Therapist by Day, Boxer by Night
An Excerpt from 'Blows to the Head'
A bloody mouthguard floats in a bucket that I am holding under a young Hispanic man’s face. It is a frantic moment between rounds, and I am working the corner, reaching through the ropes of the boxing ring and mopping his dark kinky hair with a torn white towel. Inside the ring, kneeling at Manuel’s feet and urging him to stay alert is his coach John, a former middleweight champion. I am a 55 year old Jewish psychotherapist and spend my days in a leather recliner, quietly tuning myself to the complex themes of other peoples’ melodies, and each day begins with someone else’s song. But not this night; this night I am edgy, tough, ageless, and loud. A young black disc jockey in the back of the gym cues up the seductive riff of a Spanish dance tune, interweaving it with pounding hip-hop. Three police officers stand near the door, keeping an eye on things.
Manuel complained of nausea before the fight, saying “I don’t know why I feel so weird,” and I walked him around the gym, offering my half-eaten jelly doughnut and a firm arm around his shoulder.
It’s his first fight.
JAN. 15, 2010 @ THE HARTFORD CLUB:
CT Young Writers
Triple Knockout Event: Prose, Poetry & Pugilism;
Open Writing Workshops In Poetry & Sportswriting;
Jen Allen Big Band With Vocalists