Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The bleachers

Nick sat in the bleachers. The first bout of the evening was underway. The match brought together a bearded irish youth, his facial hair not yet filling his face, and an english boy. The two chopped the matted ring up with awkward foot steps and pawed at each other like lazy cats. The second round prooved even less interesting than the two europeans initial foray as the combatants ran out of steam. In the third round the irish boy smashed the english boy in the nose letting blood rush down the representative of the united kingdom's face. The bloody boy began to cry and the boxing match was concluded.

Nick looked at the program again wondering why he'd decided to come into the small hall for the fights. Nick had been walking in the streets of New York idly. He had come into town looking for work. The textile factory that he had worked at in his small hometown had gone under. His savings were enough to support a move to the city, unlike his coworkers. He was not married, and childless. He took the train from poughkeepsie to grand central station and then began to wander. He carried only a small bag with him that contained a shirt, two pairs of socks and underwear, an extra pair of pants, and a few books. In the lower east side he passed a hall which hosted bouts on friday nights. He walked in and paid the low admission price.

The crowd was loud but not yet belligerent. A dockworker next to him introduced himself as Rick and offered Nick a swig of something from a flask. Nick took a draught from the metal container. His throat burned as whiskey hit the back of his throat.

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