I have always been one to avoid trouble. As far back as I can recall I have always sought to avoid violence. Of course there were times that I didn’t have much choice but to use violent methods to defend myself, survive, or to avoid further violence down the road. But thankfully those times were far and in between and occured mostly during my youthful days in the Bronx.
As an adult, aside from a few silly arguments on Yelp Talk threads with some pansies, I have not, and would not ever make a threat, or engage in violence. That’s just not my thing.
I recall a few years ago, already an adult and long since separated from the mean streets of the Bronx. I was taking the train from my midtown office to the downtown office for a meeting with a former coworker who shall remain nameless.
My coworker also came from the Bronx, he was a little older than I am, more experienced, and from an even rougher area. He came from the same area as Fat Joe, Big Pun, and even went to the same schools as these guys. Needless to say, he is one tough mofo. He was a boxer, (could of went golden gloves if he wanted to) and when he hit you (we trained together, or rather he trained me for some time) it felt like you were being hit with a baseball bat. Seriously, even holding the pads for this guy was a very painful endeavor, he hit so hard it’s ridiculous.
But I digress, he didn’t ride the train often as he lived in the boonies in Jersey, so we were getting a metrocard for him. As we stood on line for our turn, a large, tall african american male in front of us turns around and says to us “what the f*ck are you two looking at”, I immediately stepped to the side to get a view of his hands, give myself more space and assess the situation better.
Before I could even speak a word, (we are talking seconds here) my coworker turned a switch, he dropped his center of weight, and though the enemy couldn’t tell, I could see that my coworker had already sized him up and was in the perfect position to catch him with a devastating uppercut. Before I had finished preparing my coworker was already emmanating a terrifying energy that even put fear in my heart (I was more concerned with my colleagues energy than the enemy), and his words were “I’m not f*cking looking at you, now turn around and mind your f*cking business”… With those words, his terrifying energy, he not only diffused the situation, he took the guy’s heart, the guy turned around and promptly shut the f*ck up.
I was so impressed by this display of male alpha energy. This guy was a beast. He’s older, greying, but that didn’t for one second take away from his power. Seeing this blew my mind, and I understood why guys like him lived the way they lived, as opposed to guys like me. I would of said in a nicer, softer way, “Apologies dude, I’m not looking at you”, and though I was also prepared to defend myself, I would reason with the person and try to take an easier route. When I asked my friend about it he said “In the streets you can’t reason, you can’t be prepared to defend, dogs don’t reason and dogs attack, and though we are educated men, and professionals, never forget that we are still dogs at the core, all of us, and dogs feed on weak dogs. In the streets, you can’t be defensive, you have to launch an offensive and take his heart.”
My homeboy knew me, he knows where I come from, and he knows what I survived. He also knows that I train, he was helping me with the stand up aspect of fighting. He knew I could of taken that guy easily, but he said I needed to work on my energy. Work on my mindset, rather than taking a defensive stance, I should take an offensive stance. But he also said he recognizes my energy, and that my way has worked thus far, so changing is probably not going to happen, just remember the “dog eat dog” mentality when in the streets.
If I had to use a dog to compare myself and my friend, I’d say he’s a full fledged, Pitbull, complete with scars and all. A pitbull that was used in dog fights, and eventually rescued and domesticated, but never forget that Pitbull could murder you if it wants to. You can look at this dog, and see it’s calm, but you can also see the history in its walk, energy, and of course the scars.
Myself, I’d say I’m more like that sleepy, goofy looking Bulldog. Docile, raised around the fight dogs, once in awhile engaged in scuffles and forced into the ring with another bulldog or Pitbull, but never in the ring full time like my coworker Pitbull. You’d be sadly mistaken if you think this Bulldog can’t and won’t rip you to shreds, but it would just rather walk away from annoyance before using its power.
Earlier today I read a post on facebook by a friend who said “I saw this person and when they saw me I saw the fear of God in their eyes”. I can sense the same energy I did from my coworker in this guy. He is not one to be trifled with. Even as a performer you can feel his overpowering, intimidating energy. And though he walks the path of good, as do I, and my coworker, I don’t for one second take their past, power and energy for granted. These men are my friends, have been for years, but I have and will always respect them as the powerful Pitbulls that they are.