Sunday, July 11, 2004

Man vs. Clown? Try Peter vs. Ian!

It was high noon. There was a dry wind this day, kicking up some dust and sending the occasional bit of tumbleweed scurrying across the open plain. You could almost hear a tune from an old western playing in the distance, almost feel Clint Eastwood's hot breath on the back of your neck as he said some dramatic thing that would likely be the last thing you would ever hear. The only thing to save your life, break the illusion, and snap you out of Hollywood was the martini mixer casually taking place right smack dab in the middle of it all.

People seemed to be enjoying themselves. There were a few more than a couple of handfuls of them. Fifteen, maybe twenty at most. Gentlemen told witty stories as ladies chuckled appreciatively. Vodka got swirled, sipped, and almost never spilled. And standing there almost unnoticed among this elite group of party-goers were two old friends... Peter and me.

I listened as Peter regaled me with tales of editing text at work and his latest accomplishments in NHL 2004. I retorted with quips of married life and reality television exploits. Everything seemed okay until Peter pointed out that someone was coming our way. It was Ian. Ian was a former housemate of mine in a house in which Peter too once abided, although the three of us did not live there at the same time. Nonetheless, Peter was familiar with him and indicated discreetly as he approached that they did not get along. Then they met.

Ian was furious and demanded to know what Peter thought he was doing there. Peter said that he was just there to enjoy the party and didn't want any trouble. That wasn't enough for Ian; he was out for blood and said so. His voiced was raised considerably and People began to take notice. Again Peter tried to diffuse the situation saying that this wasn't the time or the place for fighting. As Peter turned back to continue his chat with me, Ian shoved him to the ground. The altercation now had everyone's full attention and all conversation ceased. All eyes were on Peter. He calmly picked himself up and dusted off. A threshold had been crossed and this was the last chance to turn back. Ian had started all of this but Peter vowed that if it continued he would finish it. Ian answered with a swing. Peter ducked and tackled the smaller, off-balance Ian and the fight went to the ground.

The crowd circled around them and watched anxiously. Most of it was quite even with both men getting cut and bruised but eventually the tide turned in Peter's direction. Slowly but surely, Peter gained control and Ian began to panic. Panicking was the wrong thing to do. Peter grabbed an arm, slipped it between his legs, and barred it to perfection. Ian cried out with pain and struggled to escape but the grip was far too tight. Peter used the strength of his entire body to wrench Ian's scrawny arm. Ian begged for it to stop but Peter had no intention of doing so. With a sickening snap, Ian's arm broke and went completely limp. Ian screamed like girl and didn't stop. Most of the women and some of the men in the crowd blanched. One poor girl fainted. People began to mumble about it being over, saying that Ian had had enough but on Peter went. Ian lay prone and cradled his broken arm with his good one but was no more in a position to defend himself. Peter took the remaining good arm and applied a figure-four armlock saying that he wanted to see the look on Ian's face when he broke the second arm. Ian cried anew, pleaded for Peter to stop. Peter told him to beg more, to call him master, to call him God. Ian complied but the torture would not stop. None of the crowd could stomach this any longer and all began to simply walk away into the dry nothingness. On Peter went until finally the other arm could hold out no longer, snapped, and became as twisted and as unnatural looking as the first. I stepped in and suggested to Peter that it was over. Peter said that he would say when it was over. Peter looked into Ian's eyes, told him that he was worthless, and bit a chunk out of the side of his face and spat it into his eyes. It was disgusting. Standing up, Peter delivered a mighty kick to Ian's groin and said that now it was over.

With the party over and no one left to schmooze with, Peter and I began our own walk into the empty, open plain. Whimpering silently now, mostly to himself, the last thing we heard Ian say was this: "Aw fuck, now I have to take the subway home."

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