Upsetting
Monday, September 16, 2002
 
If you watch this space, you will see that I will not again leave you for three consecutive days. Unexpected and inexcusable, my absence the last couple of days was not without reason.
See, we had to lay low because we got caught up in a little violence.

It started last week at the Padres game, when third baseman Phil Nevin made the most Caminiti-esque throwing error in the ninth inning of a tied, unimportant game against the Giants. (The Pads, you see, begin each baseball season with nothing to play for – unless there’s a sweet downtown stadium deal in the offing, as there was in 1998 – and this year is no different. Idle tonight, the home team sits 29 ½ games behind the first-place Diamondbacks; alone in the NL West cellar, the Padres are six games behind fourth-place Colorado.) As he was walking off the field, a fan near the Padres’ dugout voiced his displeasure with the third baseman.
Nevin, who recently signed an extension that will pay him about $8 million a year, extended his middle finger toward the fan, a gesture seen by a multitude of home fans who weren’t heckling the third baseman, including several children. (Nevin, by the way, has 12 HRs and 54 RBI as of press time.)

So my big queen friend Gary – who was wearing a brown-and-gold feather boa at the game – yells out at Nevin from our seats along first base.
“Mary, get off the cross!” He screamed. “There ain’t enough wood.”

To which Nevin reacted as someone whose body’s roiling with anabolic steroids would:
He jumped into the stands and charged toward Gary.
But he didn’t make it, because I dove over the row in front of us with both fists extended like Superman. As my flight path neared Nevin, I joined my fists into one wall of eight knuckles. I hit him dead in the goatee and knocked him cold.
I landed twisted between the brown plastic seats, looking to see if I’d made it on Diamond Vision. Gary was yelling something at me, but before I could process what he was talking about, Padres first baseman Ryan Klesko hit me in the face with a left cross with the force and fury of someone on a cycle of anabolic steroids.

I woke up on Saturday with Ramona holding a steak on my face. She said it was nice that I stuck up for Gary, but that girls still don’t think fighting is cool.

And sure enough, that night we went to drink whiskey at a bar in North Park called The Office. A band was supposed to play, but they didn’t get there until like 12:30 a.m. And then they had the potatoes do a sound check.
They were called the Tori Cobras, and they weren’t bad, at all. They brought with them the heroin set, which is always boring, but surprisingly, a fight broke out right in front of Ramona and me.
I was a little bent, so I don’t even know who started what or who. It was the usual bar fight: flurry, separate, cheap shot, repeat.
I held Ramona behind me and thought of breaking a glass over someone’s head if she got hurt. But she didn’t, and I didn’t.

After the band scolded the crowd, they played on. Three or four songs later, we got a cab and left.

Now I’m back.
 
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