My last fight didn’t take place in middle school where most fights are laid to rest, nor did it take place in high school where some had to fight for their rights against some social status and wrecking monster. I wish that it could have happened, at the very least, during one of those college moments where drunk people get into those fights they laugh about the next day over bandages and pizza. I am one of those women that you see on one of those awful reality shows that depict women of color as being on a war path in Red Bottoms, I was one for just one night, not too long ago.
I come from an environment where fighting is celebrated much like you see on World Star Hip Hop and YouTube, a place where you can actually grow tired of fighting against that same girl that won’t give up because she’s vowed to beat you into the ground for no sensible reason. Living in a new city, under a new identity as a grown up and with a completely new life, I was sure that I would never have to square up and “throw hands” again.. WRONG!
Before we get to the dusty round up, let me give you a little back story. I am a direct descendant of RAGE, I come from a long history of feisty Puerto Ricans that have pretty solid records in the proverbial street ring. My mother once choked a neighbor and tossed her into a fence seamlessly (you hear me, SEAMLESSLY) for calling her son ugly.
My grandmother had a shoot out with the local drug dealers (in her 60’s) for cursing my grandfather. My uncles fought the local police for beating up on Louis (a local, special kid who we all loved in my hood) and went to jail with bruised faces and knuckles, while I sat with a social worker.
I have dealt with a level of anger that can drive someone a little less unstable to THE place of NO RETURN! I am conscious of that and so I try my best to avoid any and all situations that can drive me to strategically placing my entire foot up someone’s ass, you go to jail for that now. I remember being at my son’s football practice once and being “tried” (that means to be provoked in a bullying manner) by a very disturbed woman with many, many issues that had nothing to do with me. I did a very good job at ignoring her because I knew that it would turn ugly. I was very aware that I was a single mom, living 3000 miles away from my nearest relative and that my son was 50 feet away. What was most traumatic about this situation was being judged by two of my so-called friends at the time for not fighting, losing street-cred amongst mothers that I thought were on the same thought track. I’m glad that I kept my head because ultimately I did the right thing for my kid, who unlike me had never been exposed to the type of violence that I was familiar with. Besides that shit is just down right embarrassing for a young man. At some point the ghetto shit has to end, or so I thought.
That being said, we all fall.
Here we go, no more prolonging.
I wore a white blouse with blue wide legged trousers and a blue Stuart Weitzman pump, my hair was freshly done ( I got highlights earlier that day) and very natural make up.
Dinner reservations at the White Lotus restaurant and club. I had a Spicy Tuna Roll, a Crunchy Roll and Albacore Sashimi with Jalapeños and chased it with a glass of Chardonnay.
I step over to the night club with my friend/co-worker Lewis Curry, the place is packed.
We head over into the V.I.P. section, we are overlooking the dance floor and have just enough space to get our dance on.
An entourage of scantily clad dressed women infiltrate the section, their attitudes are as unforgiving as their outfits, they came to do damage.
I dance my way further into an isolated corner, my business casual outfit is no match for the spandex and stripes party taking place to my left.
Furious Red (that’s what we’ll call her) heads over to my section. To this day I am not quite sure what her or any one in her crew were ethnically, they were just that ambiguous looking. But I can tell you that Furious Red and crew were really smelling themselves as they scattered about that V.I.P. section ferociously with the dance moves that truly belong on a pole.
Beyonce comes on and every woman in the club (including me) transforms in the lead singer and everything in the background fades, like in real life.
I am in the middle of what I feel is a spectacular move that has captivated the eyes of a few fellas in the orb.
About 16 ounces (that’s what if felt like) of dyed, processed, extended and smelly auburn hair slap me across my face and snap me out of my dance move.
Furious Red has moved into my space and decided to take us all to the Spearmint Rhino (you know that’s a strip club, right?), she’s directly in front of me. I think, she thinks, she’s taking me to school while I need eye drops.
Me: “Excuse me, you hit me in the face with your hair. I moved over to give you your space, please watch your hair.”
Furious Red: Whatever, they want to watch me, this is what I do.
I move further into the corner, my co-worker is a few feet away and tomorrow is Mother’s Day.
Furious moves right in front of me AGAIN and is now purposely slamming her tresses in the direction of my face.
Me: Is there a problem? I have moved over twice and you keep hitting me with your hair, please stop.
Furious Red: Ha!
I slide over in the opposite direction and continue on with my dance, Lewis offers me a drink from across the way and before I can answer SLICK (that’s how it sounded) right across the face one more time.
I know you think this is the breaking moment, but no, you’d be proud of me. I tried to reason with Furious again.
Me: Listen, I told you to please stop and I’m not going to tell you again, you need…
Furious Red cuts me off by mushing me in the face.
12:18 ½ – 12:22 is still a blur, I just remember Lewis prying Furious Red’s head out of my hands while part of her body hung over a rail. According to Lewis I choked, punched, kicked and tried to slam her over onto the dance floor but her shoe got stuck on the bannister. I thank God for that because I would have gone to jail for seriously injuring Red.
Lewis and security stopped the fight, I ran to the bathroom to regroup: I was a mess, my hair looked like a wig and I had this awful red lipstick all over my face. I looked in the mirror in shock, I just had a grown up fight in public, that was so embarrassing. I just wanted to get out of that place immediately!
What was so weird is that when I walked out there were small groups of people in the club cheering me on for my victory. A woman walked up to me and proudly declared, “You won that fight girl”. I smiled and walked away awkwardly, “Where the hell is Lewis?” I wanted out of there. When I got back to him, he and the security guards were still laughing about what had happened. Lewis: “Aida, I didn’t know you had hands like that.” I grabbed Lewis and we were out of there, I travelled far and hard to get away from the violence that used to keep me in terror any time someone stepped out of bounds with my family. I just wanted it to be over, I had scratches on my right knee from Red’s heels, I guess as she struggled not to go over that rail.
When my kids asked why I limped the next day during brunch I lied, my kids are civilized people. I look back at “the incident” knowing a few things.
A. I don’t ever want to fight again.
B. Always travel with someone that will talk you out of a fight.
C. Leave the V.I.P. section when the strippers get there.
D. I am sure that Furious Red is now a respecter and upholder of the 5 feet rule.
*In the hood you are advised to respect proximity and give others at least 5 feet of personal space.