At the time I was simply acting reflexively. After all, I was actually in survival mode.
In survival mode… and hungry.
I’m walking with this guy I just met a few days ago. This “Crazy Allen” my little gang of street punk friends had been talking so much about. That’s what one of the kids called him anyway. He doesn’t seem all that crazy to me. A bit intense, but not crazy. I don’t care. I’m just happy to be going to get something to eat.
Allen said he works at a Burger King over on Dodge Street, so we’re going there. He can’t get us free food or anything like that, but he said he can get us extra stuff for our money. Things like an extra patty and extra cheese on my double beef Whopper with cheese, and lots more fries than a normal order. I sure hope he’s right.
I’m so hungry.
I didn’t expect on going to Burger King when I went over to Allen’s place with those two kids from the gang. I’m almost out of money and food as it is, so this is an unexpected expense I can barely afford at the moment. Oh well. It’s almost payday so I’ll have plenty of money soon. I guess I could call this a pre-payday celebration splurge.
I’m just so hungry.
“There he is… that fucker.”
I have no idea what Allen is talking about but it soon becomes clear. Allen is pointing at someone on the sidewalk across the street. I see the guy briefly between the trees and cars as we all move. He’s about Allen’s age and size, wearing a cap and what looks like a high school letter jacket. The guy is walking the same direction we are. Our already brisk walk quickens.
“HEY ASSHOLE! HEY! COME HERE YOU FUCKER!!”
As the guy comes to the corner of the next cross street, Allen runs to intercept. I hear shouts from both and they begin circling each other, like wrestlers looking for an opening.
I say nothing and for a moment, it looks like they might just stop, but then Allen rushes the guy and they clinch. My Dad coached wrestling so this starts looking pretty familiar. I can tell these two are pretty evenly matched. As I cross the intersection and see them closer, I can see that Allen is doing things one would never get away with in a real match. The other guy is obviously pretty tough.
I don’t care. I’m hungry.
The clinch these two are in doesn’t seem like it’s ever going to end. Allen is grunting and cursing and the guy is matching his every move. He’s solid and I really REALLY DON’T CARE!
“HEY!” I’m done with this shit.
“HEY ALLEN!!” No change…
I then do something I totally didn’t think I’d do. I walk up to the two wrestlers and give them both a shove with all my strength. They fall apart, both stumbling. Allen has a look of complete surprise on his face, shock almost. I do not give him time to speak.
“I’M HUNGRY!!!” I shout with everything my big baritone voice can muster.
“Allen, I am NOT going to stand around waiting for you to kick this asshole’s ass. It’s taking way too long and I’m hungry.”
The guy Allen was just ‘fighting” looks at me. I can see that his jacket is indeed a high school letter jacket and he’s on the wrestling team. I don’t care. I look at Allen and he’s smiling.
“Ok big guy, let’s go. I’ll deal with you later fucker.”
The wrestler kid snorts and walks away without a word. Allen and I go and get a HUGE meal of Burger King food and to my surprise, Allen pays for everything.
Cool. He may be crazy, he may not. All I know at this moment is…
I’m no longer hungry.