From a near distance rumbling motorcycle's permeated the air with bass, and I could barely hear her voice. The vast mountains I live under carried the motorcycles sound for miles, slightly raising the voice per individual. The overwhelming noise of automobiles engulfed the scenic lands, and my mind turn submissive with the sun rising. The hydrogen star threw the energy of light about California, illuminating its greatness. It fueled every individual, animal and organism with an abundance of light, and energy. The creator of our travel.
Lining the pomade containers parallel to the edge of the bathroom counter, I laugh at her foolishness, then I call her slutty. The manner of our secret sexual relationship rose her desire for me. Or it could have been my name. But at this point, I don't think it would have mattered for she had lured me in her trap. I thought maybe one day I could love her, enjoying her company over a long time.
I was a professional boxer beginning to shine in the boxing world. Eight victories with seven knockouts. My record was the development of a flawless professional boxing career. It took everything to get here. Sacrificing my social life to study the game of boxing, for the people who mattered most. Family events and social gathering's have all been sacrificed to the precious deity of Boxing. No distractions, no worries. All I was scheduled to do was Box.
She was a petite blonde I met through a friend in high school. I was introduced to her as the infamous, Mike Franco, which seemed to attract her even more.
After some time our relationship blossomed into something beautiful. Like when winter turned to spring. Like when the buck mounted the doe. It was a beautiful gathering of our coming together. I've now limited my moves to a minimum. I wasn't even sure if I could handle this relationship. Could I find the time to give her the attention she needed. Could I sacrifice my current relationship with my girlfriend, for this notion of wanting me.
She was an interesting girl with her whole life ahead of her, and living one day at a time. She had a bad girl attitude that attracted my interest and attention, and I was losing sleep at night because I was off attending to her pleasures. It was my first experience as a professional boxer becoming glorified. Woman flocking to my attention because I had excellent skill in fighting.
This situation I drew was a distraction too early to have in my career. Our relationship was growing fast but in the back of my mind I knew this could never be anything besides a fuck.
Throwing my fists through the air and drawing the blood to the rotator cuff, I begin to break a slight sweat. The shoulder clicks and snaps, and I devise the strategic game plan for the fight. I was fighting a proud Mexican boxer from Sinaloa, Mexico. He had a big heart and a fast right cross, and a reputation for crowd pleasing fights. He was a tough Mexican brawler known in the Southern California boxing community for fast action fights. For months, my team and I had devised a plan to keep the fight on the perimeter where I could use my natural abilities of boxing to overpower him. I had to box him with a quick jab and a heavy right cross. Fighting him at bay with long range punches and swift movement, fiercely maneuvering my head through combat.
"Don't get punched, but punch him." My boxing coach would say. "You can't win by getting punched. Move your damn head!"
Coach Jay had an old time look about him and wore funny looking shoes. The shoes had a spring on the heel that elevated him on his toes to absorb the cushion, I think. Or maybe because he had a sciatic nerve problem. Either way, old man jay was falling apart, and the shoes looked damn funny.
Coach Jay had a Brooklyn accent about him. His father, Allen Dorfman, was involved with The Chicago Outfit back in 1970's and 80's. During the fall of their criminal empire, Dorfman was shot multiple times in the head with a .22 caliber automatic pistol. During rest hours before fight time, Coach Jay would spend time sharing old mob stories with the fight team. Nourishing our mind for fighting.
Having been scheduled for a six round boxing fight, under a local professional boxing card, getting paid twelve-hundred dollars wasn't worth the risk. It took something more than average to engage hand to hand combat with another man. It took something more to endure such trauma, such stress on the body and mind from fighting. The months spent preparing to engage combat in a brutally manner fashion wasn't worth any money, nor any risk.
For a sport that couldn't be played, but fought. That had only the toughest athlete's. Pound for pound the most mentally and physically strong willed contestants to compete with the fists.That had been dated back before Christ. Way back when man understood the importance of having the abilities in defending oneself. Way back when man discovered that pummeling each other with their fists was fun. And way back in 688 B.C the Ancient Greek believed that the God's of Olympus would compete with their fists, giving life to the sport in the Olympic Games.
The countless number of sparring rounds sharpening the reaction required for fighting wasn't worth the money. The hundreds of heavy bag rounds I spent preparing myself for a fight with a stronger willed opponent, wasn't worth the pain. The century of miles I jogged to grow the cardiovascular system, the lungs and blood vessels to accommodate such energy used in boxing, wasn't worth the sacrifices to be a successful boxer. The oceans I swam to grow the lung capacity and the shoulders for throwing mass punches. The countless hours I spent jumping between a rope to develop the calves and legs to be swift and agile enough for a ballet with a theatrical dancer. The painful bruises that come from being pummeled by greater opponents, and heavier sparring partners. The blood being drawn from the nose, from the mouth, from the eyes, because I was too slow, or too careless to move. All of the pain, the trauma, the sacrifices that are made to be a successful boxer wasn't worth the money, nor the risk. Nobody in their right mind would choose such an occupation, such a career.
