Violent Mother Fucking Friend Break Up

I recently had a falling out with a friend who is also a long-ago ex-boyfriend. He fucking punched me in the sternum, hard, and in anger!

He was on the phone fumbling through a story about his friend being attacked at the gym in the locker room – a place he and his friend spent most of their time and productive energies “getting bigger.” I met him sitting in a sidewalk seating area outside a busy coffee shop, hunched forward facing the ground. I waited for him to wrap up the call, but it kept going. He was stammering and looping back over details again and again. I thought, he is upset, but if he is talking to a friend, hang it up and talk to me, I was standing right in front of him after all.

I gently pulled him out of his hunch, trying to achieve eye contact and asked, “is that a complaint call?” He jumped up from the chair and flailed his arms. He was so animated I thought that it might be a joke, and then he shoved me away. I chuckled a bit, “what’s going on?” and I playfully shoved him back.

The thing is, just two weeks prior to this situation, I was stuck on an important work call outside a shop where Matt and I had plans to meet that day. The call was going long as I was attempting to retain a client I was in danger of losing to a rash decision being made by someone other than the client. Ten minutes into our meeting time, I was still on the phone, when Matt arrived he was immediately impatient. As he has done many times before, in a typical display of his complete lack of boundaries, and the general disregard for other people’s work and life situations, he began physically hassling me and talking  very loudly so that my client on the line could hear him – pushing, grabbing, ticking – just typical 9 year old style annoyance techniques. I got mad, shoved him away, mouthed that I needed five minutes; that this was important; it’s work, and fuck off. That day he got pissed and walked off while texting that I have no respect for other people’s time, and that it is a typical selfish move on my part. I’m not disagreeing with him, and also, work is work.

Today, immediately after the comical flailing that had him looking like a kid playing an agitated crab in their school play, he raised his fist, shook it and punched me squarely in the sternum. It was loud. It knocked half the air out of me. It happened very fast, there was no more than two to four seconds from my first inquiry to his surprising and extreme reaction. The half dozen people around us looked, it was outside on a city street and still loud enough to attract everyones’ attention. And yeah, it hurt, remember Matt is a big, dense and heavy gym rat.

While feeling the gut cramp that comes with having the air knocked out of you, I took a beat, and then another. It took those moments to scan for physical damage, and then to begin to comprehend what had just happened. I stepped past him and into the street, decided that I needed to get out of there. Extreme sadness and shock swelled up with every second past, and on their tails of that came adrenaline and anger. “Fuck this, and fuck you.” I whispered as I headed toward my bicycle, locked up around the corner.

I could feel the pressure behind my eyes, and a raw expression on my face, one that I was sure the strangers I walked past could see and understand. I imagined that I looked like I was about to cry. I attempted to flatten my expression, grabbed my phone, still touching the cramped up space just below my sternum, and I very deliberately sent Matt a text message reading, “Fuck your mother”.

This was a very deliberate statement for me. While I’ve never actually been in a fist fight I once had a very tense, frustrating, and very lucid dream in which I was being aggressively confroted by someone who was totally unreasonable and irrational. In that dream I decided that when someone is looking to transition an argument or disagreement from a frustrating impasse into a physical fight, all one has to say is, “Fuck your mother.”

I actually had that dream several years ago when I was dating Matt. I remembered recapping it for him the next morning. I told him how I had a few moments to think about my actions and words and that it felt like I stumbled upon a universal school-yard truth about violence and violent intention: Just say those three words calmly, clearly, firmly, and with resolve.

I’m sure that Matt didn’t remembered this, and I know when I tell this story, the deliberateness of that statement is lost to anyone that does not exist inside my head. Still, I’m rather satisfied with the concise and specific intent communicated by the seemingly immature and reactive words that I communicated in that text message.

When given the chance, Matt texts me something about my being selfish and self-centered, and to never contact him again. The messages came in I was riding my bicycle home through The Mission. While I was sorting through my feelings and fantasizing about the mean things I’d say to him, he too was still reacting out loud to his targeted observations about the horridness of me. So, he loaded those insults on top of the physical injury he unremorsefully felt fully justified in delivering.

It wouldn’t have mattered if he had shown remorse because I was realizing that I didn’t want an apology. That I couldn’t hear one, and that the irony of this tables-turned experience was surely lost on my socially weird, and childish friend. The creative nastiness was welling up. I was planning a message that went something like, I don’t want to hear from you unless you have a problem on par with your mother being abducted and made into some biker gang’s prisoner hausfrau and house pet.

I wanted to blast so many nasty things at Matt for that reactive punch. For his complete disregard for our history and our friendship. For his immature lack of control. For the dark, sad, empty hole I could already feel so distinctly in my chest and throat. For the place he used to exist in my heart as someone I cared about, someone I was happy to see, watch grow, and enjoy life. He just punched that hole into my heart, and sentenced me to feeling that lack for years and years to come.

Once home, I pulled out my phone and saw the insulting text he sent during my ride. I couldn’t believe he was still reacting, still blaming me for getting punched. I started thumbing my sad response into the phone, while wishing, dry-eyed, that I could cry this out: text one: “You are a narcissistic child”. Text two: “You’re blocked.” Text three, “Fuck your mother.”

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