A guy about my height, clearly dedicated to the weight room unfolds out of the taxi. He’s yelling I think, but I can’t focus on what he’s saying, only his approach. I take two steps, move inside his personal space and stare at him. Saying nothing. Not moving. Daring him. Wanting him to do something. Swing. Push. Anything. Any provocation.
Voices drift into my periphery. I’m being cheered on by those waiting in line. Several start to close towards us. I’m unmoving. Unblinking. I can see his eyes shift between me and those approaching. He yells one more time. Something. I could care less. I shorten the distance between us. I can smell alcohol. Feel his breathing deepen, quicken.
“This isn’t worth it. Let’s get out of here. This asshole is crazy!”
His friends vacate the cab as if in a fire drill. They swiftly move out of the parking lot, onto the street and cross against the red light without looking back. The men leading the retreat; their high-heeled dates following in teetering short chop steps dictated by 4” spikes and incredibly short, tight dresses.
I slowly begin to refocus. Laughing and pats on the back. A cacophonous applaud. The first positive reinforcement I can recall in months. For anything. My date and I are regally placed in the same cab. The driver asks without turning, “Where to?” As if that mattered. As if anything was of significance other than the victory just witnessed by all.
My date laughs, “That was crazy wonderful!”
Somehow everything is different. Sharper, clearer. As when the optometrist makes the last minor spin of the dial fine-tuning focus. No blurred edges. I can smell the complexity of the city as never before. I’m in a zone I never knew existed. I’m pervaded by a sense of security, a knowledge that while what I just did was monumentally stupid, it was right. Not just right for me. Right for everyone. It made everyone just a bit better. A bit happier. I wanted nothing more than to do it again. And again. And again.