But, I had a lust for developing my name. A desire for creating the toughest reputation. A respectable occupation that few people equipped, and a Love for being paid money to fight. I wanted to be known by my peers and others that I had extraordinary abilities in a boxing ring, and a boxing knowledge acquired over bumps, bruises, and blood.
The fight was against Daniel Quevedo. A proud boxer puncher from Sinaloa, Mexico. He had twice as many fights as I had and five years experience more. Quevedo victoriously came off a second round knockout and he was boasting himself, and calling out my name.
The opponent was brought to my attention couple weeks back by my father, my boxing coach. It had never been an option to say No, and to me, it had never been a choice to decline combat.
"Yah, I'll take the fight."
But father already knew my answer. I would fight anybody.
"I think you could beat him, Son. I just need you to listen to me."
The opponent was nothing to me other than a paycheck. A stepping stone for higher grounds. He was an obstacle that stood between me and my goal. An obstruction that stand in the way. But I shouldn't be so light, underestimating any opponent, for all it took to end a fight was one punch. We trained six days a week for this fight. Sunday's were rest days. I usually spent the rest day with my girlfriend. A driven brunette with a warming smile that could melt a heart.
She had a gorgeous smile, and kind eyes. I thought maybe one day we might marry. Maybe one day we could raise a family together, with a bundle of kids and some house pets. I hadn't seen my girlfriend for weeks. It was a boxers rule when preparing for fight, to rid of all distractions that might disrupt the fighting meditation. Anything that could loose focus of the opponent, of the fighters game plan. It was so important to stay focused, and some friends couldn't understand the dedication I had.
The fight was scheduled for a Saturday. The scheduled weigh-in date the day before was at one hundred and twenty-two pounds. I made the weight fairly. Pedialite replenishment, water, then pizza. Nothing ever changed. Every step before the fight was a ritual. A ceremony executed precisely, for any wrong step might agitate the deity of boxing.
The Dressing Room
Pouncing fast about the dressing room, I hold the guard, my cage of defense, tight and sturdy. I had to protect my wellness from the battering ram of enemy fists, like an iron cage. When I do find an opportunity, an opening for attack, I will ferociously clobber his head and body with heavy punches.
This action I choose to strike with must be no thought, but instinct. A reaction that I've been training for months. I must be confident in the mind, sure of each punch thrown to land with accuracy.
The evil, the negativity comes wandering about the greenery of life. It spins undetected, till that final second engulfing all positive energy like a black hole. I mustn't allow evil to sprout in my mind. I mustn't allow the negative thoughts to come over me. For if I had, I give failure life, where it can spread throughout.
I was sparring weeks before in preparation for this fight. My greatness was developed with my mind. I trusted in myself, my conditioning, my endurance, my ability of fight. As long as I would put in the work, all that was left was Doing.
I soften the cartilage of my nose with my palm, then beat it with my fist. The anger and determination has begun to feed the mind, in turn causing the adrenal gland to induce the muscles with hate.
The anger arose the heart rate and fueled the arms for punching. I wanted to pummel his face with my fists, I thought, because he wish to cause embarrassment in me.
We meet in the center of the boxing ring. He moves his shoulders back and forth swiftly. He was a confident boxer with a good record to back it up. Controlling the distance and keeping him at bay, I find an opportunity to land my right cross. Land the jab shoot the right cross. My attack was accurate. With a higher punch output percentage I take the lead in the fight. I become too arrogant of him, where I choose not to move from his punches; sacrificing a punch to give a punch. His attack was light. Something of a pitter patter. Like I could eat his punches all day.
"Move your damn head."
I could make out my fathers voice from the ring corner.
Quevedo has trouble finding the speed perception of my jab. Snapping the leather on his face and drawing the blood from his nose, frustration overpower in his eyes. Holding my ground in the center of the ring, I win the judges scoring as the dominant fighter. During the end of this round I become too aggressive, and loose focus of the game plan, becoming a brawler. Falling forward, and finding leverage on the inside fight, I evaporate his cardio from his body with heavy punches, investing in my future. As the fight ages to the later rounds, and after I have connected with several different body punches, his tires begin to deflate. He will soon slow the fight to a toe-to-toe brawl, where I could use my heavy punches to overpower him.
The confidence in my mind glowing brighter as my punch percentage increases. I will soon become everything a fighter hates. A fighter who becomes stronger and faster as the fight ages. I am a relentless monster with a heavy punch, a tight guard, and the inclination to never show fear. Instead of falling away because he was too fast, or too strong, I continuously press forward, waging war.
In this fire fight we exchange punches, and I am too careless of his power. He throws a fast right cross that lands behind the ear, disrupting my equilibrium and throwing my balance. The brain rattles, and the pain is quickly sharp then quickly dulling. The eyes sharply bulge from the blood throbbing, and my knees buckle. I hit the canvas.
I believe when we fail or fall in life, we are given a second chance. A rebirth, a new coming. A chance to redeem oneself, and our act in life. We are able to take one step back and observe what had failed. This reassessment of our new coming can be anything we desire. Stronger, faster, intellectually sound, and too, wiser of failure.
