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August 4, 2012
Trainers in Front of Gleason's Entrance
I'm walking up the block to Gleason's Gym. I've been doing this for thirty years. Well, not exactly. I used to be dropped off by a chauffeured Rolls-Royce. I was a liberal, millionaire socialist. When I was rich, I praised social justice and financial welfare. I was a hypocritical Rolls-Royce liberal.
Now that I have lost my wealth, I praise the rich. I believe in the freedom to succeed. I guess I am a contrarian -- I embrace the opposite.
At least I'm honest. I never take my own side. I identify with what I think is right. Boxing is an anesthetic, a spoon of dullness, cocaine.
It's 2012, and I am an anti-nanny state Republican. I celebrate strength and toughness. I am a Spartan -- a warrior and an intellectual. I am a man, not a soft, effeminate toast to empathy.
I am so glad to have shaken off wishy-washy liberalism.
I meet a trainer out front. Grant looks like me -- white and preppy. I ask him, "When are you going to Florida with Abdul?" He is Abdul's trainer, and he is taking him for a light heavyweight fight in Orlando. I had fought on the same card in Atlantic City with his brother Ernest Mateen back in 1991. I like to punch. My psyche has been formed by my bruises.
"We just got back," Grant says. "They pulled the fight. The opponent was on drugs or something."
"Did you get your money back for the trip?"
"No, and I'm broke. So is my fighter."
"Bummer. They're supposed to cover your costs. It's not your fault the other fighter dropped out."
Stew pulls up at the curb and gets out of his car. He's another white trainer. His body is covered in tattoos. He's a biker. He once told me that he had a rich wife. I guess we all do.
Grant asks Stew, "How was your bike trip?"
Stew is a big biker. He's a member of one of the gangs. I don't know its name. I don't like gangs. I am a loner, a boxer.
"Loved it," Stew says. "Anything to get away from Gleason's."
"I love this place," I interject. "Thirty years, and when I'm away, all I think about is coming back here."
"Working anywhere is good," Stew says. "You're from my generation."
"How old are you?"
"Sixty-eight," he says. We both look young, around fifty. Living in a gym keeps you fresh.
"I'm sixty-five," I say. "I guess I'm the kid."
"That would be me," Grant says. "I'm forty."
"This generation is into this nanny stuff," I say. "They take while they pretend they are giving. Charity is stuffing their own pockets. They fall like twisted ankles."
"They don't make 'em like us anymore," Stew says.
I don't know if Grant agreed with us. He looked too much like me to be conservative. I'm an oddity. I'm a hipster Marine.
"Hopefully we only got one hundred or so days until Obama is gone," Stew says.
"But it will be ten years till the damage he has done is wiped clean," I reply.
"I like him," Grant says.
"He is a chicken who clucks upon the eggshells of the former strongest country in the world." That said, I go upstairs to watch people punching each other.
If I were Obama, I would resign out of pride. I couldn't accept that I had failed to turn the economy around when I had promised that I would. He said he would be a one-term president. How can he dare to break his word? The leader of the free world shouldn't lie.
He's like the boxer in Florida who backed out of the Mateen fight.
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