Don't Hit Me

The ring ropes were made of old fire hoses, knotted around posts that had long been stripped of their velvet ropes.

Turnbuckles were a frivolous luxury that hardly warranted the expense.

The ring floor was a ratty piece of an old Pony league infield cover. It had the most athletic pedigree of anything else that would be seen that night.

As he sat in his corner, sitting on a overturned bucket that would later hold his spit, blood, or vomit, his manager/mother grease-penciled the words “DON’T HIT ME ” in big block letters on his forehead and cheeks, before glazing him with a protective coating of Vaseline (store-brand, not the fancy kind).

It was a pre-fight ritual, irrelevant after the first round, when the grease-pencil would smear into a big black mass, foreshadowing the bruises that would replace them.

This story has no comments.