The bright lights are coming back to focus. The yelling of the crowd is getting clearer. I feel hands pulling me back at the waist. I see I am punching someone. There’s blood all over. From his face for sure but also could be from my knuckles. I am not sure. I stop punching and let go of my opponent and he crumples to a heap on the floor. The crowd is cheering me or booing me. Depends on whom they put their money on I guess.
I turn away from the makeshift ring and don’t look back at the body on the floor. That was not me that did that. I was somewhere else. I was a dog, a bull terrier. Bred to fight. Full of rage. Snarling. Ready to tear everything in front of me to shreds. And if I failed to, if I was the one knocked out, my breeders would put me to rest for I would be useless to them.
At least that’s what I convinced myself this night.
Next time I might convince myself that my opponent insulted my family and threatened to kill me. Or maybe that he is a scumbag rapist that deserves justice. Doesn’t matter what. All that matters is I disengage myself from reality long enough to pummel a complete stranger to within a few blows short of death.
It is always a split second that makes the difference. My left jab connects with his jaw but he plows through it. He is fast. Before my right hook can connect and floor him his right elbow has swung over my left arm. I can hear the crunch before I feel anything. My nose is definitely broken and worse is to come. Both his arms are free and swinging. After a flurry of punches he takes a break to catch his breath and to admire the damage. To his shock and to the shock of those who are close enough to see my face I am smiling. If you can call it smiling. My lips are torn but definitely curled up.
The trick is to disengage from reality. And today I am a vehicle. Careening downhill, too fast and out of control. I am going to crash and burn but I am going to lay waste everything in front of me. I spit out blood, take a deep breath and charge.