There Was No Plan-B

Chapter 1

Knock Down Dragout

1972

He charged at me. Sarling and spitting and cussing and slobbering. I’d already hit him a few times and had smashed him into my pickup door like a rag doll. We wrestled around to the side yard, asses and elbows, all dusty and bleeding, our bodies scraping on the limestone rocks poking like dull knives out of the hard hill country ground. I hit him hard with an almost virgin fist and he fell back for a few moments then came after me again. He whacked me a good one on my left ear, the one that still rings. Some primal memory suddenly took over and I actually got into a three-point stance, the one my high school football coach Freddy Acres drilled into me at Lubbock High. I threw my glasses off and crouched. Here he comes! I sprang up hard, my fists together under my chin, elbows out, a perfect battering ram, up and out, smashing my forehead just under his chin. It’s a wonder it didn’t take his head off! I tried. He fell back in a heap, and I was on him.

He got the better of me for awhile, but I ended up on top in his face. Everything was sweaty, slippery and greasy and I couldn’t get any traction. I tried to pull his hair out from the roots but it just slipped through my fingers. No matter hard I tried to do real damage and rip his ears off or his eyes out I couldn’t get a hold of anything and all my efforts were for nothing. Then, with my hands around his throat and looking into his eyes, I saw a most horrific sight. He was grinning like a gargoyle and laughing through the spit and blood, his breath reeking of whisky and beer. He was loving this and I realized that he wasn’t taking this seriously at all. I was beating the crap out of him and he was laughing! It was surreal and somewhat demonic. I’d only had one other fight in my life, with Greg Cobb in the fifth grade, and here I was about to strangle Jerry Jeff Walker.

And the day had started out so promising…

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