Fighting Friends – Reflective Essay


I can remember being part of organized fighting.

Given my current personality, that sentence is probably a bit of a shock.  What may be more unsettling is that my opponent was my best friend, and his father is a powerful lawyer.  How I sidestepped litigation as an adolescent I’ll never know.

Our older brothers were in on it.  In fact, they were the chief organizers.  The setting was an area between my front porch and a busy street in Terre Haute.  While the frequency of these fights seems to be limited, the memory of engaging in legitimate hand-to-hand fighting with my best friend shall never escape me.  We were boys, and I suppose boys fight.

Our brothers, though, had a specific agenda in mind.  One of the Rocky films had been released and was quite popular.  If I had to guess, it was on HBO at the time.  A lot.  Nine to Five was running on a regular cycle on the same channel, so perhaps I’m grateful they didn’t have us dress in women’s clothes and perform women’s lib diatribes while trying to keep Dolly Parton balloon boobs from exploding inside our shirts.

I specifically recall our brothers feeding us the lines from Rocky and Apollo Creed just before their final official fight.

Creed:  I’m gonna bust you up.

Rocky:  Go for it.

For some reason, I always had to play Creed.  Anyway, I’m thankful that YouTube was not around in those days because I would be absolutely devastated to see myself “fight” my friend.  My brothers never got in real trouble for orchestrating these vicious skits, but I’m still considering “bustin’ them up” about it.

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