Sometimes courage is made from hops and barley and comes in a pint glass. Sometimes courage is made from character and conviction and comes in an unexpected moment of bravery. Sometimes courage is just a big brother vaulting through a window in the nick of time.
I am the oldest of four. Loyal readers know of Sister but there are also two younger brothers; Mr. Craftsman and Mr. Youngest.
They live in Charlotte and this is one of many of their adventures.
Craftsman and Youngest arrived with their girlfriends to the crowded club and finally worked through the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd to the bar. After several minutes they established a small island in the sea of people and toasted with overpriced domestic beers in hand.
Most people navigate through a crowded club like a waiter during the dinner rush. A polite "behind you" and a hand on the shoulder of the next human obstacle makes getting from A to B civil and painless. Apparently LittleMan was napping when this PSA aired. He made his way to the otherside of the club silently parting the crowd with his momentum. Keep in mind that CraftsMan stands with ample muscles on a solid 6ft frame. He always looks like he just finished working out.
LittleMan bowled past Craftsman with enough kinetic energy to turn my brother around and spill his beer. Youngest immediatly stepped in the path of LittleMan and served up a fresh "What the FUCK" with a side of shove. The source of LittleMan's disregard for everyone in his path became evident when his friends, the bouncers, appeared out of nowhere and callapsed on Youngest and began to "escort" him out.
Craftsman was finally able to get oriented as Youngestest pushed LittleMan. With the club muscle busy, Craftsman planted his fist into LittleMan's jaw. LittleMan's ass planted itslelf on the sticky floor. Craftsman herded the ladies away from the scuffle as LittleMan tried to get up without knowing the number of the bus that just hit him.
The bouncers tossed Youngest out onto the deck that wrapped around the club. Pissed, he brushed off his clothes (because that is what you do when you are tossed out of a bar), straightened his collar and walked to the deck railing. He pulled the phone out from his cargo shorts and dailed Craftsman with no awareness of the punch thrown just moments before. Five rings and he was greeted with Craftsman's voicemail message.
Inside, Craftsman was trying to get the tab paid and the girls out before word of his handywork made it up the vine and he got more than thrown out. Youngest tried the number again as LittleMan and three of his friends emerged from the front door and poured onto the deck. Only then did Youngest realize he was leaning in a corner and, with the deck being a good 10ft above the street, without a clear path of escape. His hand with the ringing phone fell to his side as he backed up even further into the corner in the face of the advancing threat.
This time Craftsman heard his phone and patted his pockets trying to find it....
"Come here, fucker..."
LittleMan knew he was punched and in the confusion assumed it was Youngest who delivered the blow. Armed with his wingman he quickly closed the distance between himself and Youngest. Shattering Youngest's personal space he began the traditional testosterone induced script as a prelude to a new four-on-one fisticuff.
Craftsman found the ringing phone and flipped it open only to hear the threats and Youngest trying a verbally escape from a physical situation. The words translated immediately in Craftsman's mind. Scanning the club for the closest exit he spotted Youngest surrounded through a window in the back of the club. Phone closed he cut the shortest path between him and the ass kicking about to unfold. Luckily for the club owner, the window was open to the deck.
"I didn't hit you man", said Youngest truthfully as his mind rushed with things to say to de-escalate the situation. Reciting a line, LittleMan yelped, "No bouncer's now, shithead, want a piece of me?"
Youngest was running out of words to slow down what was likley to be the wrong end of four sets of fists.
As he repeated himself, "I didn't hit you, man" as he caught a glimpse over LittleMan's shoulder of Craftsman vaulting out of the window Matrix-style onto the deck. The would-be attackers were none-the-wiser.
A fresh shot of courage vaulted out of a window.
Craftsman was almost on LittleMan and his little friends when, without blinking, Youngest went from "Dude, I don't want to fight you" to a dry:
"Fuck you - Let's go".
Taken back by the change in Youngest's tone and demeanor, the four punks never saw Craftsman as he pounced on them from behind. My two little brothers then proceded to sand the wood deck with them.
Courage comes in many forms and having an older brother fly through a window to your rescue never hurts either.