A Forsley Feuilleton: I Gave Up The Roadwork Of The Fight-Game For The Drinking Of The Lit-Game â€“ Act One[admin / February 20th, 2012 / Young Bright Things ]
Jake â€˜The Raging Bullâ€™ LaMotta, Muhammad â€˜The Greatestâ€™ Ali, Johnny â€˜Mi Vida Locaâ€™ Tapia, Arturo â€˜Thunderâ€™ Gatti, Bernard â€˜The Executionerâ€™ Hopkins â€“ those were my childhood idols.Â I wanted to do what they did.Â I wanted to make a living trying to stop someone else from living, and I wanted to do it in the ring while a crowd of slave-wage earning drunkards and slave-wage exploiting cokeheads â€“ all pretending they were me â€“ cheered as I beat my opponent â€“ who they all pretended was their cokehead employers or their drunken employees â€“ as bloody as a Sunday in Northern Ireland when a peaceful protest is underway and an army of British Soldiers need something to smoke.
Besides joining the IRA and blowing up some Mini-Coopers, I couldnâ€™t imagine a life more fulfilling than that of a boxer, a prizefighter, a pugilist, a practitioner of The Sweet Science.Â Itâ€™s such a sweet science that even the diabetic God Almighty enjoys it.Â He enjoys it so much that he helps these modern-day gladiators inflict pain on each other â€“ as long as they publicly thank Him after each match â€“ by providing thunderbolt administered pre-fight steroid injections.Â Any science sweet enough for Mr. Almighty was sweet enough for me: so one day my baby-fat ass and I took a pilgrimage by bus from my suburban dental-office looking, fluoride smelling neighborhood to train at the Madison Street Boxing Gym in downtown trailer-park looking, meth-lab smelling Phoenix in search of the secrets of The Sweet Science. . . and possibly a thunderbolt to the ass.
It was the same gym Mike â€˜The Baddest Man on the Planetâ€™ Tyson used to train. . . and do Van Buren hookers in the locker-room at.Â And by the end of my first day there I felt as shitty as Tyson looked after Lennox Lewis, in 2002, dismantled both him and what was left of the Heavy Weight Divisionâ€™s legacy.Â All the boxing talent is in the lighter weight classes now. â€˜The Hairless Chihuahua,â€™ that ten-pound Mexican boy my trainer had â€œshow me the ropes,â€ proved it: Instead of showing me the ropes, he showed me the canvas by knocking me out with a single shot to the kidney.Â He then took me to do roadwork â€“ but it was the roadwork of Mexican immigrants, not the roadwork of modern-day gladiators.Â When I complained, â€˜The Hairless Chihuahuaâ€™ and the other ditch-diggers pointed: coming down the street was Sheriff Joe Arpaio with the Calvary behind him pulling a stagecoach full of pink underwear.
They began shooting at us like it was the Wild fucking West, and we all went running like Irish Catholics from British Soldiers on Bloody Sunday.Â I ran and ran and ran, and as I ran I thought: â€œso itâ€™s this type of forced roadwork that turned so many Catholics in Ireland, like Barry McGuigan, and Mexicans in Arizona, like Michael Carbajal, into boxing champions.â€Â The ditch-diggers all ditched me so I started digging until I pooped up in a bar bathroom where I hid while pissing out the blood my â€˜Hairless Chihuahuaâ€™ punched kidney produced.Â When I left the bar bathroom I was so weak and exhausted from the roadwork and the loss of blood that I had to sit down and take part in that other activity that the Irish and Mexicans share a talent for: boozing.
While boozing in this downtown Phoenix dive-bar I met a group of young happy rich people dressed like old sad poor people.Â They were writers â€“ of the poet variety.Â They told me of the fulfilling roadworkless life they lived.Â Unlike other writers, they as poets rarely had to write.Â Dropping names like Alzheimerâ€™s patients, they said drinking was more important than writing because without the relaxitive effects of alcohol, a poet will become constipated with ideas and wonâ€™t write a thing worth writing.
Even with ideas flowing like diarrhea, I didnâ€™t think a poet could write a thing worth writing. . . but the life they described enticed me.Â They not only got to drink instead of write, but they also got to ignore the rules of grammar whenever that elusive entity they called inspiration did come along.Â They said the beauty that is poetry has nothing to do with imaginative imagery or meticulous metaphors â€“ it only has to do with grammatical lawlessness.Â While other writers â€“ novelists, essayists, memoirists and the like â€“ are punished for breaking the laws of grammar, the poet is celebrated for their crimes.Â They said if I became a poet, the only laws I would have to abide by were those of unproductivity and degeneracy.
So I moved from Phoenix to San Francisco and gave up the roadwork of the fight-game for the drinking of the lit-game. . .