Back in the day, one of the worst things somebody could call you was "soft."
"You soft, dude, you soft."
"Man, this dude is softer than peeled grapes! He couldn't bust a grape in a food fight."
To be soft, you had to be somebody that people could easily pick on or you weren't able to hold your own in a neighborhood fight. To NOT be soft, you didn't need to tote a gun or kill people after school. Back in those days, I was the dude that kept it cool with everybody. When it was time to throw hands, I was OK with that and never backed down. When I ever had a bully, I definitely whulped their a**. And there was the occasional "L." That was all apart of growing up.
Also, I never feared any man. Well, maybe one or two.
Still, I walked with confidence and knew that if something popped off, I was going to be good. I had an arsenal of bats and combat tools in my car at all times. I never had a gun, but I was ready for war - in my mind. But, the notions floating in my head were sufficient. to getting my goals accomplished.
I am ready for war in a different way.
I am ready for the lawless insurgents that I feel will one day run up on my house like they did Will Smith in "I Am Legend." I have the ADT full house alarm system. I have the Rotwieler as my "best friend" and I even have man's other best friend in a passcode protected safe. I even workout to keep my body in shape should I need to knock a fool out.
Man, I'm soft.
Yeah, I'm not afraid to admit that I am scared of losing what I have. Scared of some young punk catching me unawares. Some scheming scum bag is going to pick my house to kill my kids and future wife. I know it. And I am scared of it. Is this what happens when you become and adult? You get so much stuff that what you have outweighs your instincts for acting a damn fool on somebody. I mean, I wouldn't mind having a stare down with some chump, but that chump might be strapped and ready to kill. They kill over a eye screw these days.
I was driving one time and this dude hit my car lightly at a stop light.
Not a problem, because it was just a bumper and no scratches. But I got out of my car to confront him about it. Before I got a chance to even say anything, this dude was spazzing about, "Do we have a problem?" He was half my size. I know in my heart of hearts, one well-placed punch to his body would fold him. But he had the eyes of a demon. My only thought was getting home to my family safely. This psycho wasn't worth it. In an era long gone, I'm sure I would have bombed on him and rolled.
I guess, this is the price of growing up. Losing some of that edge is essential to growing up, right? I'd be a fool if I didn't use all of my manly insight to avoid needless trouble, right? To get caught up in something foolish would only result in harm to my own people, not really the lowlives, right? I just have to come to terms with the fact that I'm soft as my newborn's bottom...
Deep down, I wish I beat the hell out of that guy that tapped my car. Just for old time's sake.