The Patience of a Badass:

If you are new to me, this blog or Dave, please consider checking out the About Dave link first. If you wish to read this book from the beginning, please scroll down to March 13, the first chapter (40 something posts below). Lastly, thank you for stopping by, all of you, your comments, your shared stories, observations have helped me on my path of grieving more than you know. XO M

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I am always happy to hear from people with an alternative or supporting perspective of what I have shared in the public domain about Dave. More than one person has said, they too at first thought Dave was a badass, seeing him truckin’ around in his letterman’s jacket, but then later after they actually talked to him, found him to be the gentlest of souls. He was gentle, to a point.  Dave told me this story, I forget the context, the spark of conversation that brought it to the surface but it cracked me up and furthered the lore of both his speak softly persona but be a badass when you need to.

Dave was as most have surmised and envisioned by now, built like a tank. He was 5′-11″, 230 pounds of solid beef. He was wide at the shoulders and wide at the ankles. He was known around school as a very strong athlete and by those who knew him, an all-around nice guy. He always tried to do the right thing, was patient, and in this case, gave fair warning, sort of like counting to three with a child.

In the first week of his senior year, Dave encountered an unknown to him jerk in his homeroom class. It is not uncommon for a guy to attempt to establish some sort of pecking order by picking a fight with the biggest guy in the room. That sort of behavior may work in certain social or working situations. I assure you, this is not one of those times.

Every day Dave had to pass this jerk to get to his seat. A jerk because he sat sideways in the first seat of the row, with his legs crossed, stretched out straight across the aisle, purposely creating a roadblock as the self-appointed gatekeeper (troll) for everyone who needed to pass to get to their seats. He would not respond to any requests to move his legs and forced everyone to step over him.

Everyone except Dave. Dave would start by asking him to move his legs. Jerk sat unmoved. Dave then proceeded to ignore him and step over. The guy would raise his legs as high as he could, trying to trip Dave in the process, all the while taunting Dave with comments like “Oh, look at the tough guy, think you’re tough, do you?” Type of goading. Dave ignored him and just forced his way over and to his desk at the back of the row.

Every day for that first week, Dave asked the guy to move out of the way with a bored, drawn-out tone of “Come, onnnnnn man, move your legs.” The guy continued this stupid roadblock all week with Dave. Dave would not respond. He kept his cool without so much as raised pulse or giving the troll the time of day. Over the top, he went, making his way to his seat without a further backward glance. What is it that a bully is looking for, attention? Dave refused to pay him any with the hope that this stupid behavior would stop. But it didn’t look like any stop was in sight. The troll was pretty pleased with himself.

On the last day of the week, Dave approached his seat once again, encountering the roadblocking jerk one last time. Dave again asked him to move his legs. He would not. Dave paused. He then continued forward over the jerk’s legs, but this time as the guy one last time thought he would trip Dave up by raising his legs higher, Dave instead hooked his foot under the guy’s locked legs, moving forward and with one brisk tug of his leg like punting a football, ripped the jerk out of his seat. “I would not let go and just ripped that asshole out of his seat.” Dave laughed. I was envisioning all of it, cracking up. Still hooked on the guy’s legs, Dave dragged him kicking and screaming along the carpet to the end of the row of desks, stepped over the jerk’s defeated carcass in the aisle, and sat down in his assigned seat.

Dave unfazed whatsoever, looked down, and said, ” I asked you (pause) politely (more pause) to move your legs.” The classroom roared to life with laughter at the high school justice witnessed, thankful that the annoying guy had been put in his place by their favorite center football player. The guy never sat sideways in his desk nor bothered anyone in class again.

Dave’s bedroom was already alive but now filled with my laughter. I loved feeling his continued satisfaction in retrospect. The first attempt to resolve the problem logically; with patience, then with a quick spanking, return to standard operating, life as we know it, procedures.

© Mardi Linane Copyright 2020

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