fight fiercely, harvard...
When I was in about seven or eight years old, I saw a fight after school between older kids.
I concluded that fighting was
a) cool, and
b) something big kids did.
The next day after school I was walking home with my friend Hazim. Hazim was tall and skinny and had several siblings and wore black leather hand-me-down shoes, about size 11. It was a neighborhood of immigrants; we all wore second-hand clothes, and like many of my friends Hazim's parents spoke with an accent and their house smelled of strange spices.
Hazim was my friend, but I had seen a fight, and I wanted to be a cool big kid, too. I pushed him over on the grass and yelled "you asked for this!"
I attempted to jump on top of him to pummel him, but he put his gigantic shoes into my stomach and held me up in the air, flailing wildly at the end of his long legs. I couldn't reach him, but he could reach me, and he did -- I ended up with numerous long scratches on my face and neck.
The fight was over quickly, and Hazim didn't seem too perturbed that his friend had suddenly become insane.
The next day the teacher asked me about the scratch marks -- now swollen and red -- and I sheepishly said that Hazim and I had had a fight. I neglected to explain how little provocation (that is, zero) he'd been guilty of.
The teacher called us out into the hall and made Hazim apologize for scratching me; I magnanimously accepted his apology.
Hazim would be in his early 40's now. I'm sure he's long forgotten both me and the fight, but I'd still like to say, Sorry bro -- my bad.