Friday, June 25, 2010

Fight Camp

I have only ever gotten in one physical fight in my whole life, and it happened exactly where you would expect - on those pre-hormonal proving grounds of hostility and rivalry:

Girl Scout Camp.

I was nine years old. My group had been walking back to our campsite after a spartan lunch of jelly sandwiches and some watery, juice-esque beverage. As we filed down the dirt road, in line, I amused myself by kicking a rock. I would kick the rock ahead of myself a few steps, catch up to it, then kick it again. I was getting pretty good at it.

Suddenly, my rhythm was interrupted. I had gone a few paces past where the rock should have been but I didn't see it anywhere. Naturally, I was concerned. Where did it go?

Then I saw it.

The rock - my rock - was still being kicked up the path. But it wasn't being kicked by my sturdy little sneaker, like it should have been; it was being kicked by the girl in line ahead of me. Blake. I tried calling out to her, "Hey Blake, that's my rock!"

She ignored me.

I said, "Hey, what are you, a rock thief?"

Still no response.

The rest of the way back to the campsite, I taunted her with such biting insults as, "No one likes a rock thief!" and "Rock thief! ROCK THIEF!" but I was unable to draw her attention. Finally, when we arrived at our tents, I confronted her, informing her that she had blatantly pirated my rock and her deliberate transgression had not escaped my notice. She looked at me and said, "Whatever. You don't own that rock."

I don't remember who struck first, but I do remember being suddenly involved in a small, two-girl tornado of swiping hands and kicking feet.

The fight quickly deteriorated into a stalemate. Blake and I were both pulling each other's hair, our bodies twisted as far away from one another as our hair length would allow, our free hands swatting lamely in the air. We were separated by a handful of other campers and we retreated to opposite sides of the campsite to cool down.

Somehow, word of the fight never got back to any of the camp counselors. Or, if it did, none of them cared (a real possibility). I remember sitting by my cot, though, waiting for some authority figure to find out about the smackdown and discipline me. I wept, trembling, into my hands. My crippling fear of getting yelled at completely eclipsed my passion for the lost kicking rock.

Well, at least I got it out of my system. I have never since been compelled to throw a fist at someone, either as a result of my own distaste for violence* or because I'm haunted by the image of how utterly lame and ridiculous I looked during my one real fight. Today, if I met Blake again, I certainly would not attempt to fight her.


I would find a more creative way to punish her for what she did.

* Real violence, I mean. I still love violence in movies. Love it.


Jason Dubinsky said...

Give her a giant boulder to kick and be like, "Hey, you like to kick rocks? Well start kickin'!" Then make her kick the boulder until her foot is backwards. That's what I would do.

Lola Cutter Hensel said...

I like it.

I like it a lot.

Noel said...

I am immensely disappointed that we were in different Girl Scout troops.