Scuffling: The Early Years

The first fight I ever remember having was one I had for fun. I was 4 years old and living in Ozone Park, Queens. A friend and I had seen a fight scene in The Green Hornet, where Bruce Lee had his first big role. Our reenactment, all fake kicks and punches, soon enough became real enough, and I remembered nothing but the purest kind of joy. 

So much so that it took me five more years to figure out that this was something that typically was not supposed to be all that joyful. As a 9-year-old, I heard about a 12-year-old who was bullying the little kids, and I saw the other kids’ faces fixed in fear, and the bully’s embrace of it. It took 45 seconds to take him down — 45 seconds to achieve neighborhood legend status.


OZYTrue Story

Good stories from around the globe. Essays and immersion, into the harrowing, the sweet, the surprising — the human.