As he stood, he wiped the blood from his lip, and swallowed some of it. He watched, subliminnally, as some drops descended past his eyeline, presumably from his hair. For what seemed like forever he watched, until something flew at it. Instinctively, he dropped, grabbed the nearest cinderblock, raised it, and with a sickening crack, blocked the incoming blow. There was a fierce, animalesque, piercing cry that must have been enough to shake nearby buildings. The audience’s chanting grew to a roar — they knew what was coming. The opponent didn’t. The cries were silenced as James prepared his final move.
He took the same block, swung, and made dull, yet distinct contact with the other man’s stomach.The breath, in a sort of whuckkfff sound, exited his body, and the blood drained from his face. He fell with a thick, bassy sound, and lay stiff and silent on the ground.
James along with the audience, stood silent and watched as the hammer hit the table once… twice… thrice… and as usual, the big, black man shouted,”James is the winner!” The audience erupted again. James didn’t hear it anymore, though. He never heard anything, anymore.
As the poor bastard’s “freinds” (how could friends let friends fight him?) went to pick him up, he stumbled toward the black man — Jim, Tim, he could never remember.
“Give me my fuckin’ money, Tim,” he growled.
“Okay, okay, man. Hey, you really sold the show tonight. Whoo’ee, that was some shit!”
He had managed to wrestle the money from his billfold, and he handed it over. James angrily snatched it from his hand.
“Yeah. Whoopti fuckin’ doo,”
The man looked him over.
“Man, you look a kind of shit.”
James looked at the broken mirror near the door. Damn, Jim-Tim was right. Blood dripped from his short brown hair onto his badly shaven face in little lines and spots, his usually pale skin was now the tone of crimson, his tank was stretched and torn down the middle, his skin was pocked with broken glass – including about a one-inch shard embedded in his hand. His blue eyes were dim, dim with numbness from the Jack he had earlier, and his mouth hung slightly open, because he couldn’t breathe through his nose. One thing was unchanged, save for a little blood, though. His 3 dog tags (two from service, 1 containing a little picture of his baby daughter) were untouched. They had been tucked safely in the back of his shirt. He would let nothing touch them.
Tim-Jim interrupted his moment with words.
“What you’re going to do, is you’re going to go home, take a shower, get that glass offa you for Chrissake, come back Tuesday, and do it again. You got that?” He waited. “I said, ‘you got–”
“– yeah, I got it. Have a nice fuckin’ day, Tim.” He started walking out the gate.
“Yeah, you too. And it’s Jim, you piece of shit!”
He shrugged, and flipped “Jim” the goodbye finger, giving a fitting end to the conversation.