The failure had angered us, growing my determination of completing the task. With this new ability to reassess, this new ability of the third person perspective, we can observe the correct changes that are necessary for the game plan to further our fight. The changes that are needed to be pursued in order to succeed. No matter what the cost of pain was!
Growing in age, matter, and knowledge, I learn to cope with the pain's of life. Accepting the pain I endure everyday. Accepting the darkness and evil's that come about life, stirring in the brushes just beyond the good. Waiting for its perfect time to appear. The negative radical situation that blindsided you from your goal.
I accept the displeasures that linger. The inflictions of life that made everything complicated. The pain and hurt that land on us. I accept all this as a fiction of my reality. All as an animate hologram in the mind. Perceiving the pain I accompany everyday as fiction, as something that can be controlled by the mind. The human mind is the most powerful piece of matter on Earth. It could do anything you dream of. You just had to believe!
Like, the boogie man when I was younger. The boogie man can only haunt your mind if you allow him to haunt your mind. Accepting no pain, no misery, and no discomfort, was a way of believing. As I have fallen, and failed, I rise on one knee, allowing the heart to pump the brain with blood and oxygen. I regroup my thoughts. The new game plan. The new objective in life.
What must I do now. What must be the plan ahead to further my fight? To continue the pattern of life. The infinite positive and negative possibilities that affected everyone, and everything. But the count is short. You already know what to do. The right thing. Trust in yourself, and never give up. You can never fail, as long as you believe in yourself! But, the window of opportunity last's only a moment. Then it's gone.
The referee counts with his fingers in front of my face. It was a flash knockdown and the eight count he gives is mandatory. Striking me behind the ear disrupted my equilibrium, and I stumbled to the floor. My opponent stands in the neutral corner with hunger in his eyes. He knew of his opportunity. He recognized his potential victory. Failing to be cautious of his right cross and underestimating his speed, he took advantage of my careless mistakes. Striking me behind the ear and throwing my balance, my glove touched the canvas. The round is now eight-ten. The referee commences action and Quevedo comes charging with the horns. Sliding back and jabbing at his face, I only give him an inch at a time. I couldn't appear hurt. I couldn't show weakness because he would feed from it. He would find my weakest position, then strike with terror.
He advances and I punch him in the face with a long ranged jab. This was my Distance. My furthest possible point I could contact my opponent. Then from there I retract the jab and use the legs and hips to explode the energy out the shoulder and out the fist. His reluctant decision to engage combat has changed the momentum of the fight, and I take back the lead. The judges gave me a unanimous decision victory over Quevedo, winning every round beside the knockdown.
"Quevedo scored a knockdown in the fight, Franco." The press ask.
The mistake of careless fighting grew my embarrassment. I was too certain of the victory, overly confident where I thought the fight would be another flawless victory. I had too many distractions in my life. My audacious and arrogant mentality obstructed my view from the game plan. In the end, I victoriously held my hands over Quevedo but, failing to balance the extracurricular activities outside the boxing ring caused me embarrassment and pain. A humbling lesson learned.
Today I was humiliated from a sparring match. The sparring partner was greater than me in every aspect of boxing. The knowledge of boxing he contained had been so vast and so great that he was paid money to fight. The ultimate goal for devoted boxers. He was a Professional Boxer. A worthy contender with no less than two dozen boxing fights. I was still an amateur.
The sparring partners speed was fast and accurate that I wasn't able to perceive his punches, and my nose swelled with blood. He wore a pair of yellow Cleto Reyes boxing gloves that were unfamiliar to me, and the punch was compact and fierce.
He had every advantage over me, and I shouldn't have been in the ring as a contender, but somehow I was volunteered. Father's intentions were for me to acquire beatings from greater opponents, from rival gyms that had something to prove. It was his way of developing the best product. The most experienced boxer. He wanted the toughest, most durable kid. I was his first born son.
After the sparring match I wiped my face of the blood, packed my gear bag, then walked out the door with my head below my shoulders. Father started the car, then pulled away from the curb gingerly. We drove home in silence. He said nothing and I too. The black rain clouds haven't let up yet. They blocked out the sunlight and showered Southern California with much needed rain.
"How are your marbles?" Father inquires the brain trauma. My head was throbbing from his accurate left hook's, but I didn't want to show weakness. "I'm fine."
"Is this something you really want to do?" Father inquires the heart.
My shirt is bloody. My gloves and head gear are too bloody. They will forever be stained maroon red. When I see these blotchy characters it will remind me of my inability to turn mad. My perception of boxing had not yet morphed into a fighter, but still a hobbyist. It was mere entertainment. It was a fun after school activity my family enjoyed together. It aroused my interest because it was glorified by my family, and respected by the population. It was a way for me to seem desirable to my female classmates; a way to pick up chicks.
Staring at the black sky I contemplate vacating the sport. This was stupid, I thought. Getting beat up for a sport wasn't fun. I was a young teenager. I should be hanging out with my friends in a baseball diamond, or I should be concrete surfing the city sidewalks. Or I should be learning a new activity that would assist my better living, or, learning the anatomy of a female class mate. Getting beat up for a sport wasn't fun.
