Gut Rumbles
 

February 05, 2005

fear

It's strange when I think about it now. Other than my visceral revulsion for snakes, I don't think I've experienced much fear in my life. I've found myself in A LOT of situations where I knew what happened next was gonna hurt, and I've been in fights that I knew I was gonna lose, but I don't ever recall being afraid.

I am serious about this. I believe that I go into an out-of-body mode when I see sure shit about to hit the fan. I KNOW it's coming and I KNOW that I can't avoid it, so it's almost like it's not even happening to me. I distance myself mentally and do whatever it takes physically to survive. Maybe that IS fear, but I've never seen it that way.

That night I spent in jail as the only snowball in a coal bin, while I was wearing sandals and a Confederate flag tee shirt taught me a lot about fear. I was in there with killers and armed robbers and they didn't like white boys. Some of them threatened me.

I felt it happen just the way it always did on the football field when it became time to hit. I didn't care about pain anymore. I was willing to do whatever it took and the devil could have the hindquarters. One bad-breathed black bastard got in my face and I said, "If you want a fight, I'll give you one. But I won't quit until one of us is dead. You make the call."

They left me alone after that, but I wasn't kidding that bastard. I was gonna tear his nuts off if I could, because he was WAY too big for me to fist-fight. But I figured that if I was quick I could hook my thumbs in his eyes and give him a a really shitty day and leave him nutless, too.

But I wasn't afraid. I was EXCITED, but I wasn't afraid.

I think that's weird.

Comments

When your the only snowball it helps if you've got a few rocks in there

Posted by: Robert on February 5, 2005 07:04 PM

The only fear I found that I haven't overcome, is the fear for my children. It's a different world then when we were kids, and sometimes it's hard to understand it.

Posted by: mitchieville on February 5, 2005 08:31 PM

I believe the Marines have a blank on their Officer Fitness Reports, or whatever they call them these days. It's called "Presence of Mind." There's another box next to it they can check, called "No Opportunity to Observe" (I.E., I ain't seen him in combat.)
Whatever, it's a rare and cool quality to have, and yer ex-wife and ex-employers are total boneheads for cutting you loose, just on that account. I'm a rather excitable type, myself, and would be happy to have a cold-blooded quick-acting bastard giving orders in any emergency in which I was involved.

Ok, "hot-blooded" quick-acting bastard.

Posted by: Justthisguy on February 5, 2005 09:45 PM

If you're not afraid of dying, *real* tough guys understand it, respect it and will leave you alone. The bullies may mess with you, but you have two advantages over them: your lack of fear and the *real* tough guys having your back.

As for the bad-breath guy, I suspect that both of you are still wearing your testicles.

Posted by: Juliette on February 6, 2005 02:26 AM

That was an adrenalin rush you were experiencing that time in jail. It's natural - and it is exciting. By the way, what did you do to get thrown in the slammer?

Posted by: Nelly on February 6, 2005 03:16 AM

Fear is being caught on the wrong side of an artillery barrage.

You don't wanna go there.

Posted by: Kim du Toit on February 6, 2005 12:43 PM

MITCHIEVILLE IS RIGHT!

Fear. I never served in the military, though I’ve been all my life a supporter of our men, and now women, who break things and kill people. I was in the slammer for a weekend in Memphis a long time ago....Large holding pen. Every color on the UN was represented and for some reason I had no trouble at all. Piece of cake.

But Mitchieville is right. My daughter, aged 17, has a brain tumor. It is benign, but in a bad place that not even the gamma knife can work on. Thank God it’s not growing, and the Docs say it’s the kind that usually never grows and she’ll just have to conquer the pain herself and get on with her life. She start’s Pre-med in the fall….says she want’s to help other kids who are in pain because she’ll know where they’re coming from. She’s the brave one. My ex-wife and I are the quivering puddles of loosening jelly. That’s Fear!…from my perspective, I wouldn’t wish this on my worse enemy ever!!!

Posted by: James Hooker on February 7, 2005 08:06 AM

Interesting, Kim. Recondo 32 told me the same thing. The only time he was EVER scared shitless in combat was taking an artillary barrage. The damn thing is just so ARBITRARY.

Posted by: Acidman on February 7, 2005 04:47 PM
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