Monday, June 26, 2006


In All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque has his narrator tell us "terror can be endured so long as a man simply ducks;--but it kills if a man thinks about it."

I think he's probably right. Working with at risk-students, I had a kid take a swing at me. I remember thinking (as he pushed me and then reared back ready to throw a punch at my head) "Hey...he's going to hit me!" I was pretty amazed and a little frustrated because I didn't want to get hit in the face. So I ducked. Then I ran. Perhaps it was more of a brisk walk...outside so another staff member could intervene. It wasn't until about an hour later that the fear BEGAN. And it stayed with me for a long time. The fear didn't really have a focus; it was just this feeling, this emotional image of that moment of rage aimed at me...ME...a nice guy who likes comic books and playing burping games. The thinking about it just fed the feeling. It would have been far easier to stay in that moment and just DUCK. The thinking about it afterwards just about killed me.

I suppose I live there most of the time, thinking and not-ducking. I don't-duck when I get notified that I owe a crap load of money in back-taxes. I don't-duck when I hear a noise in the house, in the middle of the night, and my wife and my dog look at me (from either side of the bed) as if to say "It's your job to check, man...we ain't doing a damn thing." Well, in that latter case, I guess sometimes I duck under the covers, but usually I end up going through all the scenarios in which an intruder is about to dissect us.

Maybe the world would be better if we just all started ducking more.


At 10:43 PM, Blogger Diebold said...

Harness your killer instincts, and you won't have to duck. Or think.

Trust me on this.


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