“So, what’re you doing on Wednesday?”
“Yeah, you. Who else do you see around here? Am I talking to anyone else? I’m talking to you. What are you doing on Wednesday?”
“Probably playing some basketball. Why?”
“What’s going on Wednesday?”
“Just a fight. But you probably wouldn’t be interested.”
They were sitting in front of us in the right-field reserved grandstand seats at Comiskey. A pissy rain was falling and the bulky, hirsute fellow wearing the early-20th-century Sox cap was talking to a wiry, bespectacled companion. They were in their early 20s and they were accompanied by two young women, but they weren’t talking to them.
“A fight? What do you mean a fight?”
“You know, a fight.” The squat, hairy guy tried to downplay it to pique his friend’s interest. It seemed to be working.
“You mean a fight fight?”
“Yeah, a fight fight–30 guys on 30 guys. No big deal.”
“Yeah, 30 of our guys, 30 of their guys. We’re meeting at the park Wednesday night.”
The tempter now had his audience’s complete attention. “Well, it’s like this,” he began. “We were over at the bar on Saturday, right?”
“And you know that guy Chris?”
“You know. The asshole. Chris.”
“Oh yeah, I know Chris.”
“Well, he’s there and he’s hitting on my girlfriend. You know, touching her and stuff? Right in front of me. I’m like, ‘Yo man, we gotta step outside.'”
“But he’s not that way, you know? He don’t want to step outside. I say ‘How about me and you. We’ll go at it. Wednesday night at the park. We gotta settle this score.’ He starts pussying around and he’s like, ‘Yeah. Whatever.’ And I’m like, ‘No, man. Not “yeah whatever.” Wednesday night. No bullshit.’ Then he says he’s gonna get some of his friends. Then I’m like, ‘Well, I’ll bring some of my buds too.’ He says he’s gonna get 30 of ’em. And I’m like, ‘Yeah, well I’ll get 30 guys too. We’ll have it out.'”
“Why don’t you just take him out? One on one.”
“I would, man. But, he’s not like that. He’s always gotta have his buddies around. So I gotta play his game.”
“You meeting over at Marquette?”
“Yeah. So, are you interested? It’ll be a good time. Kick some ass then we’ll grab a beer or something. What do you say? I haven’t been in a fight in so long. Not for like a month. Come on, man. What do you say? You’re missing that rush, I know that. That fighting rush you get. Come on, man. You know you want to. What do you say?”
The skinny guy rolled it over in his head for a moment before he gave his answer, which was an uneasy “Yeah. All right. OK. Yeah.”
“All right,” the squat one said. They slapped hands.
“So when do we meet?” asked the skinny one.
“I’ll have to call you on that.”
“We don’t have a time set yet.”
“Nah, you know that jack-off? Chris?”
“Yeah. We’re roughing him up.”
“Right. Him. But here’s the thing. We’re all gonna be there, right? But Chris, he says he might not be able to make it.”
“He says he’s gonna try to make it, but he might have to work that night,” the squat one said sheepishly.
His companion shook his head. “Shit.”