and I am groggy from lack of sleep. I stayed up so that I could cook breakfast for Eliza and take her to her appointment at 7:30 this morning. Then I tried to get five hours sleep. I couldn’t get much because I got about 9 phone calls in the space of three hours. I feel that perhaps the guy is long gone, or perhaps nursing a hangover and very sore arms and wrists. But I am still bothered by it. Why? It isnt’ like I’ve not hit people before. It isn’t like I’ve not been in dangerous situations (worse than this guy by far). It isn’t like I’ve not had to resort to a more direct means of getting a point across. So why am I bothered? Is it because I hit him, thinking he had a knife, only to realize that he didn’t have one? Is it the notion that I have to watch my back whenever I leave the club? I don’t know… but something is gnawing at me.