Busterwolf: Hands Down Part II
A few days pass between the fateful sparring match between me and my cop friend and the events of about ninety minutes ago. The adrenaline is still working its way out of my system. I’ve already twittered that I won’t be going to bed; bad idea, since, as always, I have a lot to do. Not the least of which includes the update to my new series Universal Warrior: Journey to Asgard. Yes, that was a shameless plug. But it’s my blog. I can do that.
Spare moments between contracts are devoted to training; in the past few days I’ve knocked off close to a thousand push-ups, nearly tearing my shoulder in the process. I’ve gone through punches, kicks, blocks, meditation, even forms. Whatever’s coming, I want to be ready for it. I can feel it with every fiber of my being; this is the fight I’ve been waiting my whole life for.
The IM comes in tonight. The message is simple; “Out back.”
That’s the first twinge of fear to strike me. He’s out there, waiting for me.
As I get up, another message comes through, this one shakes me to the core; “Two knives.” He says, “Pick one.”
I’m almost ready to type; are you out of your f***ing mind?
Not only is this man a cop, he’s my friend…and eventually I have to learn to start trusting people again. Besides, this is the fight I asked for. I refuse to believe that he’s going to come at me full force, blade-to-blade. Of course, it hits me that all those years on the road, I’ve never been in a knife fight. I know very basic techniques when it comes to using a knife, but my friend is ex-military. The advantage is clearly his.
Of my two knives, one has a compass, the other a knuckle guard. They’re both dull, but the one with the knuckle guard couldn’t cut through water. I go with the compass–in case I have to switch positions on the fly.
It hits me again as I leave my apartment and head downstairs, to the rear of my apartment building; he’s out there.
Indeed he is.
Dressed all in black, I might add, including this beanie that had to be pulled out of some action movie I saw somewhere. For a minute I wonder if he’s serious, and we’re gonna cut each other up.
Then he smiles.
I feel relieved. I may have lost–but I would’ve stood my ground.
He asks if I want to see what he’s working with and he pulls forth a miniature BROADSWORD that looks like it could cleave the world in half. Not really, but the blade is elegant, double-edged, and BEAUTIFUL. It’s about a foot long…and blessedly, it’s as dull as my blade. I snicker.
He clown each other about our knives (his is bigger) and we bow. So it begins.
He immediately corrects me, the only time he’ll do it that night; why isn’t your knife hand out front? I switch my hands around, holding my blade defensively.
Then it begins.
My heart rate increases. I exhale. Adrenaline flows. I feel like I’m eighteen again, in the prime of my life. I’m thirty-two, and I’ve been waiting for this my entire life.
I should say now that he is far better than I am with a knife, and had we been fighting, he would’ve put me down pretty quickly. I got in a few good shots, though. I realized that killing was his skill, not fighting, and this was the difference between him and I. This was what he wanted me to see, and having known me as long as he has, he knew I had to experience it to understand.
There were two key moments in this fight I was especially proud of. Fighting at my peak, I kept him away with kicks and our knives struck with such impact that he nearly dislodged my weapon on a couple occasions. He tried to get inside and demonstrate a killing technique; each time he did, I repelled him. Eventually, we stood toe to toe, slashing, dodging, intercepting, and countering. I had no idea how I was doing the things I was; I was just doing them. I often say that I don’t need things to be explained or even make sense. They just have to work. For about one minute, I stood toe to toe with him using a style I had no experience with and I frustrated the man. I feel pretty good about that.
The second time, just after we finished going toe-to-toe, he came in close. I tripped him, we fell together, me on top. I’m pressing the dull(er) edge of my blade downward towards his neck to demonstrate the kill, he’s pushing me off–but I’m physically stronger and he knows it. He can only save himself by putting his foot in my solar plexus (ouch) and sending me flying, landing flat on my back (OUCH!). We got up at the same time and simply took fighting stances at one another. Stalemate.
But….to all things an end…and he is the better man with the knife.
He came in close. He feinted low, knowing that I would go for it, and made a fatal error in lowering my blade to block what I thought was an attempt at my femoral artery. The second my hand went down, he grabbed it, holding it in place. The knife hand went to my throat.
If you ever have the sharp end of a knife pressed against your throat, then you know just how quickly your life can flash before your eyes. You also realize how quickly you can lose control of your bladder.
He looks at me. He smiles. I smile back, nodding. “You got me,” I concede, for the first time in life. I have to admit it felt good to say.
He tells me I’m not bad. For some reason, I don’t feel humiliated at conceding. I’m actually pretty pleased with myself. He extends his hand, and I shake it firmly. We may get together and spar, but it won’t happen as much as it used too. We’ll spend a lot more time training each other now. We don’t need to say it; we just know.
Don’t do nothing stupid for New Years, he tells me. You too, I respond. He turns, he leaves. I watch him go.
I got nicked a bit during our match. Soap and hot water should take care of everything.
I head back inside unsure why I feel euphoric. I lost. I did my best and I lost, and I’ve always said that was okay…right?
Well, yeah, but it’s not that.
The euphoria comes from knowing that my road has taken a different course now, and I have nothing left to do or prove in my old life. I fought once, I’ll write now.
And so the Busterwolf era finally, officially
Comes to a proud close.
Thanks for following along.
(c) Avery K. Tingle for Akting Out LLC
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