1. My brother and I used to physically beat each other, claiming territory over sections of our home when left unsupervised. It would usually shift from being playful or serious, depending on how much we hurt ourselves. Sometimes I initiated the fights, maybe because I felt justified to some environmental condition or level of personal entitlement that my brother had impeded on. Maybe also because it was fun. I remember feeling suffocated or crushed, but I never bled or broke any bones. I guess technically it was more like wrestling. We stopped once we started puberty. There is still a feeling of absence.
2. On the playground, girls my age used to invent elaborate conflicts that were to be resolved under the rules of some imaginary code, assumedly for their own entertainment. I was always confused by this activity. Friends would divide themselves across the fenced-in terrain at recess, sending mediators to deliver messages to each other. Sometimes they would say aggressive, negative things with smiles on their faces, which made me think everyone was inherently untrustworthy. I remember two groups of girls pulling my arms in opposite directions, like a Medieval torture device, because I did not want to participate in their political games and refused to pick a side. Sometimes I wonder if I’ve been inventing this memory for over a decade, but still, it exists. I think this moment is important to me because it illustrates the idleness of indecision, and perhaps the necessity to remain unknown.
3. In the hallways near the cafeteria there were always girls beating on each other, yelling about jealousy or romantic territory or something I couldn’t actually relate to. The physical confrontation would emerge and dissolve rapidly. The position of onlookers always interested me. People seemed excited about fights. Close friends of the opponents would try to pry their bodies away from each other while teachers would raise their voices, alluding to the illogical nature of the act, also attempting to reestablish the silence that would come organically. In some ways, I was scared of becoming involved in one of these confrontations, because I definitely lost the aptitude to feel justified inflicting pain on someone else, in almost all cases. Sometimes I took pride in my passive nature, other times I felt inadequate by it.
4. Stage combat was something we had to study in performance arts classes. I never thought it looked realistic and did not look forward to watching it. I wonder if this is only because of our setting, not that I blame the teachers or institution. I think Western fighting is boring and lacks philosophical appeal.
5. Once I worked at a sports bar during a live UFC match. I was not expecting to be so captivated by the activity onscreen. I was distracted by my job because I could not stop watching the thick sweaty man muscles contracting and contorting across the screens. For a few weeks after I watched videos on the internet and considered joining a Jiu Jitsu class.
6. While I was waiting to be accepted to university, I thought that joining the navy would be a viable career option. I still sometimes feel this way since everything is often feels so meaningless to me. I noticed that a lot of respectable authors and scientists worked in the military at some point in their lives, albeit not voluntarily. Although it is possible to die in combat, I could learn skills that civilians wouldn’t have the opportunity to learn. Overcoming challenges would create strong feelings of reward, I imagine. The only downfall, I think, would be the likelihood of being sexually abused by my peers. And Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. And the government making heinous, mind-blowing changes the Veterans Charter.