[dropcap]I [/dropcap]once saw a woman smacked by her husband. It happened in the Winn Dixie parking lot when I was nineteen. I’ll never forget it.
But before I continue, you ought to know something: I’m not a fighter. I’m more of a iced tea kind of guy. The altercations I’ve been party to, have always ended in humiliation. And this includes the kerfuffle in a youth-group van to Gatlinburg; where I may, or may not have called Javan Roberts an “ignorant bare-assed goat.”
It happened like this: I saw a man and wife arguing in their front seat. He flailed his arms about and gripped her collar. She shrunk back against the window, then he drew back and hit her.
My blood turned into peanut oil.
Without knowing what to do, I dropped the groceries and jumped into my truck. I gunned through the parking lot and wheeled up on him like I was going to crunch his sedan with my tires. When our bumpers touched, I laid on my horn.
He locked eyes with me in his rearview mirror.
I flashed him a look I refer to as my Baptist Clint Eastwood look. The wife jumped out of the vehicle. He squealed out of the parking lot, and left her behind.
The woman started crying, and explained, “He’s only stressed out. Because of his job. It’s not his fault.”
In that moment, I wished I would’ve said something wise, but nineteen-year-olds by their very nature are not wise. All I could answer was, “To hell with his job, and to hell with him.”
Then, for no explainable reason, I took her hand.
And I said it again.