Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Garage - Honolulu, Hawaii

So here I am...Oahu, 1993.  It's about 11:30 PM or so and I'm in a club called "The Garage".  Looking at google maps, the nearest corner is "Ward" and "Waimanu" (then head SE on Waimanu about half a block).  It was a cool club, especially to a 20 year old who managed to get served...or maybe BECAUSE a 20 year old could manage to get served there...I don't know.  It was dark, loud, and had good shows there sometimes.  I saw Danzig there...the stage was about 2 to 3 feet off of the ground, really close and personal.  It generally was a dance club though.

So on this fateful night, when I discovered that I wasn't invincible, there was an ICE-T concert at the Blaisdale Arena...which if you checked google maps like I said was only on the other side of the block and across the street. 

Now when all of the gangsters that went to see ICE-T get out of their little show, they go back to their cars, get their guns, grab their knives, take a few hits of whatever dope they happen to be into at the time, then find the nearest place to cause a problem.  In Island talk, that could loosely translate into "find a white guy to fuck up...preferably as a group."  (side it wasn't me that they came looking for).

So there is a small group of us at the Garage.  One of my buddies is passed out in the car around the corner.  He had a cast on his arm and drank too much too fast, pissed that he had the damn cast, and was out early.  Another, who we didn't know was going to be there, was Sgt. Beutel from New Jersey.  He was a Sergeant in the scout platoon that I was in the sniper squad for.  I didn't know him that well because I was brand new to the platoon.  My roommate, Overstreet, was there with me.  Overstreet was soon to come over to the platoon, but wasn't there quite yet. 

Overstreet is from Bedford Virginia.  There are two things you don't do (of course I've done both of them and found out the hard way that you're not supposed to do them...if he can't beat you up then he pouts non-stop until you say sorry *** I know he's reading this and that's why I say that*** and his pouting will make you want to commit suicide over time.  I mean, it doesn't stop...)  The first thing you don't do is smear his dip from his lip all over his face, and the other is you don't knock his glasses off.

The gangster went for option two.  So somebody, I don't remember who or how it went down, let me know that Overstreet was getting kicked out and here were his glasses.  I went to head outside with Overstreet and saw Sgt. Beutel on the way.  I told him that Overstreet was in trouble and needed our help.  He the punk that he was..."I don't know him and I'm having a good time in here."  I never forgot that bitch.  Anyway, I recognized that for all the talk he gave about being from Jersey he was just a punk and wouldn't help in a fight anyway, so I went outside without him.  I was just in time to see Overstreet throwing up his dukes and preparing to fight some local. 

I quickly assessed the situation.  Overstreet and some dude were talking shit to each other, about 10 feet apart, and their dukes were up.  There were also about 1000 other local guys standing around (beside and behind) the "bad guy", every single one of them staring hate at Overstreet.  Their yearning for independence from the US was pouring out of their eyes.

I grabbed Overstreet and directed him to our right and down the alley toward our car.  I said "We are not fighting today, we need to leave".  We began walking in single file, with him about 5 - 10 feet in front of me.  Now if you looked at google maps like I said, you can see that the cars are parked facing nose in.  As we're walking, some dude comes out from between two cars and totally sucker punches Overstreet in the right side of his head, who then goes reeling off to his forward left. 

I says to myself "self, there's nothing between you and him, and being that you're in it now anyways..."  and I dropped my fist behind me almost all the way to the ground, and came form Kansas City with it (that one was for you Miller) and punched dude right in the side of HIS head.  He went down, out like a light.

I had no idea what happened to Overstreet.  About the time when I saw the guy go out, and says to myself "self, that was a mighty fine punch", I started getting blasted in the back of the head.

Everything goes hazy from there.  It was slow motion.  I remember that anywhere I threw a punch, there was somebody there to receive it in the face.  I remember kicking a guy in the head and he fell down.  I turned to the right and started fighting somebody there.  The guy who I had kicked started to get up, so while he was on all fours I turned and booted him in the head again, and he was out.  Did I mention that I've played soccer all my life?  So after I booted him in the head and saw him go down, there was somebody on my left that needed punching in the when duty calls...

It was about that time that I was hit in the back of the head (the guy that had been on my original right must not have been out of the game...that bastard).....

Overstreet told me later (the police report had confirmed by the way) that he had gone reeling from the first sucker punch, had seen guys cutting off our forward advance, and had run at them like "red rover red rover"...breaking through them and starting to run.  He saw that I wasn't with him, turned around, and saw me fighting everybody.  Wait...let me rewrite that...EVERYBODY.  He told me that he said "shit!" and ran back into the crowd.  He was fighting and by the time that he got near me everybody turned and ran...and I was lying unconscious on the ground.

back to me

I was blasted in the back of the head, and the medical report said that it was with an object (not the ground or the car that I was lying under)..but something handheld.  I remember fighting, then waking up on the ground with a big "local" face in my face and somebody by my feet.  I started to kick and fight.  The local by my face put his forearms across me and said "you betta think twice about dat son!" and I realized it was the police.  I opted to pass back out.  I awoke again in the ambulance on my way to Tripler Army Medical Hospital.

Now here we were at Tripler, and Overstreet's tests show alcohol in his system.  I had had a couple of beers (note ** the number one answer when a drunk driver is pulled over is "I've had two") but they had been over time and when I was tested no alcohol showed.  I had a concussion out of the deal but didn't miss PT the next Monday...but I DID have to go to the base "sick call" later and get two IVs because I was so messed up. 

Overstreet on the other hand...because he had shown alcohol in his system, had to go through an alcohol abuse program at Schofield Barracks.  He would fill me in after every class so that I would know what to say in case I ever found myself ordered to go...

CC Forever

I won't ever forget that humbling experience.  Any time I'm feeling froggy, that memory rears it's ugly head and helps me to tone it down a little.

Believe it...or not

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