Friday, February 04, 2005

Finding Some Maturity

Birds of a feather may flock together, but humans don't always mesh so nicely. During my military school days, a kid in my class had the same birthday as I , had the same first name, and we always sat next to each other as his last name started with L and mine with a M. In retrospect, I would say now he was a decent sort of a guy. Not a loudmouth, braggart, or a creep. And for the life of me I cannot remember why we hated each other so much. But hate each other we did. So much so, we knocked heads many times in the 3 years we went to school together.

I think his dislike was born of envy. I got better grades. I was first string lacrosse. I was picked early for one of the fraternal type groups we had on campus. In the scheme of what was important, this was not much to be envious of, but I think he was. And for my part, I was just an asshole. I played the hot shit to the hilt. I rubbed his face in it mercilessly.

Our first set to was in the mail line when we were both new cadets. He butted in line and I took exception. In a school full of troubled adolescent males, blowing off this type of insult was unthinkable. You could not allow yourself to show any weakness or your life there would be spent as someone's bitch. So, I popped him a good one. Knocked him down. When he got up, I hit him again. This time I opened up his head and he bled like a stuck pig. Stitiches and a black eye were the result. That fight set up our relationship. I picked on him, and he fought back. For the next 2 years he came at me and I would kick his butt. It got old. But he would not give up.

About 2 weeks before graduation I was lounging in my room listening to music. Someone knocked on the door. I opened it and Mike cold cocked me. Hit me so hard I almost broke the window at the far end of the room. Really rang my chime. We began to tear the room up. My roomate told us to take it outside. I will always remember following him out into the rainy darkness when he turns suddenly and knocks me down into the mud next to the steps. It was off to the races. We fought forever. Wrestling, kicking, punches thrown wildly until we were both so exhausted neither one of us could lift our arms. Sitting there in the mud looking at our sorry selves, I began to laugh. It all seemed so damn silly. This 3 year feud. I guess my laughter got to him. He started chuckling also. I asked him why he kept coming. He said he couldn't help it, he hated me. He had to. He knew I wasn't as big nor meaner than he was. He should be able to kick my butt. And everytime I thrashed him, he just got madder and more resolute in his desire to have my ass. I told him he did that night and I shook his hand.

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