Friday, March 12, 2010

Eddie vs Eddie


I had another memorable fight that I would like to tell you about now. I say “now” because I want to tell you about it while my previous story about my fight is fresh on your mind. You might not get the two confused.

In my mind, this conflict stands out because it almost ended my life… you know, snuffed out? Never more?

The time period was several years before the fight with Ichabod Crane took place. I was probably 11 or 12 years old. I lived on Manget Street in Marietta. The part of Manget that bordered Larry Bell Park on the west side. My friends I hung out with lived mostly on Glover Street which mostly bordered the south side of Larry Bell Park.

I basically hung out with Gene S. and Tony H.. Tony was a couple of months older than I am and Gene, about a year younger. There were other kids about our age that would materialize every so often and hang out with us but then go. They came and went.

One kid that came and went was Eddie N. He was friendly and all, and we enjoyed his company and all. Eddie N. and his older sister lived in either Douglasville or Newnan, I forgot which, it has been so long ago. I think they lived in a broken home. But at months at a time they would visit their grandparents who lived on Glover Street that would be behind the Marietta Journal building if it was still standing.

There were several boys that were at least 16 that lived in the neighborhood. I know they were over 16 because they quit school already. Also, some of them drove old junky cars. They smoked, they cursed, they had a wise-crack for everything. Gad, how I envied them.

One day, they as a bunch, were hanging out in the yard at the corner of Manget and Glover Streets. We thought they were interesting and got closer and not long we were joining in with our 2¢ worth of conservation. Then they got the idea they would like to see Eddie and I get into a fight.

They circled around us and pushed me back in the circle when I tried to get out. They were telling Eddie lies about what terrible things I said about him. They were pushing up against each other. They kept telling Eddie more lies about what I said about him. Ed was becoming enraged.

Their favorite wisecrack that day was, “Eddie hit Eddie!” They were regular Bob Hopes.

Then, Eddie lunged at me swinging. When Eddie got nervous he put his mouth on the back of his hand. He always had wet slobber on the back of one hand. When he came at me swinging he was swinging with one hand. The other hand was in his mouth. I think it was a comfort thing.

I dodged his swings and kept out of his reach, I knew he was strong. One time he got a hold of my shirt and ripped it. It took two hands to pull me to him and when I got close enough I popped him in the nose. Blood spurted. I later found out I broke his nose.

He never hit me. When I saw my first opening I darted through my so-called friends and ran home.

Later Eddie’s sister came looking for me. She wanted to have me arrested for assault and battery. My so-called friends said they had no idea who she was talking about; they didn’t see any one get into a fight.

Not that they were protecting me so much, they were brought up to not to be stool pigeons.

They were fine pillars of the community weren’t they?

For several weeks I avoid getting close to Eddie. But, one day he came over to Gene’s house when I was there and we were back friends again.

Then one day we were up in the loft of Eddie’s grandfather’s barn. Either Tony or Gene brought up the fight Eddie and I had. I think he brought it up thinking no harm would happen and we would have a big laugh over it, but in a split second Eddie leaped on top of me and was coking me.

Eddie was strong. He was extremely strong. His strong hands squeezed my throat made me feel like the life was being squeezed out of me, which it was about to be just that. I could not breathe. I felt something changing in my head.

I suppose I squirmed some and we both moved a few inches. What I didn’t know, was the floor we were on was not nailed down. It was a wide sheet of particle board or plywood paced over the rafters.

We wiggled ourselves to the edge and the big board and the board politely tilted like a seesaw and we slid to the floor of the barn. As soon as I hit the dirt floor I sprinted off like a rabbit and ran all the way home.

I stayed away from Eddie for over a year.

Then Tony’s mother said she was taking all us kids to see Eddie in Douglasville (or Newnan). I didn’t think about my near death experience with Eddie. I guess time heals.

Or, I mean to say, I didn’t think about my tumble with Eddie until we were half-way there; out of sight, out of mind. Then I started dreading our visit.

Eddie lived on a farm that had rows of long chicken houses. We got the tour of the chicken houses and the room the eggs are brought to, cleaned, and sorted.

Eddie was nice. I was hoping he forgot our scrap or forgiven me one. Just the same, I prefer to keep on the side of wide opened space, like a pasture to run if I had to.

We went walking around across the pasture to look at the different cows. We came upon a pond that apparently the cattle drunk water from. I imagined Eddie suddenly grabbing me and throwing me in the water and landing on me and holding me down.

Then, Tony’s mother blew her car horn. It was time to come back to the house. The blaring of the horn was a noise of happiness.

We left and that was the last time I saw Eddie N.

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