I am not scared of you. Don’t go around telling people that I’m scared of you. I didn’t burst into tears because I was afraid of you. I was crying because I was thinking about how brave I am. What you heard were simply whimpers of courage.

I didn’t pee my pants because I’m afraid of you. I did that way before I even saw you.

I’m no pacifist. I’ve never been afraid to fight. I once beat up the biggest bully in the whole seventh grade. And I lost my teaching license as a result. In fact, I got in a fight just last week. That’s where I got this black eye but I’ll tell you, you should’ve seen the other guy. His face was covered in blood! It doesn’t matter whose it was.

You don’t want a piece of me, I’m tough as nails buddy. Not construction nails, but well-manicured, french tip ones. Expensive french tips though. Not the cheap ones you do at home. I’m talking hard lacquer, nail salon french tips baby!

You claim I ran away from you terrified, like a dog from a vacuum. Well, it could be argued that you also ran away from the fight, you just ran away a few seconds after I did and you happened to run away in the same direction as me while yelling “get back here.”

Besides, have you ever considered that I ran from you not because I was scared to fight you, but because I didn’t see you as a challenge and I was running to go find a larger, stronger, more formidable opponent?

You should know, when I was running and screaming “help, help,” I was screaming that for you. I didn’t need help. I was yelling for someone to come help you because of how bad I was going to beat you. When I said “someone please help me, help me please, help me. This man is going to hurt me, please help me, anyone” I was speaking from your perspective. I was playing the character of you. I’m an empath, I was feeling your fear. What’s so hard to understand?

You call what I did when you caught up to me “cowering in the fetal position,” I call it “crouching into a ball of power.”

If I was afraid to fight, would I punch myself in the eye like this? Would a person who is scared give himself a black eye? So who is the real coward here? Me, the guy willing to blacken his own eye? Or you, the person trying to fight a guy with an already injured eye?

It’s not that I don’t want to fight, I’m just allergic to getting punched. It makes my face swell up

You know what’s weird in this society? When a boat sinks, everyone is all “women and children first.” But, then I line up behind my wife and children as you’re about to punch me and everyone accuses me of using my five-year-old as a human shield.

You still think I’m scared? I’ll fight anyone here. Like her. Or that kid. Just a second ago you were accusing me of cowering behind my child, but now you won’t let me fight your son? Double standard anyone?!

To reiterate, I’m not scared of you. The word “scared” isn’t in my vocabulary. What does it even mean? Does it mean fearful and afraid for your own safety? It does? Oh. Well, “fearful” also isn’t in my vocabulary. You’ll find lots of words aren’t in my vocabulary, so if you want to continue down this road, it’s going to take a while.

But it seems like you’re set on fighting. Well, I hope you’re ready for the fight of your life because it looks like you’ve brought a knife to a gunfight. Unfortunately, I too forgot to bring my gun to this gunfight. So go ahead, punch me, kick me, twist my joints in weird angles. I do not fear you. This trembling? That is pure, uncut anticipation. I’m not terrified of you and your powerful fists and willingness to hammer-throw me into the side of the building, I’m only terrified of being terrified at your willingness to hammer-throw me into the side of the building. The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.