Real Men

 

 
18 January 2017

Ted was sitting in the snow rocking back and forth. I approached him and said, “Good morning Ted, how was your night.”

“Not good.”

“Has your worker arranged a new place for you?”

“She’s going to start looking in March. The building is scheduled for demolition, so I’ve got a place to stay until the end of February. That’s not my only problem.”

“What other problems do you have?”

“I told you I was jumped the other night. The same guy confronted me last night and asked for my money. I said to him, ‘I’m not going to give you my money.’ He’s a big guy. He punched me. I said, ‘I’m still not giving you my money.’ He punched me again. It was a good punch. I laughed at him and asked, ‘Is that the best you can do?’ He said, ‘You’re crazy, but I’m going to see you again tomorrow. I’ll get your money.’ So, something is going to happen. The guy doesn’t understand. I walked right through him. That should give him some indication. The judge told me that I’m not allowed to get angry. He said real men aren’t controlled by their emotions. I’d blown a guy in half with a shotgun. I spent thirteen years in prison. I was ordered to take anger management classes. Everybody gets angry. I can get angry several times a day, but I’m not allowed to act on my first impulse.

“I could avoid this guy, but I refuse to let him dictate where I go. If you show weakness they’ll tear you apart.”

I said, “I guess that’s something that you learned in prison.”

“Yeah. I’m not afraid of this guy but whatever happens it’s going to be bad. I’ll try to make friends with him, but I don’t see that happening. If I take him on I’ll go back to prison. I don’t want that. I’ve been out too long. So, I didn’t sleep too well last night, thinking about what could happen. I’ll think on it today as well.”

“You told me that you had been doing some writing. Would you share it with me?”

“Sure, I’ve got about fifteen notebooks. I stopped because Big Daniel got mad. He thought I was writing about him, so I stopped.”

I said, “I could help you. I could type your notes, maybe even get them published. It wouldn’t cost anything.”

“Thanks, Dennis, I’d appreciate that.



 
 
 
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