Monday, April 30, 2012

I had my footwork, it was all there, just as I was taught.

Shift onto your right and jab, to your left and block, duck, rise, punch. Wait. Block. Let him hit you. Block. Take his punch. Block. Protect. Wait.

I waited. I took every punch. I blocked, ducked and rose. I did as he said. I was the strength in his dead arms, I was the hope in his blinded eyes, I was the voice of his absent tongue, I was his fighter and he, he was my corner. He was there, after every round, to sit me on my stool, to stop the bleeding, to put a bone back into place, to do whatever it took, for me to fly. And fly I did.

For every fight I fought, for every time I stood up on my own two feet, for every punch I threw back, for every duck I made and for every time after, that I did rise, for every time I hit the floor and for every time I stood. He was there. Stronger.

I was his fighter.

I kept my arms up, shifted my weight and put all into every punch I sent. Right hand, right jab, left hook. I was careful, I was observant. Waited on the other end, waited on a mistake, a drop of arms, an opening. Punch.

I was his fighter.

I play that fight over and over in my head. Every move I made, it's all in my head. I fell a punch short, I waited a second too long, I missed an opening, an opportunity. I missed it, and then it wasn't mine to miss. That's all it takes. One punch from the other side, one on an already cracking rib, or a half cut eye, and there is a broken rib and a bleeding eye.

I did him proud, he said. The rib will heal, the eye will clot, he said. There were more fights to fight, more to win and more to lose, he said. In happiness there is no happiness, he said.You have to know pain, you have to feel it in every bit of your blood, to know happiness, he said. For there is no silver lining on a clear day, for there is no light at the end of a lit tunnel, he said.

I was his fighter. I was his strength. He ought to have counted till ten.  He ought to have protected me, he ought to have stopped the pain. I knew that day, this was not about his dead arm, or his blind eye or his absent tongue. He wanted that pain for me, he wanted it for me so I would know happiness.

He didn't count till ten. Maybe if he had, I wouldn't know the difference between pain and what I felt. That day, I became my fighter, he said.


  1. The movie inspired you to write eh? Good, good :)

  2. You're so bloody good. Do this more often? For your Ruka Chuka? :)

  3. It is brilliant :)