Road Rage
by WHO on Mar-3-2000

My temper almost got me killed this weekend.

I was driving in shady neighborhood with my brother and his girlfriend when the car in front of me came skidding to an abrupt halt. The door swung open and an excellent reason to stay away from drugs emerged. She walked up to my car window and I stared into her gaunt and weathered face. Her hair was nappy and balding in places. Her ribs were protruding. Her tee shirt was sweat soaked and smelled of hopelessness. She was probably around 30 years old, but looked closer to 50. If I had ever in my life doubted my decision to stay away from crack, I was choking on my misgivings now.

In a voice sounding eerily similar to DMX’s, she says:

“Hash you lost chore damn mind?”

I was speechless. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed what seemed to be her boyfriend/pimp/dealer getting out of the car. He had a greasy rag in his hair and dirty blue jeans that were sagging at least 5 inches lower than his waist effectively revealing his pink and white striped boxers. He was shirtless and built as hell. I also noticed that there were 3 other guys in the back seat foaming at the mouth like hungry pit bulls. I saw all of this, but it didn’t quite register in my mind. I was blinded by rage.

After an endless silence, I opened my mouth to say, ‘You little bitch! You stop your car right in the middle of the fucking road and you ask me if I’m insane?’, when the voice of sanity spoke from the back seat. It was my brother. “We’re sorry,” he assured her.

All eyes were once again on me. Crack lady glared. Gansta man cracked his knuckles. My brother’s eyes bulged. In a voice barely above a whisper, I managed to say:

“I didn’t realize…”

As she sauntered away, the only thing running through my mind was: I could have taken her. She was my height and couldn’t have weighed more than 90lbs. I could have literally broken her in half. But, the question was: could I have taken the three degenerates that were in the car with her? Not a chance.

I am about to say something that is probably very racist, and I may regret it later but…

Why does it seem like black people can only fight in groups?

I noticed this phenomenon very early in life. Case in point: Zenia.

Zenia was a little black girl that lived two doors down from me. Zenia didn’t like me. Zenia wanted to beat me up. I was afraid of Zenia. For almost 2 months, I walked home really fast for…um…er…no particular reason.

Now I’m not the ‘run and hide’ type, so Zenia’s life ended up severely cramping my style. Finally fed up, I decided to ask my mother for advice. In a rare moment of loving, infinite wisdom, my mother says:

“Dammit, don’t be such a baby! Don’t you know that it’s better to fight and get your ass kicked than run away and be a coward?”

She had a point. So the next day, as I sat in class, I prepared myself for my very first out-of-home ass kicking. ‘How bad can it be?’, I kept reassuring myself.

School ended. The moment was near. I walked slowly and deliberately to the playground. Zenia followed. Antici-PA-tion…

We both faced each other, sneering…sizing one another up. Without warning, Zenia doubled up a fist and swung in the general direction of my head. I caught her hand easily. Slightly taken aback, Zenia decided to take a different approach. She spun around, karate style, and attempted to kick me in the stomach. Without even thinking, I grabbed her leg, jerked it high up into the air, and knocked her flat on the back. With sudden shock, I realized: this was easy. The fear evaporated. I was going to win this thing!

The smell of my newfound ego intermingled with my opponents fear filled the air. I picked Zenia up smartly by the shoulder and pushed her right back down. Zenia began scooting away on her butt, got up 2 feet away from me and ran like hell. I grinned to myself, went to brush myself off, realized I had never even gotten dirty, and grinned a little wider.

Less than a block away from my house, Zenia accompanied by (I kid you not) nine friends crowded around me. One of the girls was a good 3 years older than me. In the back of my mind, I wondered why someone in junior high needed help beating up an elementary school kid. My mother’s words ringing in my ears, I resisted the urge to run. I stayed and took my ass whipping with pride…

But the score was far from settled. I spent the rest of the school year staking out every single girl that had kicked me while I was down. The second I caught one alone, I would attack. 90% of these instances happened in the restroom. (Black chicks, unlike white chicks, seemed to have mastered the ability to pee alone.) While I was holding their heads under toilet water, I made a couple of death threats in order to prevent future attacks on my body. I got every single one of the little bitches back…except the girl in junior high. I decided it was probably best to leave that girl the fuck alone. I was mad, but I wasn’t crazy.

These thoughts and many others were running through my head as I drove away from the scene with the crack lady.

Maybe it has nothing to do with race. Maybe it’s just socialized behavior relating to the area in which I was raised. Maybe the drugs were doing the talking for that chick.

Maybe she was related to Zenia.


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