Homeostasis on Skid Row

© Moira G. Gallaga

The click-clack of a jump rope. The drumming of a speed bag. The cold air of a morning jog. The smell of leather.

Bruised knuckles. Black eyes. A bloody nose. Sprawling in a bath of salt.

If you lose this one you’ll be a journeyman. They’ll pay a couple hundred dollars for some slick prospect to come in and beat you up. You’ll be a record-padder, a stepping-stone, a joke, a nobody. You’ll need a new career, kid.

Raised in poverty. Surrounded by criminals. Tempted by mediocrity.

I enter the ring. I am alone. There is nobody to help me, and I have never been good at helping myself.

With every opportunity I seize, I am forced to destroy the dreams of another just like me.

06 January 2014

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