Conversations: An Interlude Among Friends
by Tony P
On this particular day he was just sitting in an old wooden rocking chair and some guy that I had never seen before approached him. Uncle Marvin ignored this man taunts to the best of his abilities.
I was playing tackle football with some of my cousins and their friends in the vacant grassy field across the street. It was our usual classic football game and I was nine years old at this time. I had a couple of years of organized football under my belt so they really weren't a match for me. I was arrogant, conceited, and arrogant at this stage of my life. I had played organized football since I was five years old.
I had just completed another of my spectacular touchdowns when one of my cousin came running to let us know that Uncle Marvin was in a fight. Now this I had to see, so we ran across the street where the juke joint was. Lo and behold there were grown men in a circle surrounding the two combatants. By using the word combatant I am being too kind to the other guy.
I ran across the street like a bat out of hell. I was panting for breath when I got across the street though the distance wasn't that far. I pushed my way through a small opening in the crowd. The fight was taking place in a gravel area and luckily for me the fight was almost over. I could only imagine how it started but the outcome was not in doubt. Uncle Marvin was not the same person that I knew him to be. He was completely filled with rage and hatred. The man that he was fighting was not a small man by any imagination. However when compared to Uncle Marvin he was like a running back to a defensive end. Uncle Marvin was repeatedly kicking this man in his rib and when the man tried to protect them he would kick him in his back.
The crowd of men were cheering and hollering as though they were watching a championship heavyweight fight. Once I saw that this man was badly injured I knew for all intent and purpose Uncle Marvin was going to kill this man if someone didn't stop him.
“Uncle Marvin please stop you are going to kill that man,” I yelled and screamed as loud as I could. Uncle Marvin couldn't’t hear me over the roar of the crowd. The man on the ground was slowly losing consciousness and I could see blood streaming from his nose and mouth. I was desperately trying to clear through the crowd.
I don’t know if it was fear or the anticipation of a kill but none of the men there made an attempt to intervene on the other guy's behalf. Once I was clear of the crowd I ran to the fallen guy's side. Uncle Marvin was about to stomp the man in the head with his oversize boot. “Uncle Marvin if you don’t stop you are going to kill this man,” I yelled.
Uncle Marvin stopped his attack and walked away. He sat down in the wooden rocking chair on the porch. He was breathing heavily and sweating profusely. Dust from the gravel road covered him from head to toe. His hand was bloody from the blood of the other man. “Somebody please call an ambulance before this man dies,” I said. That’s when I realized that most of these men were sloppy drunk.
I yelled to one of my cousins to call an ambulance. My first aids skill were limited at best but I had to make sure that this guy did not die. I took the shirt off of my back and wrapped it up to make it as a pillow for his head. Placing the shirt under his head and checking to ensure that he was breathing. His breathing was labored but he was breathing.
By this time some on by passers had heard the commotion and came to my aid. Someone brought a pick up and they loaded him into the bed of the truck and sped away to take the man to the hospital.
I turned my attention to Uncle Marvin and I could see tears streaming down his face. I walked to him and placed my hand into his massive hands and led him home. We were about a mile away from home. We walked this day, I don’t know why because no words were spoken between the two of us and we never mentioned that day. I never thought of Uncle Marvin being a coward after that day but I did think that he was battling his own personal demons and he was afraid if they ever surfaced what he was capable of doing.