Tuesday - 1:50 a.m.
On Sunday, I watched Elkie fight in Akron. She didn't watch me though; I had my fight with some guy at the snack bar.
For some reason, Elkie had to be at her Karate tournament at eight in the morning, even though she didn't get to compete until six o'clock that evening. This made for a very long day. After we got to the arena, Elkie went off to a staging area to practice, while I sat way up in the bleachers, by myself, really hungover, reading Dangling in the Tournefortia, a collection of poetry by Charles Bukowski.
I sat way up in the bleachers, reading while below me; ninjas fought and wrestled each other. It was reminiscent of the scene in Enter The Dragon, where there’s this huge courtyard full of guys practicing karate moves. No one died though. At least no one I noticed. I didn't know what to expect. Going in all of my previous karate experience, mostly from movies, had ended with someone having their head snapped off.
I myself have a black belt in Mortal Kombat 2, and this karate tournament wasn't anything like that game. No scary disembodied voice announced, "Finish him" when it appeared there was a winner in the match. So I sat there, way up in the bleachers, by myself, reading Bukowski, and waiting for Elkie to compete.
After five hours or so of sitting way up in the bleachers, I got hungry and wandered down to the concession stand. All they had was candy and pizza, and that's where I got into my fight. Indeed, a few feet from the arena where four hundred people were fighting on purpose, I somehow managed to get into a fight by accident, waiting to order a five-dollar slice of shitty pizza.
Maybe it was the increased amount of testosterone in the air that caused it. Maybe it was my boredom. Maybe it was because I had been reading Bukowski poems. Whatever it was, I probably shouldn't have let it happen.
I was standing in a single file line with seventy other people at the only concession stand in the entire arena. All except for this one guy, he was standing directly next to me, and by that, I mean shoulder-to-shoulder next to me. Every time the line inched forward, he would move with me, so we were always standing directly next to each other. It was odd. The first few times we moved, it was bizarre, the next few times it was infuriating.
When we got up to the counter, the clerk looked understandably confused because he didn't know which one of us was next. I told the guy to go ahead of me, since trying to ditch in front of me was obviously incredibly important to him. He got all snotty about it and told me to relax. Then he took a swing at me for no reason. Or he could have swung at me been because I called his mother a whore.
Sadly, there was no scary disembodied voice announcing, "Finish him" after I ducked his punch and he took out a display stand of Gatorade and peanut M&M’s.
I ordered my shitty five-dollar slice of pizza while he fumbled around, trying to catch the falling bottles, looking like an absolute idiot.
By far, it was the best slice of pizza I've ever had, by the way. It tasted like victory.