Posted tagged ‘fight’

“A knife wound heals, but a tongue wound festers.”

March 24, 2015

No weather report today. Day after day is always the same. It’s depressing. The only bright spots are the large numbers of green shoots in my front garden. They give me a bit of hope.

When I was a kid, we lived in what we called the project. The houses were all duplexes, one side the mirror image of the other. Living there was only open to veterans and their families. Kids were everywhere. We first lived around the small rotary which the last of the duplexes circled. Below those duplexes was the field surrounded by woods. A long fence in the backyards separated our houses from the privately owned houses behind us. I used to climb the gate by the parking lot as it was a shortcut to my aunt’s house. I never once, in all the year’s we lived there, see the gate opened. No car ever used it. No car ever really used the parking lot either. Most cars were in front of the houses. My dad always parked his on the side road as our house was on a corner with the hill on one side.

Most times nothing much happened in the project. In the summer you could, now and then, hear people yelling at each other through the opened windows. We always listened. At supper time, mothers yelled out the doors for their kids. Once there was a fight between two men who were neighbors. I remember one man was a photographer who took pictures for the local newspaper. I don’t remember who the other man was. I do know the fight started because the wife of the photographer was German. He had met her while he was in the service on duty in Germany. This was in the mid 1950’s, and most of the men in the neighborhood had served in World War II. The guy I don’t remember called the wife a Nazi and a few more choice names and then the fight started. They rolled and wrestled on the grassy hill, and I remember the photographer’s sweater vest was pulled over his head so he couldn’t see to defend himself. Everybody was out watching. I don’t remember how the fight was ended. I figure neighbors must have grabbed the fighters and separated them as I would have remembered the police coming.

That fight was the talk of the neighborhood for the longest time. The men never spoke to each other again. The photographer and his wife and son eventually moved. That is the only time in my life I have seen adults physically attacking one another. Burned in my memory is the image of the two men rolling down the hill trying to punch one another. I remember the sweater vest had the argyle pattern popular in the 50’s. The son of the photographer wore glasses.

It is strange what our memories hold on to and what is lost over time.

“A man will fight harder for his interests than for his rights.”

June 10, 2012

The obvious questions is why in the heck aren’t I outside as today is as amazing as yesterday. It is 70° beautiful degrees, I’m in the midst of a good book and the deck is pristine so what’s with my being in the house. Well, it’s this way: the people in the house on the next street whose house backs mine are playing music so loudly I could sing along if I were so inclined. They carry on conversations by yelling over the music, and I could join those as well as I can hear every word. I tried outside but was driven back inside by the noise. I am not a rap fan.

I met the female side of those neighbors last year. I was next door talking to her neighbor when she came over. Her hair was in curlers, the kind we used to use in high school which were so big we couldn’t sleep comfortably. She had a kerchief over them, again a throwback. She had a cigarette hanging out of the side of her mouth. Her purpose in coming over was to ask why I kept yelling out my back door for Millie. She said it was annoying. I told her that it couldn’t be all that loud as I was calling for Gracie to come inside the house. I didn’t mention the music as today isn’t the first time; it is a summer problem whenever one of them is working in the yard. I also didn’t mention the language I often hear from her mouth when she and her husband fight. I took the high road as the low road was already taken.

Once, when I was young, two neighbors got into a fist fight in the backyard, the backyard we all shared. All the neighbors came out to watch two grown men fighting and rolling all over the grass. The fight had started over a comment about one man’s wife who was German. This was maybe ten years after WWII had ended, and the comment came from a veteran who still harbored anti-German sentiments. I don’t remember how the fight ended, but in my mind’s eye I can still see them rolling on the grass and down the hill.