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Itching for a fight

I was dropped off by an Uber driver in Scottsdale, Arizona, well after midnight, in a dark, sketchy place about a mile from my hotel. The driver pointed at a building that appeared to have a lobby, but when I got close, I could see it was an office building with locked doors.

I turned to tell the driver we were in the wrong place, but he was already driving away.

I quickly looked on Google Maps and saw that the hotel was about three-quarters of a mile away.

Then I thought:

It’s a set-up. He dropped me here intentionally, in this dark place behind an office building, with no sight lines to any road, where his confederates are lying in wait.

I’m about to be robbed.

Then, I became momentarily excited—almost ecstatic—about the prospect of fighting off a small handful of bad guys because I’m a big, stupid idiot.

But when you grow up fighting a lot, liking to fight, and being surprisingly effective at fighting, the desire to engage in combat never entirely leaves you. I’m always kind of wishing that I might find myself in a fight someday, even though that desire is so very stupid.

I punched a man outside of the Big Sky gym about a decade ago to stop him from beating up another man, and I was disappointed that my one punch dropped him to the ground.

I had been hoping for more, which was also so very stupid.

But I’m not the only one dealing with a similar issue. Little parts of our former selves often remain behind—rightfully neutered, dormant, and silenced—but ready to emerge at the right moment.

That’s me, always waiting for the right moment.

Waiting for the next chance to fight.

Also—and this occurred to me that night in Arizona—my opponents could very well have weapons, significantly reducing my chances of victory. Fighting is stupid for many reasons, but one of them is that you never know what might be hiding in someone’s pocket.

Having been faced with a switchblade and a gun in my past, I know what I’m talking about.

That moment in Arizona turned out to be much less nefarious than I suspected. I eventually discovered that my hotel had just recently opened, so the driver’s GPS was confused. It wasn’t a set-up—just a bad set of directions.

Instead, I only had to survive the 95-degree walk to the hotel.

Less exciting, for sure, and a lot less satisfying, but much safer.