After being pummeled some rounds, I grew angry because my opponent deprived me of my self-esteem. I was cut short of having a boxing virile mentality. The sorry father had in his eyes for me made me angry. I didn't want him to feel sorry for me. I had a desire for him and others to be proud of me, and respecting my abilities in a boxing ring. The bridge of my nose had been deviated to one side, where I couldn't breath, and the eyes begin to swell black. The sorry father had for me hurt more. So when he asked me if I wanted to endeavor in the sport of boxing, for a trophy, for cuts and bruises that lead to nothing, I choked on my tongue. I wanted to give up. To abandon my childhood dream of becoming a prize fighter. To earn a way of living by fighting, by becoming the most respected kid on the playground.
The night was damp from the rain shower. The clouds have now traveled inland clearing the sky, and the full moon illuminate the nite with life. I put on my running shoes and took a stroll around the neighborhood to clear my head, and to review all the errors that caused me harm.
My heavy feet made me slow in the ring, where the opponent picked me apart on the perimeter. My jab was too slow. Throwing the jab lazily, he would counter my attack with a stinging right cross, drawing the blood from my nose.
Lacking to throw combination punches and only searching for the one punch knockout, made me appear foolish. I only desired to knock him out. Hoping to catch him with a wild haymaker. But he was too fast. He would find the correct distance of my face, land a few punches, then move before I had enough leverage to swing. His punches were painfully fast, and the yellow gloves he wore made it look like he was throwing fireballs. Hearing the laughter from the rival gym spectators made me angry because I was being embarrassed at the hands of another fighter.
When I showed up weeks later for the scheduled sparring match with that same guy with the yellow gloves, I saw what were fathers intentions. After the sparring match.
Father speaks proudly, "Great work, son."
I nod my head in anger.
"You didn't fall to his tactics. You did exactly what I wanted you to do."
The opposite coach compliments my abilities, "Great work. You have become seasoned in a fight. Excellent!"
The opposite coach boasted my chest, where I saw the pain meriting. The pain from being pummeled by greater fighters was a lesson only to better my boxing abilities. The failure endured will be a testimony to my future success. Every training session was an improvement, and every beating was a growth to myself. I had to lose, to win.
As a boxer fighting under a certain weight category, specifically super bantam weight, it meant maintaining my weight had to be a daily routine. Ten pounds over the weight class was my initial goal but, as I age the skeletal structure naturally grows in size, making the fighting weight difficult to obtain. I grew an inch in height, and my wing span increased four inches.
My manager and coach had been concerned of this growth as a title shot was alined in the future. Walking around heavier would make the fight task of dropping weight difficult to meet. I fought at a hundred and twenty two pounds. My walk-around weight was one hundred and forty four pounds. Twenty-two pounds over the weight class was unacceptable by any Champion standard.
I was twenty years old and the maturing of my body had not yet been completed. I had no choice but to switch the meal plan to a plant based diet, increase the morning cardio on an empty stomach to five miles daily, and only drink water. All food products purchased were whole, green, and fresh. I could have moved up to the next weight class, but I didn't want to. To start fighting a new weight class would significantly drop my rankings. The new weight class would place a title fight one step further. I couldn't afford taking a step back in my career.
I've been recently placed on the disabled list. Injuring my hand, my devastating cross, constrained the financial asset from commission. During a sparring match one afternoon in preparation for this fight, I followed the jab with a ferocious right cross that landed atrociously. My hand was busted and I was out a paycheck. Having money owed to household and transportation and daily living, I scrounged the possibilities. Nothing ever seemed to surface through the dense thickness of my skull beside recycling bottles and cans. I was always low of financial funds, short a couple dollars because I was following my passion, my dream. My career was less than a dozen fights in and I was making a measly ten hundred dollars a fight. An aspiring prize fighter was a low revenue occupation, and I couldn't afford anything
By the grace of a concerned father, he asked me for an employment opportunity assisting his son in boxing. And he would pay good money for doing so. I gracefully abide. Taking the kid under my wing to fight, doing everything I ever done, and loved, was an easy occupation. Teaching my knowledge of boxing was the only way I could make a decent buck. Being incompetent at daily routines and tasks, and taking orders from others, had been a result of the pride, trauma and concussions my brain suffered through the sport of boxing.
At this new job I begin teaching the young boxer the basics: Jab, cross, hook, slipping and rolling his head in combat. This new financial opportunity allowed me to continuously do what I love, training for boxing full time. There, I explain to the young kid why boxers do what they do to become victorious, reacting instinctively because they trained day after day growing their experience. Accumulating more experience points to rain as alpha. I begin learning the laws of boxing.
Since my hand had been busted and constricted by a cast, I begin to utilize the left hand. Jab, jab, I plant my feet and pull the weight to my back leg exploding the energy through the left fist. Thud! Day after day of the right cross rehabilitation, my left hand had forcefully become a weapon of choice. There I discover all the ways to defeat an opponent using the left hand. All the angles that could be thrown by the jab, thrown by a variety of different styles. And there, I figure all the different hooks, uppercuts, and body shots that could be thrown by the left hand.
