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Now I have a neighbour down here on the docks that I have been hanging out with off and on for over a year.  Good guy.  Good friend.  Alcoholic.

I don't drink.  Not because I'm against it in particular - I just don't like it and the meds I take amplify the effects horribly.  As in 3 sips and I'm 3 sheets.  So I just don't go there.

My buddy is Chinook.  He should not drink.  He knows this and has been a friend of Bill's for a long time.  He's got lots of support, in every aspect of his social life.  He's a meeting regular. His boss and many friends are in the program with him.  And he's off the wagon as they say.

I'm livid.  

I'm not livid because he's drinking - that's not my yak.  He's a grown ass man about my own age - he can make his own decisions.  But I have a problem when he starts turning on me.

He told someone I would work on their boat - and didn't let me know.  I wasn't there when the guy expected of course.  So I get a call from Mr Neighbour this morning asking me if I am going to do the work or not - I suggest since he's just quit his job he should probably take it instead.  I also mention that I appreciate his help, but let me make my own deals for jobs.  He tells me to go fuck myself.

I go up on the dock.  The boat owner is there, as is my friend and whomever his little drinking buddy for the last 48 or so was - I don't know him.  I apologised to the boat owner that I was unaware of the work, and that since our mutual friend had someone there willing to do it - then he should do it and I would step back.    Mr Drunkass then decided I was calling him a liar (by saying we had a communication error and it was my fault) and wanted to fight.

I did Tae Kwon Do for a lot of years.  I was also a bouncer in my past.  I may be a bit fat - but there is a whole lot of trained muscle under the disguising blobby bits that moves it far faster than you expect.  So he wanted to throw down, I went into my ready stance.

"HIT ME!" he screamed as I stood in my stance, getting ready to take his head off with one of my feet.
"I'm not going to throw the first punch, I'm going to finish it," I said quietly, looking at him.  Slender, wiry, hung over.  I know where to hit him.  I know how to make him scream in agony - he was badly beaten the last time he went on a big bender and ended up in hospital with a broken head and neck.  That's really the best way to describe what happened to him.  Facial bones smashed, jaw broken, neck all messed up with herniated discs and bone chips and more.   I don't want to hurt him, but I can, easily.

He backed down.  Good thing too.  While I do not want to hurt my friend - I will not tolerate being hit.  That's my trigger for my PTSD.  That was the reason I took TKD, Kendo and spent several years in SCA combat.  Don't hit me, it won't end well.

But now that the adenaline rush is gone - I'm angry.  Not quite grinding and tooth chipping angry - but close.  The problem is I don't know who or what to be angry at.  My friend?  He's out of his fucking mind right now.  The booze?  That's a chemical compound.  His co-drunk?  I don't have any say over his friendships.    Myself?  I didn't hit him, even though I wanted to at that moment on the docks.

I don't know how to help him.  I asked another AA person who knows him and he was dismissive - not only of my concern but also over our mutual friend.  His boozing makes him persona non grata to them I guess?  I don't know.  

I miss my friend.  I worry he will actually try to attack me or my animal or my boat - and I will have to hurt him.  I don't want to be angry.

But I am.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (4+ / 0-)

    And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

    by Mortifyd on Sun Jul 17, 2011 at 11:09:11 AM PDT

  •  I've studied the fu for years, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    choy lee fut and lama pai, and it never ceases to amaze me who the people are who are willing to actually get into a fight. kung fu taught me that fighting hurts really bad and you should do it as little as possible in your life. I just joined a wing chun school last week. My ultimate goal is jeet kune do but I felt I needed the basics of wing chun before i go bother a jeet kune do master. There is a kendo class near me and I was very interested in it. I have a bokken and a shinai that we used for broad sword practice in lama pai. Obviously I never used them properly. Do you think if I also took the kendo class that I wouldn't ruin the stances I'm learning in wing chun?

    This comment may not be reproduced or excerpted on other sites without my express written permission.

    by psilocynic on Sun Jul 17, 2011 at 11:19:57 AM PDT

    •  I think it depends on how you learn (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      And to be fair, I think he is currently hung over enough that he didn't recognise the stance I went into - but he realised that it would not end like he thought it would when I smiled at him and said "Bring it."  Martial arts is not something popular on docks in the PNW it seems - only the old guy (who owned the boat that needed work)  had any idea what I was doing - he spent a lot of years in the Navy.  

      For me, each style is "written" in a different way in my head - related to the stance I go into.  TKD I have a specific start stance. Kendo as well, but I have a weapon - and it feels different than an SCA one.  I do often cheat and use my Kendo stance as my SCA start stance - but then I use a sword not unlike a Kendo sword when in combat.

      If I have to defend myself - I assess the threat and decide which method would work best.

      In this case - he wanted to fist fight - I already had 3 options laid out before "Let's dance" came out of his mouth.

      1. Break his knee.  He would fall back and hit his other injuries on the dock rail and if he didn't flip over, I would help him with a little lift.

      2.  Roundhouse to the left side of the head.  He won't get back up, he'll be passed out from pain or screaming.  He won't expect an attack from the left.

      3. Rigid fingers to the chest or neck over the dock barricade and into the water.

      Had there been a handly weapon - piece of wood, etc., I would have gone straight to SCA style because Kendo wouldn't work as well for me in that situation.  I go into Kendo mode when I have a shinai or sword with some reach.  Clubby like things and it's SCA all the way.

      I did have some difficulty learning the forms at first in TKD - but I need to make physical memories so learning them took a bit longer than for other people - but now I can't unlearn  them so it's all good.

      I also think if you have an experienced teacher they can help you keep your training straight.   Best of luck!

      And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

      by Mortifyd on Sun Jul 17, 2011 at 11:57:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Brings back old memories of family get togethers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    long gone. The short take home from those experiences - mean drunks dont change. Avoid them.
    It still surprises me tho the way some genuinely nice guys - and they are nice guys - will turn into the freakin Wolfman after a few (well usually more than a few) drinks. I mean, where does all that stuff hide out when theyre sober?

    •  and that's the thing that gets me (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      When he is sober he is one of the gentlest, kindest people I know.  Deeply spiritual, deep into nature, kind, forgiving, a real live mentch.  

      And when he's drunk he's a mean ass motherfucker.  Hates himself, consumed with vengance on the people that beat him down before - and everyone is on their side when he's like this.  I can hear him screaming HELP ME - but I don't know how to get past the paranoia, rage and fear to help him.

      I don't know if this is a lesson in you can't help everyone or being there for your friends.

      I don't like emotional crap.  It complicates things beyond my ability to understand sometimes.

      And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

      by Mortifyd on Sun Jul 17, 2011 at 12:05:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It seems the hardest thing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to learn is also the easiest solution in some cases.
     Walk away.
     I also know that sometimes you just can't.
     Time to let your friend know that you're there if he needs a ride to a meeting. But otherwise, not available.
     Good luck.  

    You are standing in an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door. There is a small mailbox here.

    by axman on Sun Jul 17, 2011 at 02:42:51 PM PDT

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