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Taking to the Night
Pondering the Cracked Rear View Mirror of a life Misspent: G-String New Jersey, 5/22/23
© 2023 James LaFond
I was in Baltimore at the Brickmouse House after having coffee with Miss Ezz when Flop the Zero Phone lit up mutely and announced “Mr Saffronno.”
Answering, I heard, “Sorry, James, for not answering your call last night. I was out with my girlfriend, on our final date—you know she turns thirty tomorrow, and I have standards to maintain…”
The world was set to tilt our knucklehead way, as My Patron, Jersey Jon, The Brickmouse, Mister Grey, and Big Ron descended upon The Shamrock Pub in Baltimore City for $2 bottled beer. The Birckmouse, having found this was going to be my last fight, that I had promised numerous ladies that age 60 would see my final fights, had decided to attend so he could test himself.
I knew how it would go. Having been sparring 6 hours a week across the nation with novice to experienced fighters, and he not for a year, he beat me up sparring on Sunday morning without much effort.
Thursday was rising in Baltimore and a Tennessee arrival.
Friday was training, Paul showing up late.
Friday morning Paul and I got in the ring while Jon yet slept on the mat below and rolled over at 7 A.M. empty beer cans attesting to his revel last night, “Really, already,” and rolled back over as the Big Breed and the old twerp boxed. I was getting arrogant, had sparred with Dennis 45 minutes the day before and gotten the best of it.
Back up at the house I issued a written challenge to 7 year old Uriah to duel, and he agreed. I would be taking some knee shots in our exhibition bout the next day as I was booed and hissed and the spry critter waxed David over aged Goliath. Dennis would be served the same comic fate in the same corner. Being the bad guy looming over the fresh-faced is fun, even when you are undone.
I won most of my machete duels. The Brickmouse tooled me up and put me down with the stick. Sean disarmed and pummeled me. Dennis and Jon beat me up in boxing, while taking it easy on me. I am to the point where I can only be competitive in blunt force contests against novices and older peers, who are people I should be coaching, not fighting.
The format seemed to gel perfectly and we even developed our own knucklehead crowd scoring system which included awarding wins on moral grounds to the man who ate the most punches!
Esoteric urban blight and military history conversation over shepherd’s pie in the Tennessee Hills, beer in the rain, breakfast and coffee with far-flung friends of a common mind-frame and a fist in the face to remind you that they care; Man Weekend 2023 will be one of the memories I hope the shades maintain.
So, it was the right call. Other than doing some exhibition fights on video to show off The Brickmouse, because I can still make him work, I should limit my activity to sparring and coaching.
If Sean wants me to attend next year, I’ll do steel duels and coach.
I am willing to do an exhibition of London Prize Ring boxing from Figg’s Era of the 1720s with Jon or Dennis, using MMA gloves instead of bare knuckles, as a kind of reenactment and technical study of that extinct sport, and/or a pugmachia bout according to ancient Olympic rules. The first would be in the ring, the second on the mat and be an attempt to reenact the social setting as well, not just the methods of contest but the cornering and officiating as well.
Sean, Mr. Saffonno, Ivan, Jon, Dennis, Uriah, Paul, Brickmouse, Nero and the Man of Mystery [who had to retire due to illness], thank you, it was an honor.
‘Baltimore, My Home’
harm city
Immediate Post-Life
crag mouth
plantation america
search for an american spartacus
the lesser angels of our nature
orphan nation
son of a lesser god
the greatest lie ever sold
songs of aryаs
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