A party, maybe 5 or 6 years ago, 2am, summer.
A man I don't know, very drunk, looks to my friend Sean and says, "Nice beard, you fucking loser." I , too, am over beards, but I say nothing. Sean smiles and thanks him and continues his conversation. "Your beard is stupid!" the man shouts. Sean closes his eyes, sighs, and continues talking about whatever it is he was saying--a new guitar pedal, saving up to record on analog, reel-to-reel instead of digital. "How nice would it be to record on actual tape?" he asks. "I bet it's so big and warm."
The other man shouts nonsense. Sean's younger brother Leonard tells us to hold it. He twirls around and pushes the drunk man. "Leave my brother alone or I'll kick your ass," he says. Screams, really. He's escalating it. Leonard has a ponytail and owes another one of my friends about $500, but that's not this story.
"Fuck you and your brother," the man says.
"That's it," Leonard says, "that's it!" He takes off his leather jacket. "Sean, hold this!" he says, and he throws the jacket to his brother. Sean makes no attempt to catch anything. The jacket lands on the floor with a thud. Leonard winds back, slaps the drunken man hard across the face. I wince.
The man makes a whimpering sound and leaves.
Some of our friends return from a late dinner with a bag of tacos. "What'd we miss?"
I dislike violence, but the dropping of the jacket--that gesture and the memory of it are prized possessions of mine.