When I was a kid, I tried to rip this other kid's tongue out. He said something disparaging about my father, and I was dead set on taking his tongue out of his mouth. He started hitting me, but I had him on the ground, and like I said, I wasn't going anywhere without the dude's tongue.
Some other kids pulled us apart and reminded us we were supposed to be friends. I sorta realized that pulling someone's tongue out was...not rational.
He and I had another fight a few weeks later and we destroyed this staircase in this other kid's basement. We stopped when we realized how funny it sounded with the other kid screaming at us to stop. We literally started laughing and pretty much became best friends from that moment on.
In high school, I tried to kill this kid for spraying me with a water gun on pretty much the worst day he could have chosen to randomly be a dick. I pretty much lost complete control of myself. it was literally as if I was a passenger in my body, watching someone else do the driving. I chased him down and caught up with him at the stairwell down the hall. He was like, a black belt in TKD or whatever, but none of that really mattered. because the next thing I know, I've got him up against the wall, with my hand around his throat. He starts...I dunno...kinda struggling, like he's just starting to realize he can't breathe and that there's nothing he's doing which is making me let go.
I regained control when I happened to see this one girl staring at me. Had a crush on her, and she'd taken a liking to me too. Well, up until then. There was this look of fear or something on her face, and that's the moment I got control of what I was doing. Let that kid go.
One time, after taking a fuck-ton of karate in college, I decided to take a quarter off so I could join this sparring class with the other sensei who taught my style. I'd learned T'ai Chi from him several years earlier and he was cool and whatever. I didn't really know anybody in the class, but there was this one dude who claimed to be from Angola, where they still fought duels or some silly shit. This guy was always needling me, trying to push me. But I was past the point in my life where I snapped and fucked people up.I was a goddamn serene mother fucker now.
One day, we got paired up to spar. He's this tall, lanky dude with reach over me for weeks. And he starts in on me. Well, so much for serenity.
I recalled him saying to someone else that he had bad knees that would flare up at times. I remember filing that shit away. Well, we start out match. And at first, I'm not gonna do it. But he's got these long legs like a stork, and his stance is so goddamned gangly. And Sensei ain't looking.
So, I lift my knee all the way up to my chest, like I'm gonna kick him in the face or some shit. He guards high, and I drop my foot down on his knee. Like this downward angle. it kicks his leg out wide and opens his stance up too far. He buckles. The match is over. I held back on that kick. I mean, I had control, you know? Just enough to hurt him. To drop him. But not to cripple him. But that was pretty much it for his day in class.
He never talks shit to me again. He never runs his goddamn mouth about duels or gets in my face to test me ever again.
I go back to serene.
I've never fought to simply beat someone up.
"You must be proud, bold, pleasant, resolute,
And now and then stab, as occasion serves."
Edward II: Act 2 Scene 1, by Christopher Marlowe