Saturday, February 22, 2014

This is not about forgiveness...

With all of the animal insanity of the past week or so I almost forgot to record this even for future discussion and pondering. So I had better do it now before my creative filter destroys the matter all together.

For those of you who don't know me, and for those of you who do know me with out knowing all of the details of my life: I have been stabbed twice. The first stabbing taking place here in New Castle; this being the incident pertinent to the story at hand so that is the one that I will briefly detail here.

This was the mid 90's & I was walking through the projects one night on my way to work a third shift @ the plastics plant job that I hated. The projects of New Castle held then & hold now little threat of danger...after Cleveland & witnessing King Kennedy, DTW on Longwood or the pj's on E. 55th, the projects in New Castle are tame.

Be that as it may, never underestimate the stupidity of drunks in groups of 3 or more. I was walking past a group of guys out on their porch drinking, one addressed me "Whats up?" I reply with the standard "Whats up?" back and continue walking. I hear one of the group say "What the fuck did that white boy say?" I am from the street, and at that point I knew what it was, I loosened up and turned around because I was gonna face which ever of these dudes wanted to step. Three of them approach with a few left on the porch. I sized up a taller light skinned kid who seemed to pose the biggest threat and swung. It has been my experience that you are not going to talk or walk out of situations like this so the best defense is an offense. As soon as I swung I was flanked from both sides.

I made it to my feet once before being consumed by the swarm...fists and shoe rubber smashing my face and body. I had been here before. I knew that time slowed down during violence, that my best bet at this point was to cover my head and wait for these chump to impress each other enough to quit. After a minute or so that felt like a day they backed I am standing up I notice a shorter dark skinned kid has a blade out...and I square up again defensive like, my attackers just laughing and heading back toward their porch and bottled they are walking off I notice that my right arm is soaked. Blood gushing, rhythmic with my heartbeat, leaking crimson down to the concrete.

Following this, the usual chain of events unfolded...I tried to bet my homie Buddha to butterfly the wounds, but they were leaking too hard, so I had to call off work and head to the hospital and get sewn up. Life didn't change...I lived, continued walking through the same projects to work, though now I carried a knife of my own. Since that night I have held two faces in my head...the light skinned kid that I swung on and his little buddy who stabbed me. I wished every time I came back to New Castle to have a fair one with either of them...I wished this for many years.

So finally almost two decades later, I am doing all this insignificant running around, called into the middle of a sick and stupid fight between my now former roomie and her married boyfriend. I am walking back toward my house when I see the kid who stabbed me walking out of the drug den apartments @ the end of my block. He is hobbled now, maybe some back or knee injuries, looking like he is a foot shorter and a hundred pounds lighter than I am. A pure crackhead/junkie/druggie zombie...raggedy, ridiculous purple coat on over tattered pants and indistinguishable shoes. Yet seeing him, and seeing him as easy prey I couldn't bring myself to think with a vengeful mind. As time often does, a moment repeated it's self & he said "Whats up?" to me as he passed, to which I answered with a standard "Whats up?" No alcohol or friends now to pump him up...he walked his awkward walk down the dirty street we live on. I watched him as he disappeared back into the legend of my mind, another story filed away for later use.

Now I want to be clear, this is not about forgiveness. It is about compassion...and there is a difference. I do not want vengeance, karma has already done to him more than I could do. I show myself compassion that day by not being attached to anger and ideas of revenge, to do so keeps my karmic slate clean. And this guy who stabbed me? Who knows, I wish him the best...I hope that he can find a way to clean up his own slate.