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Aikido...


A very intense and difficult practice.


So I was getting back from dinner this evening when my little sister in law called me obviously upset on the phone. She told me that my neighbor across the street had come out when she got into her truck to go home and started screaming and yelling at her, and telling her that he was going to have her vehicle towed (or he was going to back into it) with his over-sized truck.

I went across the street to talk to the man and try to find out why he felt the appropriate response was to verbally abuse a little girl. I knocked on the front door and politely asked his wife if I could talk to her husband, she asked me if I wanted to come in and I said "only if you want." She opened the door and let me in and when her husband came in the room I extended my hand and said, "hello sir."

I knew right then this wasn't going to go well as he looked at me like I'd just spit on his shoes. I withdrew my hand and said, "So I understand you spoke with my little sister today?" He immediately started yelling at me about how I'm always blocking his truck in on purpose. The yelling continued for about 40ish seconds. Highlights included "If you park it there again I'm getting the fucker towed!", "YOUR FUCKING CAR IS GONE!", and "YOU GET THE FUCK OFF MY HOUSE AND AWAY FROM MY YARD AND IF YOU EVER COME BACK I'M GETTING YOUR CAR TOWED."

Let me qualify, I do park in the street regularly because I work third shift and it would make no sense for me to park in the driveway so that (when it's time for me to go work), I could enjoy the pleasure of having to move my wife's car out of the way, move my car out of the drive, get back into my wife's car move it back in (yes I would really have to do this as most nights she's already asleep by the time I'm leaving), and then get back into my car and go to work.

Somewhere in the middle of the tirade I mentioned that there was no need to get upset, and that I came over to have a civilized conversation. After his apparent refusal to listen to those statements, I calmly reminded the man that he had never said anything to me about it being a problem. This was when the man started waving his hand in my face and telling me that there was no way he could tell me about it because "I was always in my house."

Apparently slightly less modern forms of transportation such as WALKING OVER TO YOUR NEIGHBORS HOUSE AND TALKING TO THEM LIKE A CIVILIZED ADULT WHEN YOU HAVE A PROBLEM, are unknown to this man. At this point he started screaming "GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY HOUSE", at which point I informed him "that will be no problem at all." He was still screaming at me while I was walking back across the street to my house at which time I told him "I ought to call the police."

When I think about how angry I was, standing in a stranger's living room being dressed down for parking my car on a public street. Having to listen to an old man tell me that he was going to commit grand theft auto by having my vehicle illegally towed away. Feeling the adrenaline kick in as he waved his hand in my face and threaten myself and my property (by proxy my wife and son), after he had already verbally abused my sister in law who is a seventeen year old, 115 pound girl. I must say it was only several years of martial arts training that kept me aggressively defending that which is mine. The feeling of the adrenaline rushing through my veins lasted a good 45 minutes.

Instead of fighting I agreed with the man's wishes, left his house and his property behind, and instead of blocking or striking back (figuratively) I instead used his own sloppy inertia and force against him by informing the police about this altercation. I'm trying to decide if I want to go the trouble of having a squad car out here tomorrow morning or if I just want to turn the other cheek and stay out of his way. He is an elderly chap and normally I am very respectful to elders but I wonder if this outburst doesn't require a more aggressive show of response on my part?

One thing I am certain of is that, bully's only respond to force and nothing that I can do (or not do) is going to change that. I have no interest in starting a neighborhood war and as I've been living here a grand whooping total of a year I'm quite sure it wouldn't take much in the way of storytelling for me to be designated jerk around here but at the same time this man threatened my family, my property and my very nearly (I sensed), personal safety.

That is an action that I will not allow to pass without consequence.

I may not use force but I am certainly not intending to show a bully weakness. We'll have to see what the man does next. Knowing the issue is of importance to him I will attempt to make the man's life a little easier but should he continue on in this fashion I'm afraid I'll have to press charges or get a restraining order. Sad that some people simply don't have any idea what civilized behavior is.

As if that wasn't enough the power also went out today while I was in the middle of a very important conversation with a good friend. Sorry , I hope you don't think I just dropped off the face of the earth. How this relates to the rest of the post is that after it got dark I proceeded to set up candles in the living room so I could see to read. After I got everything set up I took a look out the picture window in the front room to see a flashlight burst come from his living room into mine, as if to let me know 'I'm watching you!!!' This states to me that he's expecting me to react like him. He's expecting some kind of explosive reprisal. I've gather that his anger is hot, that means it uses him. My anger on the other hand though is cold so I can use it. I'll just let the cops sort it out and hope that the man comes to understand that the road he lives on is fair game for parking until 2am in this city.

I didn't know how much I'd improved my practice over the years.

Practiced some Aikido I didn't know I had in me today.

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