Toro! Toro!

(Saturday Night) I just got into a bizarre chase/street fight with two drunk Lithuanian men about 30 minutes ago. Damn, these guys are such dumb monkeys. I guess it's a wonder it didn't happen years ago in the village. Though I have to admit, lately I've been feeling especially fed up with the idiocy. Last night some guys were yelling at me because I was walking with two Lithuanian girls, and earlier tonight some guy made fun of me by the river. Basically, and this is gonna sound harsh, but after three years I can say the 'average' guy here is a drunk coward. If they're alone they're quiet, if they outnumber you two to one they're brazen xenophobes. If you're a hardworking sober guy in Lithuania I hope you'll excuse this cause God knows I love this place, if you're a drunken loud mouth with cracked knuckles, then go to hell.

So here's what happened. It's Saturday. I'm working all day inside to get my place cleaned up cause I leave in a week. The sun is going down really late now, so around 9 I decided to go out and walk along the river to watch the sunset. It's a great walk. I walked all the way down to the Cathedral then looped back up toward Gedimino (the main street in the capital) and just as I came around the corner I see: A small guy, maybe Spanish or Italian dressed in a nice sweater and collared shirt with glasses backing into the middle of the road. Two guys in jean jackets are making threatening gestures toward him then the smaller of the two throws a sucker punch at the back of the nice guys head. The nice guy kind of stepped out of it by accident and didn't even realize the guy had thrown the punch. A big Lithuanian guy walking in front of me stopped with his girlfriend and I stopped behind them. He was really big and just kind of peeled the two bad guys back toward the sidewalk where I was. They started to go for the big guy and that's when I did something really uncharacteristic. I said f it, and jumped in. I never do that by the way. So for a second it turns into a push pull deal with all four of us, the girl friend is pissed and she's yelling, the nice guy is bailing. Then the big guy kind of brushes these two off in my direction and moves out with his girl. The two focused on me. At that point it wasn't good, but I really didn't think it was gonna get worse. They were telling me off in Russian, and I started mocking them. (Andrew and Jake this is your fault). So I was pushing them into a cafe table, they pushed me back, so I started to retreat since I can see no one else volunteering to get involved. I don't provoke the empathy like a well-dressed Southern European does. So the smaller guy runs up to kick me as hard as he can. By now I'm already back peddling and wondering what the hell I got myself into. There are people all over the place milling around all dressed up for a summer Saturday night and I'm yelling in English at these two to f off. His kick missed and he came down hard on the granite pavers flat on his back. The crowd cheered. The big guy seemed really offended by this and everything went up several notches. Not too sure what happened after that but I know I was back peddling full speed for a while. They were waiting for me to turn my back, so I just kept going up the street like that. What followed was even weirder.

The back peddle turned into a jog with looks over the shoulder. The guys are right behind me and with a pretty steady rhythm they're trying to throw punches or kick me. Thank god American kids play football cause I was thrown jukes down like OJ. Honest to god, like huge full speed sweeps across the street, from one sidewalk to the other then I'd slow down and wait for the next assault. In the middle of it I passed the Nice guy who looked seriously bewildered. I also passed the big guy whose girlfriend now seemed firmly in control of him. I was on a solo dance through the street dodging these guys. I thought they would get tired faster than me so I really started to just run down the street, fast. I got to a security car parked in front of the post office and I'm thinking 'cool, its over'. Two security guards are sitting inside, so I run up and yell 'call the police!' (which is a funny thing to yell at security guards) My antagonists barely even paused. They security guards didn't crack a window. (which supports my impulse to ask for professional help) So I put the car between them and me and I'm yelling at the guy in the passenger seat to call the cops. The bad guys come wheeling around the front end so I have to bail the whole thing and just keep running. Way the hell up street I see two huge guys walking. I'm getting really tired, and the demons behind me are keeping up, much to my surprise. All the exercise seemed to be clearing their heads. So I yell at these two giants to help me out and I'm trying to get them involved even if they don't want to by putting them between myself and the knuckle scrapers who're coming up fast. The evildoers caught up quick and I don't even remember what happened next exactly. The tall one got behind me somewhere and the smaller one ran in front of me to block me in. He was saying something and starting to square up with me to throw a punch. It's so odd. I've never punched anyone in the face in my life, not once. My hand just went on autopilot. All the fear and adrenaline took my head over. I hit him with my right hand as hard as I could and it landed perfectly square in middle of his knotty monkey grill. It was like hitting a home run, you don't even feel the ball cause it's so square off the bat. I heard one of the giants standing a few feet away exclaim and somewhere way back on the street I heard someone yell 'Geras!' which means 'Good one!' He just disappeared toward the ground, and I blazed the hell out of there. I have no idea what happened after that cause I never looked back. My lungs were on fire so I ducked into a courtyard and ended up under this weird little stoop with three homeless people for a second. They knew I was up to no good, and I actually asked them between wheezing breaths 'is there a way out of here!?' Damn, that was crazy. Thank god I didn't get the $^%& kicked out of me! I jumped the wall out of the courtyard and hustled home. Somewhere between there and home the absurdity hit me.

So here are a couple things I learned. First of all, all that crap I thought I could remember in a situation like this like 'jab with my left, then throw the right' or ‘punch'm in the throat' or 'box his ears' or basically anything I've ever seen in any movie - not one dreamy synapse awoke those ideas. The only thing I could think was 'I can't believe this. Two guys are chasing me down the street in daylight with people everywhere. What the hell am I doing?'

I would like to say one thank you. Some guy sitting at an outdoor cafe gave me a heads up that saved my ass. Half way through the chase I slowed down cause I just couldn't believe they really wanted to go through with it. I was watching the smaller guy cause he was the most aggressive and the tall guy came looping around from the back. The guy yelled from the cafe table and I ducked some kind of wild kick or punch. Thanks.

Thank God that we play football when we're kids and they don't. If those guys knew how to tackle it would have been all over for me. And thank God they didn't pull a knife. Don't even want to think about that.

I hope that guy isn't hurt bad, but I think he is. He fell like a soggy feather and unfolded on the concrete with the crackslap of a boney steak on a hard kitchen floor. Bastards.