Despite suffering metacarpal trauma on my right hand, and the postponement of my career, I still had to maintain my lifestyle if I wanted to be anything but great. My body is the machine making my career. Feeding the machine to operate at one hundred percent output would require whole and sufficient foods. The required diet bland food's were far more worthy and expensive than the greasy, good tasting fast foods.
The day had grown dark and I had grown tired. As I finish instructing my last student, then turn off the lights to the boxing gym, I made my way to the grocery store. There I selected a few items from the bright lighted building. From the building containing every tasty edible for sale. It sold all the sweets, all the cookies, all the ice creams ever made. It sold all the delicious whole grain carbohydrates that could fill my empty stomach. All the sugars and fats that could make me feel satisfied from the devilish cravings of dropping weight and dehydrating the body cells for a scheduled weigh-in date.
The bright lighted store contained food, liquids that could replenish my muscles, my aching body that cried for matter. My cravings for nutrients come so grueling, so great, that at times, I would cry and plea with myself to fall for temptation. And sometimes I did. I would sneak a bag of deviled sugar, delicious cookies, where I would engulf the whole bag in a matter of seconds. But then, after consuming temptation the reality of failure would cause me embarrassment, cause me pain because I had no restraint, no restriction for temptation. The dedication of a boxer, the devotion of eating healthy and clean, the commitment of dropping weight for a scheduled prize fight. Proving you're worthy enough to be called a boxer, had failed. Sobbing regretfully, I try to undue the damage, reversing the consumption and vomiting all matter.But I had to be smart with my purchases. Knowing greatness comes with hard work and dedication, than that was enough of a reason. I mustn't allow temptation to seduce me. Focus.
I made my way to the check out line with a shopping basket of fresh produce and bland food. I stand before the grocery clerk awaiting her service. She was pretty, and lean, and I was attracted to her. I thought to make conversation, converse over the simple comedies of life. But I didn't know what to say. I thought to not say anything, but she showed me signs of attraction. I rummage through my brain for an opener, something to spark an interest for conversation, possibly something in me. Nothing seemed to surface. A few hours ago I was sparring with heavy opponents preparing for this next pro fight. The activity of my brain was low. After enduring fight and physical trauma the brain desired to shut off, where it can find restoration time in silence and inactivity.
The cashier clerk had mocha skin, white teeth, and with further investigation her breasts appeared to be large. Her appearance was classic, exactly my type. She seemed to be attracted to me. Her eyes were big and attentive, glancing at my lips every so often.
Right now, at this time, I had no desire for a female companion. Recently separating from a long term commitment with my high school sweet heart grew my determination for boxing. All I wanted to do was fight. My career slowly begun to blossom. A beautiful female companion now would only distract me from my goals and dreams. I couldn't possibly find time in courting her.
Observing her for any common grounds, any similarity that we might share, anything that could spark a conversation where I could use as an opener. She wore spectacles, and through my knowledge of classic attire I determined them to be Rayban's.
So I said. "I like your glasses," and smiled.
She said. "Thank you." And she too smiled, securing my confidence.
I inquired the model. "Are those the Wayfer's?"
She said. "Yes." Then smiled for I had known her likes.
"I didn't know Raybans made glasses." I said dumbfoundedly. Of course I knew they hadn't made prescription eye wear, but I played dumb just to remain in the conversation.
Her smile was pleasantly comforting, where it drew my happiness, almost as if I could stare at her all day. Who wouldn't want her company, I thought. She was a sexy dime piece. Any man to have her on his side would be treated enviously by the Southern California population.
The Rayban glasses she wore magnified her eyes, and her eyes were sharply defined by black eyeliner.
She said, "They're the frame's of the sunglasses."
The similarity I found between us was a simple like of fashion, and now I have her hooked in my conversation. I must play this game of attraction properly. This game of wanting each other so badly. I must draw her in using my conversation, for any wrong word would repel her away.
So I continue remaining naive in the conversation. "How much did it cost to switch the lenses?"
"The optometrist did it for free."
"Did you have to purchase the sunglasse then purchase the glasses."
She responded heavenly, "Yes."
With a great smile of innocence, and under a dude manner, I said, "that's awesome."
She grew with laughter then fixed my lips with her cat eyes.
In confidence, I said. "I'm going to buy those glasses, come back here and look at you."
She broke into a flirtatious laughter then dropped her jaw in awe. I smiled, fell back on my heels and walked out the store leaving my mystery at that. And I heard her desired laughter come over her.
"Oh my God!"
I made her want me. I win.
My father was a fighter, my grandfather was a fighter, and so on and so forth. The genetic trait to engage combat had been passed down from family member to family member. Generation after generation. Finding its host to be me.
My Grandfather, at one point the eldest of all the family, wrapped his own wounds while leading a platoon of men through the Vietnam brushes of hell. He was a tough American soldier serving twenty-two years as a Gunnery Sergeant of the United States Marine Corps. He also served seven years in the Navy. His aggression for war speak through his reputation.
