It Happened to Me

Last Friday’s Party, part 2

(You might want to look at Last Friday’s Party, party 1 first.)


After the “No, I was not checking out your breasts, but now that you have accused me of doing so, it is taking all my will not to” incident, I made my way to the table to help myself to some green and red pepper slices and dip. To the left of the veggie tray was a bowl of potato chips.

Oh evil carbs, I thought, how I sometimes long for your starchy, yet loving embrace.

Beside the bowl of chips was a couple making kissy-faces. He was an Asian guy with hipster hair, all pell-mell hair, like every Asian hipster is all those hair gel advertisement has. She was “the girl next door”, white, with straight brown hair, wearing a red hoodie zipped up over a Gap t-shirt. They were a cute couple, and sort of reminded me of me and The Redhead, which made me smile. The cute couple were saying their goodbyes and slowly making their way towards the door.

A few minutes later, after I’d joined in a conversation, there was a thump to my left. A guy with whom I’d been talking to earlier had been thrown down onto the floor, clipping the table with his arm on the way down. The force with which he hit the floor was strong enough to jolt the CD player from playing the dance hits of 1993 into silence.

Standing over him, with the look I could only describe as “murderous”, was Kissy Face Guy, his fists clenched and pacing from side to side, staring at his intended victim. He made a cursory kick at his victim’s left leg. Realizing that the guy on the ground was lying with his legs apart, he swung his right foot back, in preparation for making the coup de grace in that most vulnerable of points.

He never connected. The guy to whom I was talking and I dragged his intended victim out of the way and were already blocking his path, while other guys had managed to pin his arms back.

“Take him outside and let him cool off,” someone said.

“Look,” said Kissy Face Guy, “I just wanna apologize to him.”

Kissy Face Guy walked close to the guy he’d thrown to the ground and reached out to offer a hand as a peace offering. At the last minute, he turned his extended hand into an attempted right cross. He missed, and the two guys who’s restrained him earlier dragged him to the balcony, where they hoped that the quiet and frigid night air would calm him down.

“You all right?” I asked Thrown To Floor Guy.

“Yeah. I don’t get it. We were in the hallway, all I said was ‘Hey’, and the next thing you know, he’s shoved me to the ground.”

Thrown To Floor Guy excused himself and went to the kitchen to get a beer.

“That was pretty weird,” said a woman beside me.

“Here’s something to think about,” I said to her. “When’s the last time you saw a fight break out at a house party?”

She glanced upward in thought for a moment. “Ages. Maybe…high school. Uh-huh, high school.”

“Same here,” said another guy. “I’ve seen a fight break out outside a club, but even then, the guys who do that are maybe twenty-two.”

(This crowd was all in their late twenties or early thirties.)

I tried to remember the last time I saw a fight break out at a club. It’s been a while; the closest thing in recent memory was the incident with Kitchener Girl and the Gap Ninjas.

Later on, we found out that the two guys involved in the altercation told markedly different stories. Kissy Face Guy said that while they were inching their way down the long skinny corridor leading to the door, Thrown To Floor Guy groped Girl Next Door, his kissy-face partner — it was like Rashomon, twenty-first century cocktail party-style.

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