Intimidated by a Pissypants Drunk

ALMOST ENTIRELY A TRUE STORY

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. Leave me alone.”

Kevin’s conversation with his friends had just been interrupted by a red-faced drunk. It was the end of a school day and they were chatting idly at the bus stop. They knew this man. He was a well-known local hazard.

Kevin’s awkward, spotty baby-face and gangly body sprouted underneath a mop of messy hair, which he hoped would look more badass when he got older. He had just entered the fury of puberty and was full of self-doubt and anxiety. His friends were worse – Kevin was a dweeby weakling but someone even skinner and two girls were all he had to back him up, and they were even more withdrawn, quiet, and lost.

Also at the bus stop was an attractive young mother, holding her daughter with one hand and her baby’s pram with the other. The drunk had accused Kevin of ‘starting’ on this woman, although he hadn’t exchanged a single word with her. This disgusting old fart was renowned for starting fights with adolescents with long hair for no reason and they could’ve guessed trouble was brewing when he came out.

“You heard me, stop starting on that family,” he slurred. It was earlier than 4PM and his plans for tomorrow were identical. If he wasn’t so vicious and violent he would’ve been pitiable.

Shouting over his shoulder, a panicky Kevin asked, “Excuse me Miss, but have I said anything to you?”

He was hoping she’d calm the drunk down – his useless friends weren’t going to say anything – but she replied, “no,” and continued ignoring the situation. It wasn’t any of her business. She had her own kids to keep safe; she wasn’t going to put herself in danger to protect someone else’s. Kevin thought if she had been more vocal she could’ve diffused it, but maybe the woman was wiser.

“Y’hear that?” Kevin replied.”I’ve not done anything! Chill out, everyone’s cool.”

“Don’t you cheek me,” he snarled, obviously unsatisfied with any confrontation that doesn’t result in non-consensual violence against someone a third of his age. He smelt quite badly. Kevin noticed he had dark urine stains on his pants.

Kevin’s frustrations and fear cracked across his face. He wasn’t a good fighter, he wasn’t tough, and he was a peaceful, placid pacifist. Maybe it would’ve been wiser for Kevin to come out all-arms flailing at this point – knock the drunk off his feet, crack his head off the kerb, throw him into the road – but he was never one to make the first move. He’d often tried to argue his way out of violence, which was comparable to arguing Keynesian Economics with a Neanderthal baby, and this time his hand articulation got on the nerves of his opponent.

“If you put your hands in your pockets one more time, I’ll kick your fucking head in,” the drunk man spat. Kevin removed his hands from his pockets.
“Put your hands in your pockets,” the drunk challenged. Kevin was a coward who should’ve known he was being asked to initiate the fight, but he didn’t, and therefore obligingly put his hands in his pockets.

Instantly, the sloppy drunk lunged towards him, arms outstretched, wrapping his gnarled fingers around the young boy’s throat, and pressed them against his windpipe, his sunken eyes flaring with ego and misplaced anger and drunken pride, staring into the shocked face of a young teen. Kevin smashed his fists against the man’s arms until he let go, and staggered back towards his weedy pussy friends who hadn’t so much as complained, let alone helped him. “What the fuck,” he gasped, swallowing hard to try and open his gullet. The choking sensation continued, despite his free airways, and a raw, reddened mark bloomed around his neck.

Fortunately, the bus finally pulled up and Kevin got on. The pissypants drunk followed him, smelling like a toilet and moaning bitterly about kids with long hair under his breath, staggering up the aisle, kicking Kevin’s schoolbag, and sitting in a scruffy heap behind him. Kevin could feel his raspy breath on his neck, hear his drooling mouth smacking, and smell the bittersweet fumes of toxic alcohol emanating from the gross caricature. He felt fear, apprehension, but also confidence. A tiny spark of testosterone had released itself from his underdeveloped testes and sunk warmly into his brain. He knew the drunk was no real trouble – Kevin had the speed advantage, and he was going to be inches from home anyway – but this vile wreck was still dangerous, and disgusting, and was following him.

The bus pulled to a halt at Kevin’s regular stop, and he hauled himself out. The drunk fell after him, using the bars like crutches, swinging down the railings and sprawling out of the door just behind his adversary.

Kevin strode down the road without turning around. The drunk roared, “Eh, you! Come back here and let’s sort this out!”

“Fuck off and hide in a kid’s playground,” Kevin responded weakly, immaturely – it was an ad-lib, I’m sure he could’ve come up with something funnier if he’d been preparing – and darted around the corner, pressing himself behind his fence until the coast was clear. The drunk meandered along the road, desperately trying to confirm his existence by hunting down and beating up little kids, eventually giving up and smashing his head apart with whiskey outside the off license.

Seven years later, Kevin was thrown out of the Red Lion pub after pummelling the shit out of a surprised-looking red-faced gentleman.