The Native American descendent towered the sky demanding respect, asserting his power, and broadly laughing at the face of danger. I would remember, he would use his index finger to indicate the target, laughing deeply. "Hit them right between the eyes." Grandfather would say to every obstacle that came across the path of my life. "Take a deep breath and put the target between the crosshairs. You only have one shot. Make this shot count."
During my early years of life, I was given a defiant condition of the mind. This mental condition had been developed by my family to fight, to stand before any challenge that came across the path of my life. What I have been known to have has been developed by school yard bullies looking to make a meal of my small stature. I was the shortest kid of the age group. The kid that was least expected to win, less likely to succeed on the playground. This affliction, or I must address is to be a strained gift, is better known as Napoleon Complex. This combative behavior had compensated for my lack of height, my miniature size self, growing my aggression in conflicts.
As a kid, I had always seen the tall, the big, as a threat and a challenge. For the situation's I came across ended me fighting a bigger kid. I was a victim of bullyism. Discovering the predator of bullies at an early age grew my aggression for the big. They all towered over my small stature. They all saw me as prey. A small victim that was a meal for the big. However, having a father who was once a man of the ring, he quickly saw that I had the potential skill of defending myself.
Overcoming a challenge had been the greatest feeling ever to fill me. No emotion could arouse my soul, except making the enemy choose defeat. The challenge of growing over the odds, because I was least expected, less likely to succeed, created this Napoleoon complex. The referred complex was named after a French General, Napoleon Bonaparte, who was the emperor of the French from 1804- 1814. The general was short, and had a big boot to fill, leading him to attain an over aggressive behavior. And with this "Napoleon complex," I have been known to be a small dog with a big bite. This disorder I was given since early age made me prove my being time after time. I feel I must make my presence known because I'm smaller than the rest, and that presence be for fight.
As I was the eldest sibling of four, I had a manner of guidance that grew over me. This effect of guidance had been developed by my father and family, giving life to the Man I am today.
"Keep an eye on your brother's and sister."
Father would lecture while teaching me the basic punches to defend myself, before sending the four of us siblings off to elementary school. Mother had just powdered her milky complected cheeks of her Spaniard background, settling out for work, earning the family much needed income. She fed the household and kissed our family individually goodbye, every morning, becoming the Saint she is today. I, and people about the family life, could never understand how she managed to be as strong as she is, observing her three son's she loved dearly endure fight.
As I would guide my younger sidings through the suburban streets, brushing our walk past the peril of Southern California, developing the stance I have today. I felt I wasn't allowed to show fear. I was the eldest of four. That meant I must be the leader, the role model, the teacher, the lead man and the anchor man. The captain of our family vessel. For I felt my father and family would cause dismay to the weak, ridding of the weakest link. So, as a kid, as an adult, I fought because I desired to impress my sired name: Franco
As usual, my bullies struggled to peal themselves off the hot asphalt of the Southern California school yard setting; I was no longer seen as prey, instead, I was seen as a new friend with excellent skill in fight. I would become the new kid with a fierce reputation. But when the family relocated in the Southern California geography multiple times, each time it meant I had to reestablish myself. To make new friends, I fight.
Why I Had No Money - From the foot board to the ceiling the room wall's are littered with graffiti and art. I sit on a metal folding chair for hours, and my ass begin to grow discomforting and numb.
The room is perfectly cooled in temperature, but I sweat from the adrenaline racing. The pain is excruciating, and each time the needle pierces the skin I hope he would be done.
But he only gathers the needle with more ink and continues ravaging away. I feel my heart beat faster, and my adrenal gland secrete the ever glorious epinephrine.My body is now numb and the pain is somewhat tolerable.
My tattoo artist had been a friend for years. He had walked into my gym one day and joined our boxing team. We grew close as sparring partners and gym friends. The scent of Green Soap is comforting. The liquid is a disinfected used in medical procedures, and tattoo artists have found this particular substance most helpful in tattooing. The scent is clean, an aroma of bacteria free, and as I am no rookie under the needle I find this scent to be most comforting. For every time I absorb such a beautiful scent, such a clean aroma, it be of gaining a freshly desired tattoo.
I speak of nothing throughout the session and he too remain suppressed, and focused. Neil grinds heavily at the top layer of epidermis and the music echoing in the back ground is of classic metal. I find the guitar screeching the ears is somehow comforting. Neil had been a recent pugilist enthusiast and found our boxing gym most helpful for accomplishing health and fitness goals and acquiring fighting knowledge. We became good friends, and closer friends after our first sparring session, for we have seen each other's soul in a hand to hand battle.
