Calm Like a Bomb

Tick Tick Tick.

I’ve got all this energy. Days like today feel especially “good”. But also very much like a manic episode. On my way to work I listened to Rage Against the Machine’s “Calm Like a Fire” (hmm, the origin of the title is no longer a mystery) and I rocked out in my car. The steering wheel became my very own drumset. I headbanged and thrust my body in various directions in accordance to the tune. Maintained my speed of course, don’t need to be overly dangerous enjoying life.

But then I get to work, and I’m just chipper. Can’t stop grinning, world is my sandbox. A few times the want to fight somebody surfaces, leaving me pondering if I am just in a really, really extended manic episode (what’s that 7 weeks now?). In a typical manic episode, there are in my opinion 3 red flags. This is to say versus feeling what I would normally deem a normal happy. One, increased libido. No need to explicate that, thanks. Two, inconsiderately spending money, even when I have bills coming up soon. Then I’m calling my mom asking for 20 bucks here, 40 bucks there. Number 3, I feel the need or fantasy to fight someone.

I never fight or strike people of course. I haven’t been in any sort of physical confrontation since middle school. But this idea keeps popping up on occasion since my new treatment, often puzzling me and leaving me to wonder if this is a good happy or a manic happy? Of course, I’m still largely rational and able to ignore it. I don’t have an increased libido right now, and though I’m spending money on things I want, I am also planning for the things I have the responsibility to pay.

So maybe this fighting business isn’t manic? Maybe it’s just some primal urge to compete physically with another and see who comes out on top. I kinda like that idea. There’s some primal version of me.

Sometimes it’s a full on scene I envision. I always need a context though, and a badass entry or exit. Let me play out one I had earlier.

I’m at the bar with friends. Someone acts untowardly with one of my friends. I stroll up.
“Look man, just back off, it’ll be cool” I say without pressure, gesturing with my hand for my friends to remain seated. As if to say “I got this”.
He scoffs. He looks around him, unused to this sort of confrontation, obviously incredulous.
“Uh huh” he says, obviously mulling over what he’s going to do or say next “and what if I don’t back off?”
I lick my lips briefly preparing to be very clear “I don’t start fights man”.
In a terribly brutish fashion, he replies that he does.
He smacks me on the left side of my face.
My anger swells, but I keep composure. I rock my jaw side to side as I consider my next move. “I could turn the other cheek right now” I finally say.
“Oh, you’d like another?”
“I don’t start fights” I say again perhaps dryly with any luck.
All this time, I’ve been noting particular things about him. How drunk he is. What his dominant hand is. General muscular stature. That kind of thing.
I glance at his feet, making note of his stance. He’s likely to swing slightly wild with his right hand.
I give him a smirk. “Pissant”

That starts him. He doesn’t bring his arm back far in preparation for the incoming punch.
I jerk slightly to my right, away from the incoming swing, while twisting my forearm, perpendicular to the ground, across my body and into the inside of his arm. I’m also sweeping my left foot slightly behind me.
He misses his punch, momentum thrown off, momentarily confused. I thrust my elbow into his sternum with additional torque from my left hand. As it makes contact I twist some momentum into my right hand, now a fist, to essentially smack him in the face before returning to a guard stance. I also duck during this same movement.
He gets a glancing blow with his left against my face as I prepare bring my left hand back for a punch.
Barreling my left fist forward, making sure to twist as I go to generate additional torque and overall contact force. I make contact just under his ribs before jumping my right leg behind and sending a roundhouse to the side of his head as he bends over slightly. Following through with the kick he stumbles over, hitting a table.

That’s about as far as the fantasy got visually before I laughed it off. And of course, after I won (hey it’s my fantasy after all) I would iterate “I don’t start fights” leaving for a pause before my follow up “But I can finish them” (crowd goes wild).

Obviously in reality fights aren’t nearly so precise. And though I would have surprising agility, form and balance, it probably wouldn’t be enough to overcome an angry drunkard, especially if they had something like a knife. But for some reason I have this confidence and occasionally get the impulse to test it.
Last time I was in any sort of confrontation, it was embarrassingly similar to the one I described, at least at the start.
In middle school I was in karate, but hadn’t the chance to use it until some kid picked on me. I mouthed off back. He slapped me. I glared. “Fuck off” I said. He threw a punch, sidestep and block, turned the block into a throw though to use his momentum against him. He fell flat face down. I kicked him once for good measure in the side. He rolled away, got up hesitantly, and walked off. That was that. And I wasn’t picked on anymore.

I’m a peaceful person, but sometimes I do get the urge to challenge someone to some sort of fight. I obviously don’t and haven’t. But you can see the results of my thoughts on the matter.
So maybe it’s just a primal thing. Need to assert some dominance, I don’t know. If it’s mania though, at least it’s lasting a good long bit, but I’m not interested in the ramifications if that is the case. So here’s to hoping it’s not, and fights are only a thing I fantasize about.

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