Officer Alex reflects on the physical aspects of his chosen profession
True to the form of the shield on my chest I placed my body in front of his to stop the attack. I held the line (briefly), but those I was trying to protect were unfortunately as irrational as the one on the offensive, and my defense was shattered by stupidity from behind as easily as a shield could be split by even a crudely made club, were it large enough.
I stepped aside to remove both my body and my gun belt from the fight and let them engage to gain a better vantage point at my (tactical) leisure. I was calm and that was my advantage, but they were stupid, and that was theirs—and the third fight over the second fight spawned by this first fight took me in a new direction.
It was interesting because at every turn I was confronted by a new thought as my hands and feet did their work independently of my otherwise preoccupied mind. This wasn’t like fist fighting back in the day; no, it had been years since I’d done any real work like this, but it wasn’t the fight itself and my inability to prevent it that baffled me, or even the sweet silence that letting muscle memory take over in a fight is (just as it was intended).
No. It was how I kept making real-time observations aloud in my mind even as I exchanged blows with people (an otherwise serious matter) and I began thinking, have I always acted this way?
I took the time to observe my left hand balling itself into a fist and begin its descent toward a young aggressor’s face (but not his forehead—my hand of course knew the folly of that already) as he made moves to strike mine first, and I thought to myself, “This is extremely irrational.”
The strike was light, just a distraction, and it worked (though it clearly only created yet a new set of problems, but I’d deal with those later). In the same motion as the left hook, I had fixed my eyes on the main instigators and began thinking about them, too, as I placed a foot behind another combatant as I was walking by. Using that point by his feet as a fulcrum, I shifted his weight with my right arm to help him fall down (though it was quite unsolicited as you would imagine), and my mind again addressed what a poor choice this was by the participants. Couldn’t they see that?
The now fighting employees were becoming an issue, but at least they were sober and that makes a difference. The bar at the far end of the building, however, precluded sobriety for the customers and that was the issue I was facing now with my fellow co-workers.
If they would all just calm themselves for a moment, they would realize the chain of events to follow and cut this poor decision-tree at the roots instead of reaping its soured fruits later, but they were having none of that. They were living in the “Now,” and for “Now” fighting seemed like a reasonable response to the monitor blinking out at their bowling lane.
People were fighting as far as I could see, and it was all over bad wiring in a television.
The smell of pepper spray in the air? The crackling of Tasers and the wailing of sirens from hastily abandoned police cars outside as officers poured out of cars to address the brawl that had now spilled outdoors? It was all as preventable as the bail that was about to be set for the broken noses and ripped fingernails all around me.
Several yards from me, one of the main instigators took a blow to the face as his own decision tree lead to attacking two cops at once, and unlike the grace of his faulty television screen, he exploded with vomit from the blows that were exchanged. He was like a short, Low-I.Q. firework for the briefest of moments, and like the fight itself, I reflected on how many years it had been since I’d witnessed that phenomena, still thinking, still thinking…until a knee to my abdomen brought me back around.
I never thought this much when I fought when I was younger, but they made TV’s better then, so maybe I never had to? Who knows.
I was probably just overthinking the whole thing anyway. Next customer…?
When officer Alexander D. Teach is not patrolling our fair city on the heels of the criminal element, he spends his spare time volunteering for the Boehm Birth Defects Center.