I wear a goatee on the chin and a handle-bar mustache on the lip. The blonde facial hairs sprinkled with the brown hairs appear the lip to be dirty. I wear the eyebrows low, and my thick, brown brows canopy over the eyes, allowing them dark. The hair is greased, where I make with my pomade to be a perfect hold. The hair is slick, tight, and combed over to the port-side where I wear a slight pomp in the front. The bangs are grown seven inches and it flares and falls to the cowlick. I begin all this upkeep daily, using a brown comb I had purchased earlier this morning from the thrift store. Half of my apartment is filled with hand-me-down equipment and random shit because I was too poor for the nice things. I moved out of my parents house two years short of two decades of age, so I payed for all of my own essentials. I must bum rides from friends because I can't afford a car. I eat bread and peanut butter daily, because it was a cheap cost. I wear recycled clothing from friends and family, and cut my own hair. I must be smart with my money. Or at least what remains of a small double-digit bank account. I had twenty three dollars in my wallet: a faded Jackson and three crisp Washington's. My shopping list was endless in items, for I had an apartment with much needed product that I couldn't afford. The money that I did have was used for the bare essentials: spinach, peanut butter, bread, and water. But if I had luck and fortune on my side, I might buy a nice steak and potato dinner. I would cook the steak rare or I may just eat it raw, because I like the taste of blood. It had a nurturing taste and effect to the body, like my muscles thrived of it. Of course the spared cow would have been given thanks for nurturing my travel.
I spent all my saved money on tattoos, because I'm an idiot. I should be spending wisely and preparing for the future, but I only live for now. Why must I worry of the future, of matter that has not made presence. When it does appear, I will worry then, for now, I deal with the present. But if you counted my tattoo savings and considered that to be "savings," then I am a conservative saver. I will save money for days, weeks, and even months, sacrificing my hot cup of coffee every morning. But when my savings become fat enough, I will call my tattoo artist by phone, schedule an appointment, and then, I grow happy.
My mother complains of every tattoo I gained, "another tattoo!" I laughed comically at her response. It wasn't that I had no respect, or had not listen to mother's discontent remarks. For I feel that my skin is my only true property, where I could do anything I please to it.
Mother never wanted me to get tattoos. She said they were ugly, and trashy. I never thought so. I thought by having a tattoo separated my voice. I thought by having a tattoo created my individualism from the rest of the world. I had been born in a new time, a new era, and that meant new voices.
The tattoos I gained are acquired over an extent amount of time, and experiences in life. One can display their love to the world with their skin. The epidermis is our right to do what we please. It is our choice to taint the skin, pierce it's extra flaps that dangle. Our right to cut and color the hair to our pleasure. Our property and right to mark the skin with whatever it is we like. And if it were a problem for others, a disturbance to their living, I might say to avert the eyes and project their negativity elsewhere.
I wanted the arms, legs, torso, and any other space of skin branded by a like of this world. Every tattoo is a purpose, and a cause that appeared before me. That cause was drawn in my timeline and appeared before me, and I felt it must be displayed on the skin in black and grey ink so the world can see, and I too can see. For my memory had begun to deteriorate from the physical beatings and trauma I endured through the sport of boxing.
My left arm has no space for skin. It had been heavily tattooed. No long sleeve shirt can cover the native arrowhead on my hand. I can never have a legitimate job, or in retail, unless I was selling tattoos. The opinions or rules of society never grew my attention. I'm in my twenties in the early twentieth century, and I was part of the young declining youth of America. I was part of the growing uneducated nation that thought they could make life on their own.
The native tattoos on my forearm are black and grey, too, my attitude is dark. For the man to man battles I have endured through life drew the attitude black. Boxing was a way of life, a science of beating people up. It was the truest way of testing another mans will. Last man standing wins.
I occupy the punk-rock fashion, and it fits well with my low budget income. I never responded well to orders, or what I was suppose to do, or wear. The people trying to fit in with society because they were afraid to be different, or even themselves. After struggling to graduate high school with a low 2.0 average, my parent's and counselor's advised for me to go to the military. They said turning to be a professional boxer was for child play, and child dreams. They suggested I should go to the military where I can then go to college. There I can find a career, and then find a job, then fall in love, then marriage, then conceive life where I can support the economic growth of our country. And then, I should grow depressed because I hadn't followed my dreams, had failed myself for not pursuing my goals. Then, I should grow angry because I was depressed, where I would then rise to my boss's rude attention, cursing his name harm. And then, I might collapse the bridge of his nose with my fist, setting off a chain reaction of unfortunate events where I end up behind prison bars. All because I hadn't done what I wanted to do. Three month after graduating high school I made my day beut as a professional boxer.
The tattoo gun is screeching to the ears. "How are you holding up?" Neil ask in concern of my threshold of pain. "Good." Neil speak astonishingly, "You must feel no pain, or have a great poker face."
I continue playing the poker face, but I smile happily inside.
Turn of dreams
By the time I reached high school I had engaged in countless fights. I was vertically challenged, baby faced, and underestimated by my classmates and peers. I was always the shortest kid in class. The new kid that no one knew. The kid that manicured himself daily, in turn, growing hatred and jealousy from others. I was confronted regularly.
This particular tussle on school grounds had been the birth of my career, the beginning of Pugilism. The kid that dared to show disrespect saw his size as a weapon to do what he please. And during his run of break-ins in the school locker's he came across my number, and then took what he pleased. My personal belongings had been swiped, but more importantly my dignity. I was shameful that he took my belongings. Embarrassed because I had been a victim of theft. An unfortunate crime caused by a degenerating youth.
