Saturday, March 2, 2024

Fight Night

"Should I bring brass knuckles or will the switchblade do?"

"Bring the brass knuckles.  I want to see you throw that right hook."

"I have hard plastic knuckles to get past the metal detector.  I'll bring them."

That was the three way conversation last night.  Mr. Car bought three tickets to the bare knuckle fighting thing.  

"I got us loge seating.  I've secured V.I.P. parking.  We're set."

I guess I'm locked in, God knows what cost.  First dinner and drinks.  Cha-ching.  Then we will watch grown men hit one another with bare fists.  Teeth will fly.  It could turn stomachs.  Why am I going, you ask?  Well. . . you know. . . what could I say?  What I want most out of the night is not to get beaten up.  This is sure to be a bonehead crowd, jacked up on 'roids and meth, big, brutal meatheads that I have spent a lot of time and energy getting away from.  But here I am, stepping right back into the shit.  

My buddies are both fighters, though, so I will push them in front of me.  I think, however, they are both very curious to see if I can still throw a punch.  

I don't think I can.  Not like I used to be able to, anyway.  Throwing punches, though, has never been a crowd pleaser.  I've never met a girl I liked who thought tough guys were "the thing."  All those years I spent in the old steroid fighter gym taught me a thing or two.  Blue eyeshadow to match the blue Camaro--those are the girls who date fighting boys.  Big hair and chewing gum.  This may be an exaggerated stereotype I'm throwing out there, but I have a larger sample study than most people do.  

The girls I know like slim, financially buff boys.  

It has always been a struggle.  

Blame my father.  Oh, hell, blame WWII and the times.  John Wayne and all that.  I've done stupid things, as you know, decompression dives into deep, underwater caves, climbing high altitude mountains and famous rock faces. . . driving a Vespa!  My uncle was a boxing promoter.  My father was a boxer and a trainer who was renowned for his feats of strength.  I did it all to prove I could.  '

"Look, dad, look at me.  See?  I climbed a mountain.  I ran a marathon."


As I told my Yosemite mountain buddy's wife just last week, "the difference between me and your hubby was always that he liked doing it and I just wanted to have done it.  I always wanted to get it over so I could go home and tell people I did it.  He actually liked the process."

And that is the essential truth.  

"Jump, buddy, jump. . . the water's deep."

And so, what are you going to do?  There is no choice, really, is there?  What?  Oh. . . there is?  

So tonight I'll show I'm one of the men, and I will go watch guys beat on one another for a few bucks and the pleasure of the crowd.  I'll try to feel like a Roman watching the gladiators which is essentially what this is.  

"Spartacus!  Spartacus!"

And all the meatheads in the crowd will get an adrenaline dump and heads will jerk and bodies tremble and men will feel that they could get in that ring and do it, too.  Surely there will be fights in the parking lot.  There will be no backing down.  Then people will pile into their pickup trucks or tricked out muscle cars and, heads full of alcohol and hormones, go back to their trailers and smoke some crack.  

Did I tell you I'm sitting in the loge?  VIP parking?  Dinner and drinks at a Michelin restaurant?  Yea. . . they are fighters, but not like that.  

It should be weird.  And weirdness has its own allure.  Right?  

But don't get me wrong.  Most of my friends have probably never been in a fistfight, not, at least, since elementary school.  Most of my younger friends are way too woke for violence.  Even my college roommate.  They'd rather write a strong letter to the editor.  They are aggressive in their own ways, I promise you.  They'll cancel you in a heartbeat.  They can snub you with the best of them.  And they will right to your face. . . unless they think you will hit them.  

"Whatever.  I will not have anything to do with that man again.  Brutish!" 

Some of them like sports like soccer or cricket, you know, and some of them will even drive a car fast or become aerobatics champions (true), or they will go on long hikes, run 10K races, and even kayak down wilderness rivers.  Don't get me wrong.  Some are highly competitive.  They may go to those box gyms  and run around the block with tires on their shoulders.  I'm just saying. . . .  

"If I'm the shorter one, which is often the case, I'll be swinging for the body to get the head lower so that I can throw the famously deadly Marciano/Tyson uppercut. "

I just had to show off my boxing knowledge, you know.  I can always point to my nose.  I wasn't born with it.  It has been "adjusted." That chip on my tooth?  The thing is, try not to get hit.  That is the first rule.  Hit them and don't let them hit you.  See?  It's a science.  If you want to learn about it, read "The Sweet Science" by A.J. Liebling, though you may prefer his gastronomical writings, "Between Meals."  Both are good.  Each is?  

Q would like tonight, I think.  So would my mountain buddy.  So would my dead, ex-friend Brando.  Maybe one or two others.  Fine food and drink followed by VIP parking and the comfort of the loge, to be among the throng but not of the throng.  

I wouldn't be going on my own, you know, and I am fairly uncertain still. . . but I can't stay home alone EVERY night.  

A different kind of company would have been nice last night.  I went to sushi alone.  

"I'll sit at the bar."

"For one?" asked the very pretty hostess.

"Yes.  Sad isn't it."

"Oh, no, no. . . not at all." 

But she was being kind.  All around the restaurant were tables with seated couples or pairs of couples.  It was Friday night.  There would be sushi and sake and then a walk around the shops down to the lake, and then they would go home to nightcaps and movies and maybe a little love.  

I came home to whiskey and a phone call.  At least there was that.  Half an hour's conversation.  A phone date.  There you go.  

It may rain today.  Yesterday I got down the palm and bush fertilizers.  I will have to wait until after the rains to spray insecticide.  Two of my cousins are staying with my mother this weekend, so I will have to do that for a bit.  Sweeping the deck.  Laundry.  But what I think I will do is go to a hippie store and buy some essential oils for the oil lamps.  Aromatherapy, you know?  And maybe take some photos.  Did I tell you I like the new stuff?  Yea. . . I know I did.  I'm just saying don't hate me for going to the fights.  I'm a sweet boy who loves cut flowers in vases around the house, pretty pictures and sweet smelling oils, and lots of weepy music.  

But sometimes, you know. . . you have to look the other world right in the proverbial kisser.  Just like Old Blue Eyes.  

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