Conflict Is What Drives Us
“Conflict is what drives us. Within our bodies is a constant battle between positive and negative and negative and positive ions, attempting to drown each other out, attempting to bring us to one state or another. And do you know what happens when you achieve equilibrium… when your body becomes balanced?
“Yes…I do…You die,” I said, not looking into his eyes.
“Well… actually that’s right. You die…but I was going to say…you find peace.”
It was a normal night for this sort of thing. Defining wisdom from those who already know it by those who had already redeemed it. Wisdom does not bring peace. At least not like death does.
I was brought home and walked into an apartment with roommates at their throats. Posturing, like crazed chimpanzees, cradling our prized simian heritage. Heads butting towards each other with violent phrases, often nonsensical, perhaps relating to past instances of “disloyalty.” But the energy was there. Tension was that of veal steak…and this is coming from a vegetarian who watches slivers of a slow-cooked slaughter peeled away until you vomit from overdone sadness and the threat of violence.
So I stood between them, neither of them more than 19, but both of them outweighing me in muscle mass and fury. I kept saying, “Nobody wants this.”
But apparently somebody did want this, because I found myself sandwiched in-between two insatiable males choking and punching each other to the point of sheer delerium. It ended when the stronger, more capable one was left helpless in a chokehold, and I was finally able to convince the weaker side (by prying his arm off) to give some release and let rage subside.
I’ve never been in a fight. I don’t know what it means to hold someone’s life breath in my hands and regulate its flow. But, I can see how it might be like cocaine, nitrous oxide, self mutilation, or any other high. You let it flow, and it takes control…and for those few moments…you are assured that you are, in fact, a human being.
I still don’t know completely why I intervened. I assume it’s because I feel love for other people like I know these boys feel for each other and I did not want to see that destroyed. But maybe I’m just as silly as they are, looking for something, anything, to fight about.
I know that later in the night they came outside together and talked about shit…abuse in their former life…old debts…girls they have pined for…and other personal things; the only thing I could contribute was that this is how you solve problems between friends. Talking. I don’t think I can ever remove that image of my one roommate strangling my other roommate from my chemically damaged mental pectoral. I’m actually a person who believes that violence (especially consensual violence) has its place and is an important part of being human…but take care in your exacerbation. Always remember, you’ll never feel as bad when you hurt yourself, as when you realize you’ve hurt someone else.
You are a beautiful animal……………