“You know Amy, one day, you’re gonna get shanked” says Lil Sis.
I just adore it when my tiny, curvy, blonde baby sister busts out with the gutter talk. She could have said “assaulted”, “stabbed”, “killed”. But no, she goes with shanked. Thank you endless Law and Order marathons.
So, I have a demanding schedule (translation: insane schedule) and I often find myself on public transportation and out and about town at odd hours (translation: I get home at 4am often). The good ole trusty Long Island Rail Road is great service for those living in the outer suburbs who want to come live it up in the Big Apple for an evening (translation: any train that leaves Penn Station after 1am is full of people who have had way too much to drink and aren’t wearing enough clothes).
Ah, the Drunk Train.
I find myself on the Drunk Train at least a few times a month. And ironically enough, I am rarely drunk. So picture this, you’re in a giant moving tin can with about 40 people who are loud obnoxious and ready for some action. Well, at least for the first 20 minutes until the gentle rocking sensation of the train induces sleep or puke.
Now, when I want to get all righteous and philosophical, I fancy myself a non-violent occasional Buddhist. Me and the Buddha are like, you know, Besties. The mysticism and mythology I find endlessly fascinating, and the core principles of Buddhism match nicely with my own world view. Besides, the Dalai Lama is just awesome.
You’ve got this image of the Drunk Train in your head, right? Now add a non violent occasional Buddhist to the mix and what do you get? No, not chanting. Try Drunken Frat Boy Fights with a non-violent occasional Buddhist in the middle. I don’t know what it is, but at least once a month or so, I find myself right smack dab in the middle of a tussle. Now, people are not getting aggressive with me (I’ll admit, some of you might find that surprising), but if I’m trying to get home after 1am, the chances are exceptionally high that I will encounter two or more knuckleheads wanting to throw down. I guess I’m just a lucky kind of gal.
So what’s a non violent occasional Buddhist to do in such a predicament? “Run screaming like a little girl” would be the obvious choice. I have the “retreat and while dialing 911″ move down like a pro. But every now and again, I find myself literally in the middle of the action.
A few months ago, I was on the Drunk Train, right in the middle of the car. I’m not going to dish the gory details of how the altercation began but let’s just say that one boy was rather offended when another boy questioned his manhood and sexual orientation. Naturally, they had to do the “I’m going to fight you now” chest bump thing, then OH NO, jackets were whipped off in a flourish which behavioral scientists will tell you is a sure sign some sloppy punches are going to be thrown. And naturally, they were both backed up by their rag-tag crew of best buds ready to crack some skulls. Now, this would be an excellent moment for the aforementioned “retreat and dial” maneuver. Except…
1. We were in a tunnel with no cell service.
2. They were standing right at the end of my row out my seats.
Retreat was not an option.
I knew if punches were thrown I’d be the one getting hurt. Drunken frat boys are not known for precision with their fighting skills after a 12 pack. So what to do? Well, my inner Fab Girl decides to break up with fight with the most powerful skill set known to mankind – sex kitten appeal.
I step right between them, all purring and licking my lips. I help one of them back into his coat, brushing off imaginary dust, all the while cooing in his ear about how sexy it would be if he just walked away because obviously the other guy is not as manly as he is. All the while, my hands are on his shoulders and chest, gently backing him up and putting space between the fighters. When there was about 15 feet of space and we were feet from the exit to the next car I said “God you know, its such a turn on when guy is so powerful and doesn’t have to prove it”. By that time, his friends had gotten control of the situation and were backing out of the car.
OK, fine, I was dressed in a plaid mini skirt with pigtails and there were like 30 witnesses in the train car so even a drunken frat boy has more sense then to beat down a school girl.
Upon telling the above tale to Lil Sis, she just shakes her head saying “you’re gonna get shanked”.