Having been the new kid in school, I saw his error of foolishness as an opportunity to establish my name. But I was fearful of the conflict. I was in a new school, the second school this year, and I had not known a soul. The unknown is always intimidating, and made me feel self consciously smaller.
The bully had boasted his sired name to peers growing his respect. Listening to high school gossiping teens, I found his favorite location and devised a plan to approach him. He was with some friends. A bunch of young burn outs that saw education as a waste of time but, somehow landed in the popular crowd. I had been told not to approach him because he was a scrappy teen, a tall kid with a lean face and frame.
During my school years I had always been a gentleman collar. I would comb the hair everyday, iron the clothes everyday, and of course would find time in establishing conversation everyday. I found the attractiveness of a female to be overwhelming, where I had to make her mine. This effect of attraction I had with girls made others jealous of my being. Having been the smallest kid in the class room, my lack of intimidation caused them to declare war with me. They would figure a way to make me appear foolish, a way of talking down on me because they were bigger than me.
As the birds and bees hummed in one another's ears, echoing the walls of passing period, growing my embarrassment, I find the barbarous trait of mammal to come over me.
I approached him. "Why did you steal my things." I felt the contraction and expansion of my heart pulsing faster, causing the sweat glands to release perspiration on my forehead and under the armpits. Tension had engulfed the air about the cafeteria and every student could feel the rising conflict.
This conflict I begin to draw with him would scare my body and mind fearfully, where I felt I had to fight. The mind causes the adrenal gland to release epinephrine into the blood stream, and my body turn numb. My prideful heart circulates the man made drug over the body, elevating my blood temperature.
I become angry because I had been deprived of my manhood. My fearful state of mind had caused adrenaline then anger to come over me like a crashing wave. I regretfully contemplate my decision of confrontation, but, as the new kid hoping to draw their respect, I must find a reason to fight. And his error of disrespect by making me appear foolish had blossomed perfectly.
He then chuckled at my bantam self, then smiled happily because he rain bigger than me.
"Because I can." He demanded while grinning a face I will never forget.
The disrespectful comment that had been herd by others caused embarrassment to flood the body cavity, and the corner of my eyes become wet. The eyes become wet for the pain he soon will endure. "I want to smash his face with my fists," I conspire to myself. The pride that engulfed my heart too kindled my fists, for I demand respect. Then, as the adrenaline race through my body for fight, it drew a small window of opportunity. The window of opportunity said, speak now, or forever hold your peace.
My reality had burned red, and I rose the fists angrily to cause him harm. I threw a right cross that landed flush on his lips. The impact of justice had rearranged his equilibrium where he stumbled back, and then, from lack of experience of a fight I use my brute force for leverage. But my mind falsely believed I was bigger. My small frame had not suffice the work load.
He threw me over his shoulder and onto a cafeteria table. The energy of our tussle drew a dramatic crowd of hormonal teenagers screaming cry wolf. But, my name had finally reached their mouth's, and forever I had been known to fight. And when they know of your willingness to engage combat, to blossom war, they will think twice before causing your name contempt.
But after the dust had settled, and the school council decided I should serve time under suspension, father begins to show me the real ropes of boxing. He said, "never wrestle a bigger man." Signing me out of the school office and drove me home.
You're not very big, Michael." Father states the obvious disappointment, and I grow cold of the unfortunate shame. Father butterflied my battle wounds shut, then orders of boxing lessons.
"Put your guard up," Addressing father in a Coach manner. I hold the fists too low under the chin. The elbows too far from the body, and I stand wide, square on the heels. He corrects my stance. Placing my fists firmly over the cheek bones and under the eyes, and the elbows on the rib cage. He rearranges my feet, placing my stance narrow and long with my left foot leading. He tilts my chin to the floor and orders for me to look up.
"Look at me with your eyes not your face," father demanded. "This is your basic Boxing stance. And you must remain in the fight stance every second of the fight. I comply with a simple nod of the head. "This is your longest point of contact." Pointing to my left hand. " This is your jab. You must lead with the jab before throwing the cross."
I had been a natural right handed fighter; I question my thought. "But I feel stronger punching with my right, not my left. Shouldn't I lead with the right?"Father pressed his lips together, almost as if he had become embarrassed for not teaching me the skill of boxing before.
"You lead with your left, like a range finder, a distraction to make your opponent blink." He said while flinging his jab as an example. "Then, when you locate the target, the correct distance of the other fighter, you must sling the right hand across the body, straight as an arrow."
His hip snapped forward, his shoulder punched then his first. It was like a rhythmic motion of the body that generated force.
As I learn a new technique and a new skill each day that I never thought to have, I replay the day that caused my name embarrassment, and I begin to turn the negative thoughts into positive energy, cultivating the body and mind for greatness. I begin training in defeating man in hand to hand combat every day. I wanted to be the best fighter at my school, the most dedicated Pugilist.