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Of Spitting, Cussing and Bleeding...

I was in a retrospective mood this morning, musing and enjoying the sunshine (after weeks of dreary weather) on bus 95.  It has been a TA joke that Wanker's plastic blow-up doll sacrifice to Thor (Rain God of TA) finally took effect! As usual, the bus was crowded with people going to work and school.

When the bus stopped outside the NUH bus-stop, and people started to get off, an altercation started between two men who had stepped off the bus.  A quick glance at their dressing confirmed that they were blue-collar workers, probably going to work on one of the many renovation works in NUS.  Ah, just another brawl between low class ruffians you tell yourself - but on closer inspection, you see drama and humanity and your own shortcomings reflected in that little fracas.

I do not know what set the fight off.  It was as if they got off the bus and decided to whack each other.  Perhaps one of them had stepped on the toes of the other, or maybe, a slight shove, or perhaps they had some ongoing family feud.  My colleague on the bus behind mine, saw everything and she did not know how it started either.

But in that brief instant when I saw them snarling and facing off with each other, I saw all the base emotions in human beings flash over their faces.  Their eyes were wide open (when Chinese are usually slitty eyed), and they stared for just the briefest instant when Blue Shirt spat at Grey Shirt.  In that instant, you could see the blind rage that was coursing over their faces.

Grey Shirt retaliated by swinging his bag at Blue and Blue ducked and tried to retaliate.  Their swinging and pushing smashed a dustbin and it flew under the bus - the old woman driving the bus had to get off to  pull it out.  In 5 seconds between the spitting and the smashed dustbin, I saw people clear the bus-stop faster than you can say Jack Robinson.  Fear is a major motivator.

And as the bus-stop emptied, Blue's anger and confidence flowed out with them.  And in his eyes, you suddenly saw the uncertainty and with it fear and insecurity.  Grey was still pressing his attack, and by now somebody was bleeding as I noticed a small red drops on the floor.  They were after all, engaging in their pugilism just 4 feet from me.

Almost immediately, Blue turned and ran.  Grey did not hesitate and chased him.  I heard people swearing: a crowd of people formed around the two pugilists and I lost sight of the drama and 95 continued on its route.

How easy it was for people to lose control of themselves and to just let all their base emotions boil over and to come to fisticuffs.  It is sad that people are so fearful and insecure that they let little things blind them with rage.  

What made me even sadder was when I realised that I was not immune from those flaws.  How many times, have I bitten off the head of the "opposition", not out of jest, but in  pure anger in a debate or maybe in a discussion.   And all because my fragile sense of self-worth was provoked.  

How easily it was that I let myself be provoked and to let my insecurities rule my life.  I often tell myself lies - iies that I am in control, that I am fine, that "they" deserved it.

And that was the biggest hypocrisy of all - hiding behind a mask of intellectualism and yet behaving no better than a ruffian in conduct.  At least the ruffian was honest to his feelings and let it be expressed, instead of hiding it and projecting some false image of confidence.

Funny isn't it, how such small events make you really think about yourself?

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