Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Frank And Hank's On Hard Pavement
I had a few hours to kill the other night in the Crenshaw District, so I drove up and down Western until I found a sign that read "Cocktails". Nothing else. No name. Just "Cocktails" (I had to ask the bartendress the name of the place: Frank & Hank's).
It was either "Cocktails" or wait around outside on the street to get shot. So I go into this quaint little boozery, capacity about 12, and take a seat at the bar. Coke was a buck and every patron in there looked too beat up to give me any shit.
As I listened to bits and pieces of conversations such as
"At's right. When a knife goes in ya, mufuck it feels hot"
"My mufukin ole lady freaked out (when) I came home all bleedin and fucked up without bringing her mufuken ass sumpin'"
"Yeah, sonofabitch stabbed me in the mufukin chest n all I could think about was 'Damn, mufuker ruined my mufukin favorite shirt'. No shit"
I decided that I must have stumbled into a real life version of "The Fight Club" or "Barfly" or even "Shock Corridor".
I hung around an hour or so, sippin' and listening to all the usual suspects in their barely blue collar battledress grumble about their squalid lives and factotum jobs or pontificate vulgarly about who might've killed Sloan, but was worried about my car in this neighborhood, so I left without joining "Make Friends Hour" on "The Street" (Shock Corridor).
But it got me to thinking how flabby I've become. I haven't been in a real life or death fight in over two years. I'm soft again. Afraid of pain again.
One of the great benefits of that last fight I had with the Crip mugger on Century Boulevard at 4 in the morning was that for a while at least, I lost my fear of physical pain. I lost my fear of strange neighborhoods and dangerous alleys. That fight helped me when I became homeless. It helped me sleep in peace under the bridge, knowing I could handle any asshole comes looking for some shit.
I think I need to fight again. Not in any controlled gym environment, but in the street again. On hard pavement. To harden up my nerve again. Know what I mean? Bukowski did.