April 12, 2027

Shawn texted me today; he was fired from his third job at the drug store. Not meaning to interrupt his rant, I suggested meeting up and talking face to face, but the last thing he wanted was to talk. He wanted a drink and some entertainment to ward off his negative thoughts. We ended up going to High Dive which was less crowded than usual, and he insisted on buying the first round of drinks.

Shawn spaced out for a moment then started rambling again. He brought up his experience in jail, something he hasn’t mentioned to me before. Hearing yet another despairing story, there’s no doubt Shawn had developed a dark and mean core burning deep within him as a result of the nasty things he had to deal with in the past. He’s stuck seeing the harsh side of life, and I don’t think he’ll ever be able to recover from it, even he tried.

After finishing our drinks, I suggested I pay for the next round. I went to the bar and ordered the same drinks and watched the bartender prepare them before turning back to Shawn and seeing Nelson, his former boss, slithering around before approaching him and striking up a conversation. Shawn’s demeanor immediately shifted as Nelson and one of his friends taunted him, and I knew things were about to go down at any moment. I paid the bartender, accidentally tipping him more than I intended to due to the distraction, grabbed the drinks and walked back to our spot only to find myself witness to a bitter and profane argument between them. I couldn’t possibly understand how trouble erupted in the bat of an eye. What seemed to be a verbal fight soon turned physical when Shawn balled up his fist and hit him as hard as he could on the face, jolting him backwards and onto the floor. At first, I didn’t budge. I knew he must’ve done something to provoke him due to such an intense reaction. Up until that point, Shawn was like a time bomb waiting to go off.

This moment was long overdue, especially for me. Shawn’s built-up frustration was overflowing before my eyes. Whatever Nelson had done or said shook him so bad, and caused an outburst to all the anger he’s been bottling in lately. The sight of his incandescent rage stunned me, but seeing him induce violence so fiercely was invigorating to say the least. Nelson deserved every single punch coming at him. At some point, I had to step in and intervene, but I made sure that it was after he got his fair amount of hits.

I raced in Shawn’s direction and attempted to pull him away, but he kept on resisting. Two rugged and grisly bouncers eventually interfered and managed to separate him from Nelson who, at that point, was seriously injured and disoriented. I heard one of the staff members say the police were on their way which annoyed me. Shawn doesn’t need another controversy. He’s had enough already. I spotted Nelson rush to the restroom area, and I didn’t hesitate to follow him. I opened the door to the sight of him cleaning up, lamenting every time he splashed water on his face and tried to wash away the blood dripping from his mouth and nostrils. When he became conscious of my presence, he stopped, turned to me and said:

– “Your friend is a piece of shit.”

I paused, rolled my eyes, and thought about ignoring him and stepping out. But I’m done running away from conflict. Nelson obviously had a lot to learn, and someone needed to give it to him straight. Due to the circumstances we were in, I felt like it had to be me, and being alone with him in the room was like a perfect opportunity presenting itself. I grudgingly walked up and stood right in front of him. His face was swollen, both eyes were heavily bruised, and an odd ridge covered his mouth. Because of his continuous nosebleed, dry, clotted blood had gathered around one of his nostrils which made him look like a total mess. He immediately felt rattled and took a few steps back until his back touched the wall. 

–  “You think you’re such a hot shot, don’t you?”, I started. “You know what I see when I look at you? I see an old, dried up, miserable human being whose life is spent demeaning others just so he can feel good about himself. If it was me, nothing would’ve stopped me from fucking you up with my own bare hands.”

The words poured out of my mouth raw and unfiltered, destroying him completely as they did.

–  “Enjoy the rest of your sad little cushy life.”

Men like Nelson send an intimidating vibe as soon as they step foot inside a room using their physical attractiveness as a tool to get whatever or whoever they want which obviously gains them a huge sense of pride. What I could clearly see, though, particularly after this incident, is that he was in desperate need of a wake up call. I don’t expect him to change, but calling him out was necessary anyway.

By the end of our interaction, my face was almost glued to his I could hear his stuttered breathing. I moved away and left the room feeling empowered at how much discomfort I’ve caused him to feel. I bet he didn’t see that coming. I rarely go to such extent in my behavior, only when it’s necessary. I walked back to the main bar area where Shawn was still detained by security. A police car showed up outside moments later, its flickering lights reflecting inside the bar complex. I’ve been finding myself in critical and tough situations involving law enforcement lately, which never ceases to exasperate me. Two officers came in and started questioning Shawn before switching to Eric and hearing his side of the story. Disregarding the provoking exchange of words that happened between them which anyone with half a brain would consider as crucial factors behind the fight, they relied solely on the facial trauma inflicted by Shawn and charged him with assault and battery and arrested him. 

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