Friday, September 26, 2014
I'll Repeat Myself
Last Monday I came across a story. It was about a bar fight at a place called the Paddock Lounge in Saratoga. The story said a 31-yr-old man (Aaron Huggins) and a 25-yr-old man (Jeffrey D. Mann) bumped into each other, exchanged words. This encounter climaxed when the 25-year-old man grabbed the 31-year-old-man and smashed his face into the concrete floor. The victim was rushed to Saratoga Hospital in critical condition. The 25-yr-old man was arrested on felony assault. Last Monday I came across a story.
How could this happen? This bone-chilling account of drunken violence, this poor man’s face messed up for life. It doesn’t get more important than the face, does it? Every time he looks in the mirror for the next sixty years he'll see a reminder of the night he drank too many G&T’s and made beef when some lug bumped him. And his 25-yr-old attacker’s going to be staring down the barrel of a legal M-80 for years. How could this happen?
Then I came across an update . . . the victim passed away on Wednesday.
Bang-bang, manslaughter charges cometh.
Read here: http://www.saratogian.com/general-news/20140925/saratoga-springs-man-dies-following-assault-at-local-club
His name was Aaron Huggins. He was 31. He’s dead now. He was beaten to death in a bar fight. He’s going in the ground this weekend. His name was Aaron Huggins.
Can anyone make sense of this? Whose life ends like that, from that, because of that? And my second thought: Aaron Huggins, what were you doing at the Paddock Lounge at 31 years old? You were too old to be there. You put your life in the hands of a barroom full of drunken twenty-somethings. There’s nothing more dangerous than a barroom of drunken twenty-somethings. I could’ve told you that when I was a drunken twenty-something. Back in my bar-going days I never said boo to anyone. If some guy bumped me or bad talked me, I tucked my chin and walked the other way. I went to the bars for one reason: girls, girls, girls. Can anyone make sense of this?
One day I outgrew the bars. I knew it when it happened. I sensed it. I felt it. I was 27 years old and the party was over. If I tried hanging on into my thirties, something bad would’ve happened. I would’ve gotten hurt. I would’ve done something dumb and blown the rest of my life apart. Aaron Huggins had outlived his expiration date on the bar drag. I bet you this attack happened at 2am. Huggins had no business being anywhere around 25-yr-old Jeffrey D. Mann last Saturday night at 2am. Why? Because Mr. Mann is nothing but a boy. And boys do dumb s#*t when they’re S#*t-faced. One day I outgrew the bars.
When I turned thirty my life became a closed campus. Now I’m thirty five and it remains so. I don’t go anywhere or do anything if I’m not in control. I don’t go to bars. I don’t drive down to Giants games anymore. Big crowds are a no-no. I trust me to take care of me, and the only thing that matters is what’s under my roof. Before I go to bed, I trace my property with a flashlight, inside and out. I lock every window and door. The dogs are micro-chipped, and only one person on earth is trusted with them when we’re gone. I don’t hand out spare house keys and I never leave anything to chance. When I turned thirty my life became a closed campus.
This is my life. I will never put myself in a position to be floor-slammed by some 25-yr-old who's had too much to drink. I’m going all the way in this life. To do that I have to stay alive. You have to stay alive. That’s the name of the game. There's no room for unwarranted risk. The world already provides plenty of that. I’m certainly not adding to it. This is my life.
I'll repeat myself . . .
His name was Aaron Huggins.
He was 31.
He’s dead now.
He was beaten to death in a bar fight.
And that’s how his story ends.
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