Back in ’65 at 23, when I was released from one of the South’s most brutal and notorious rock-quarry, chain-gangs, I was put on the first bus going north. I got a factory job, earned enough money to pay a friend out, and he moved with me back to Detroit.
David had issues. He was so abused as a child that it was inevitable he would either end up in prison or, if he was able to avoid a criminal record, become a cop (the brutal type). He often came back to our apartment having been in a fight.
One night, he explained, he had gone to Shooter’s Bar next door, had a beer, and didn’t like the way people looked at him. After loudly telling everyone that he was going to beat all their asses, they promptly beat his.
I came up with an idea. I gave him a piece of chalk and told him to keep it in his pocket.
“What for?” he asked.
“Well, the next time you get this urge to start a fight, draw a line down the center of the bar and tell those on the other side that you’re gonna kick only their asses. Chances are, half the bar will ignore you!” more…