Sunday, August 2, 2009, I took Crystal to the DuSable Museum in Garfield Park, Chicago. It is a museum of African American history, and Crystal is black.
It was an excellent trip.
We went after the museum to the campus of the University of Chicago, not far away, where we walked around the grounds and stopped inside a couple of libraries. On the way back to the bus stop we passed Stagg Field, where the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction was produced, and I was thrilled by seeing it. That historic achievement was presided over by Enrico Fermi, who became a hero for me when I learned that he had a gap in his teeth. On January 4, 2008, I lost one of my front teeth. That's when I started to look at African descent girls to date. They aren't repulsed by tooth gaps, and some of them are really good looking, like Crystal.
After that we stopped at the Illinois Institute of Technology, where I studied graduate architecture for three years, and I showed Crystal around.
Back at the nursing home, an hour went by and I was standing in the lobby with Crystal nearby and a resident named Keith Lisk came in and said to Crystal, "come and help me unload some snacks."
Crystal went right away with him. I was disturbed that he was taking liberties with her and it seemed as if he was trying to horn in on me.
They came back in with cartons of Coke and I said I would carry the Coke up to his room. I didn't want this little business to continue. Crystal said she would do it. Mr. Lisk said, loudly, "Crystal is my girlfriend."
That was war.
I said, "Crystal is not your girlfriend."
He said, "yes she is."
I said, "no she isn't"
He said, "oh yes she is."
Then he went to move past me to get the Cokes and said "excuse me," expecting me to move aside.
I said, "No."
He said, "Are you trying to start something?"
Then he and Crystal disappeared into the elevator.
I began to plot my attack on this rival suitor.
I decided to challenge him to a fight. The problem was that he is a big guy, customarily wealthy and used to getting his way, and his behavior at this point showed that he didn't respect me. I figured the danger was that he would just ignore my challenge and retain his right to court Crystal separately.
I considered the situation at length and saw that the challenge must be rendered immediately and strategically to prevent him from ignoring it in the long run. I composed a speech: "You're a pretty big guy. Do you think you can beat me?" I went to his room hoping to find him in. He was coming out the door and I immediately issued my challenge, verbatim.
He said, "I don't know." and walked by me and headed down the stairs. I went to the stairway and said to him, "If you don't fight me you're a coward." I had composed that too, before going to his room.
He didn't say anything and kept going. His roommate was there and asked me what I called him. I said, "a coward." His roommate laughed.
Now it was necessary to rally my forces. I went to the activity room where there was a big line of residents waiting for dinner. I announced that I had challenged Kieth Lisk to a fight because he was trying to horn in on me. I called upon a friend there, Ken Houk, to be my second. He said something that showed he was not the right choice and I said forget it. I moved on to Charles Gassman and repeated the call.
Charles had once told me he had been in 50 fights, plus he is a genius. I said that the fight would be at the Lake. He asked what the weapons would be. I said I would suggest that there be no weapons. He asked would it be to the death. I said I didn't want to speak of death. It would be no holds barred, no time limit. He asked when the fight would be. I said Mr. Lisk had not yet agreed to the fight. Mr. Gassman said that if I got him to agree to the fight he would serve as my second. I said ok, that I would get back to him when I got Mr. Lisk to agree to the fight.
Then I addressed the room again and said that this fight had nothing to do with Bryn Mawr Care, nothing to do with mental illness, and the staff was not to be informed.
I was on my way out the door then and Linda, the receptionist, walked in and asked if everything was alright in there. I said, "everything is fine in here" and walked out.
I hovered in the area waiting for Linda to either get ornery, because she surely must have heard the whole speech in the activity room as I spoke very loudly and there was no other sound, or wisely ignore the action which I had successfully brought to a tight conclusion at that stage of development of the battle.
Linda returned to her desk in the lobby. I approached her to be sure she was not going to interject herself in my affairs. I said, "do you have any questions for me?" She said no. I indicated acknowledgment and that was another end in my favor.
I returned to my room and planned my next step. I determined that I needed to repeat to Mr. Lisk what I said before to him as he was going down the stairway.
I went to his room, where he was sitting on his bed, and said, "If you don't fight me you're a coward."
He said, "If you don't get out of here I'm going to call the C.N.A."
This showed he didn't want to fight. It changed the battlefield but it didn't lesson the peril. I would have to face staff now to beat him.
I took a walk to get my bearings and decide my next action. I saw that I would have to approach staff proactively. I decided I needed to go and present my case to the administrator, the top on-site official of the facility.
While still outside I engaged in some martial arts movements and determined I was out of shape, martially. I did my best to limber up. Then I returned to the facility.
I was standing in the lobby and engaged in distracting the staff to keep them from getting involved and to reinforce in their minds I was calm and collected, when Mr. Lisk entered the Lobby and immediately called out, "this man tried to start a fight with me."
I said yes I did, because he was trying to horn in on me.
Staff questioned what I meant by that. I said we all know what that means. Let's not pause in our discussion to figure that out now.
Words were said about violence being not the way to solve trouble, etc. etc. etc. I said the fight would be outside, not inside, with seconds, and no weapons.
Amanda, a case manager on duty tried to imply she knew better what the situation called for. I said her experience was minuscule. More words were said. Then I offered that if Mr. Lisk would guarantee that he would never say to anyone that Crystal is his girlfriend, I would drop my challenge.
Amanda was visibly relieved to hear this and turned to Mr. Lisk and asked if he would guarantee it. The two of them haggled a bit, she repeating my accusation that he had called Crystal his girlfriend, he saying "but she is my girlfriend. My friend." This was effectively where I saw that I would get what I wanted. Amanda asked him again if he would agree to the guarantee and he said yes. Then he got on the elevator and went away.
Amanda asked me if I was satisfied and I said not 100%. There was a lot of side action going on during the argument and Mr. Lisk didn't look me straight in the eye when he made the guarantee. Still, I was fairly sure that things were now in my favor.
Amanda took her position on violence a little further, apparently worried I would press my case again, and I said to her "you have sufficient wisdom for your needs. I would like you to grant the same for me." She didn't get it and said again that violence never solved anything, and I said "there hasn't been any violence." and walked away, still ready for a fight because I had been physically preparing myself for a time unlimited battle at the lake at any moment with a man much bigger in stature than myself.
I didn't see Mr. Lisk again until today, the day after. He didn't avoid my glance but he didn't express the perilous cockiness, and I put a little grin on to allow him to smile back if he wished because I knew he had no chance anymore of rivaling my courtship of Crystal. He didn't smile back, went on talking to people as if nothing had happened, and thus enforced the idea in my mind that he underestimated the stakes regarding Crystal.
This then is where I have taken a stand in pursuit of Crystal Newell. The residents, a large number of them, know what I will do if someone rivals me, and now that I have done it I will do it more freely in the future, having delivered appropriate words in the moment embarking on combat. Physical fights I have had but not in my home state. Now those will accrue to my honor and lend credence to my continuing threat of willingness to enter a fight for what I hold dear.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
I best a rival suitor for Crystal Newell
combat|courtship|fight|Kieth Lisk|martial arts|Newell Crystal|rival|seconds|weapons|