Fighting Fantasies

I know a lot of people probably have fight fantasies, little daydreams where you take out all your aggressions on someone deserving. When I was a kid, it was a group of bullies from school. I set up pillows on my bed and punched and kicked them, acting out the entire scene. Later, I got a punching bag that I used up until I left home. My victims became more anonymous, groups of inner city gang members (which I knew about only through television) and other ominous criminals.

Of course, I also got into actual fights from time to time. These events typically lasted little more than a couple of minutes. Usually they got broken up before they really got started. Even so, they were awkward, ugly.

In my crime-fighting fantasies, fights are beautifully and meticulously choreographed, right down to my explanations to the cops afterwards. Although they sometimes involve a specific person with whom I’ve had a recent altercation, they usually involve random muggers and thugs you might run into late at night on the subway. Lately, I have not only fantasized about a fight, but I’ve added the power to hypnotize my nemeses into believing they are having a heart attack, have some late stage cancer, or have a broken arm or leg, thus avoiding the gymnastics of having to actually throw and avoid punches.

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