I just got punched in the face by a gigantic black man.

What happened was I was getting dinner from Dos Coyotes. It’s Southwestern food, which is like Mexican food for white people. There’s a lot of sauce and everything is kind of drippy. Anyway, I left the parking lot and was trying to get into the left turn lane.I guess in the process of trying to change lanes I cut some chick off, because the next thing I know she is honking at me. I made the, “Oh, so sorry, no speak English” signal with my arms and face, and all was good.

Well, not really. I got into the left turn lane and saw some shit going on out of the corner of my eye. I look to my right and there’s this black dude in one of those flat billed hats freaking out in his Jeep SUV. The thing about those flat billed hats–and this really chaps my hide–is that skateboarders invented that shit. It was like in 1990, and in addition to flat billed hats we wore these big baggy pants that were cut off at the ankle. In retrospect, they looked like women’s capris, which is pretty gay, I guess. Anyway, as this guy was yelling at me from his car I wanted to be like, “Dude, you look like a faggy skater from the 90s.” But instead I said, “Man, I was trying to turn.” It didn’t matter what I said, because we were in our cars and he couldn’t hear me. I could have said, “I have AIDS scabs all over my face and I’d like to share one with you” and he wouldn’t have understood a thing.

He was fucking upset. He made that face where he crinkled his eyebrows and did the Elvis lip. The weird thing is, the dude had nothing to do with me cutting that chick off. He was just being righteous and angry, I guess.

But the next thing I knew, the dude was getting out of his car. He was kind of fat, but big. Maybe like 6’1″ and he had a huge leather jacket and baggy jeans, so he looked even bigger. I rolled down my window so we could yell at each other.

Up close, I could see that he hadn’t shaved in a couple days. He had a few gray hairs on his chin mixed in with all the black ones. If he dropped about 60 pounds and stopped dressing like an extra in a Wu-Tang Clan video he would have been a pretty handsome fellow.

“What, muthafucka?!” he yelled.

“I was trying to  fucking turn. How many fucking ways can I fucking tell you that?” I asked. When I get angry, my “fuck” to “regular word” ratio goes way up.

And then he backed up a little. At that point I knew he was going to punch me in the face, but I didn’t want to look like a pussy so I leaned my head out the window a little bit, just to show him that if there’s one thing I can take, it’s a punch. After being punched in the face hundreds of times in my youth, I realize that it rarely hurts when it comes from people who don’t know how to fight. This dude was obviously too doughy and his clothes were too baggy to throw a solid punch.

His punch came from the left side. He didn’t use momentum but his whole fist hit my cheek/nose area. It felt like he gave up halfway through his swing. Sometimes, at night, my fiancee, Crystal (who sleeps like an epileptic) elbows me in the face harder than that. Well, after the punch, the angry black man walked away and got back in his car. The cool thing was that right when he was done punching me in the face I saw that the left turn signal was green so I could just go. I even got his license plate number, which was 4SUL910.

As I drove past his car I pretended that I was laughing with hilarity and I pointed at him. It seemed like the right thing to do, but really it didn’t make sense. I should have done something weirder, like winked at him while pretending to brush my teeth. It turns out, it didn’t matter what I did, because weirdly enough, as I pointed at him he actually pretended he didn’t see me. It was awkward and it made me mad because I wanted him to watch my dramatic performance.

The funny part is when I got home I told Crystal what happened and she just looked at me and said, “Karma.” I guess if you believe in that sort of thing.

Anyway, it’s about an hour later and my nose doesn’t hurt,  but I kind of have a headache. It might be from staring at my computer screen all day, though. Or cancer.

To be honest, I’ve been bored all week. Plus I’m old. I have already been in rehab and jail, so I can’t really go out and get into trouble  anymore. So when things like this happen I remember how exciting life can be, like the time when we were kids and we chased the shit-talking Russian kid off the train and my friend maced him in the eye, except the stream missed the Russian kid and it hit me in the eye instead. Or the time in front of the pizza place when the drunk college football player punched me in the face and all my friends came out and beat him until he bled out of every hole in his body. Ah, those were some solid times.

I miss the good old days. I guess I just want to say: Angry black man, wherever you may be, I know you punched me in the face out of anger, but thank you for taking a bland Tuesday night and knocking me back into some  fond and exciting childhood memories.

I can just hear the angry black man now, telling his wife with the neck tattoo, “That lil pussy ass motherfucker’s probably going home to blog about this shit.” And then they both laugh heartily, drink Big Gulps, eat Cheetos and have fat sex.

Josh Fernandez © 2021
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