Tuesday, April 8, 2008

... finshing on the plus side today!

Where’s lil’ Mook ..?

Came home and she is gone! But it is fair play, as she told me last night, and we went over it again before I left for my class. She also left a nice note that covered the essential things that I look for and expect from her.

Wasn’t always like this, though. There was one incident when a sister of Mookie swung by unannounced and took her. I had just stepped out to the ‘Sweet ‘n Treat’ and couldn’t have been more than 20 minutes. No note, no phone call. I called Mookie at work and found out what had happened.

That week, there was some family get together over her parents, and I went. The women were all laughing and talking about their ‘Ladies Day’, when I joined the conversation. I brought up that one somebody had took lil’ Mook without saying anything to me.

“Aw Mark, she was with me! I am her Aunt!”

At that, I walked a little closer, and looked her straight in the face.

“Look, I don’t intend on being on the local news, saying ‘I don’t know what happened to my girlfriends daughter, okay?’ Now I am sure that lil’ Mook told you what her instructions were, right lil’ Mook?”

Reluctantly, lil’ Mook nods.

“There IS a reason that she told you that, and that is because when her Mother isn’t around, I AM RESPONSIBLE for her, NO ONE ELSE (eyes pan the crowd … yeah, you to Grammy … you can get some of this as well..!). Her Mother has trusted ME with her, and I tell her what to do when I leave, and that is what BETTER happens!

… and nothing like that has even REMOTELY come close to happening like that again. She did right again here too. Detailed note, won’t be home for dinner, phone number, and oh, I have my keys!

She is a good girl!


Two ‘long’ days in a week … and though I am ‘tired’ it isn’t the same kind of tired that I have felt months prior … it is more ‘winded’, and I can expect to bounce back to a decent operating level. Keeping my mind on being in new circumstances, looking to keep pushing thru to get to the end of a task are essential things to know I can do. I expect to get to that ‘happy place’ in my life, and that only comes from expecting the things I want to happen.

Now, I was asked if I ever ‘regret’ or wish that I had chosen another path in my life. At the time, I was being my usual, bright, doe-eyed self, and I guess my bud wanted some serious introspection, and considering my circumstance as a result of boxing …

Look, I don’t know WHAT I was supposed to feel. What happened, happened. Remembering when I started therapy, there was a story about a retired football player, suffering the effects of prolonged brain trauma as well as assorted handicaps from football, who killed himself. Then you had the wrestler, who went off with his steroid/brain trauma rage, killing everybody in his house, including himself.

I was worried. Would I descend into that as well. But when I say things like, ‘I will take what I have’, and that ‘if this had to happen, then let it happen to me’, I mean it. I can handle this. It ISN’T as bad as all that.

First, boxers and hockey players aren’t football players and wrestlers. See, there is no fake macho in hockey and you KNOW there isn’t in boxing (because it is ‘entertainment’ and not a sport, pro wrestling is getting dropped from this conversation … totally different culture), but football, with kids being fawned over and told that they are this and that for years, there is an entitlement to being able to be this indestructible character, who is truly but a figment of their own imagination.

Let you in on a little secret … football players aren’t ‘tough’.

You have a few. If you are a Chicago Bear middle linebacker (Butkus, Singletary, and Urlacher), you DO get to say you are tough. But the rest of the pampered prima donnas? You must be kidding me!

Their culture is one where they are held above people and they get to believe in the press that life writes for them. Most of the cats are so spoiled, that it prolly never occurs to them that what they try to do to others, hurt and maim, leaves them open to being hurt and maimed themselves!

In both boxing and hockey, with their hard work done in the darkness of the early mornings, and late hours when no one is watching, aren’t quite as spoiled. Sure you got a few loud mouth boxers … but when Ali, Tyson, Roy Jones Jr. and now Floyd Mayweather Jr. are doing their thing, can you say that they aren’t? What are YOU going to do when they walk up to you and ask you why said what you did?

Right.I THOUGHT so. Simply put, if you can do it, it isn’t bragging.

Football players? I have caught bigger ones than the one my brother had issues with in the ring, and they are the biggest punks I know. See in football, particularly the defensive players who think they are so tough, don’t realize that in football, their opponents are essentially passive. They don’t hit back, the offensive linemen. And the ones who’s job it is to do the most tackling, are tackling more often than not, smaller cats who can’t ‘hurt’ them like they can put on them. So put that linebacker in the ring … yeah, he has six inches and 40 lbs … but we aren’t comparing weights, I just want to know is, can he fight?

Often, they haven’t been in a real ‘fight’, where they were facing the distinct possibility of losing since they were in diapers. So they can’t take or handle the difficulty. Likewise, when they are trying to put concussions on other players, they aren’t realizing that they are hurting themselves.

But I think I am ranting on this … I wanted to speak to this, because boxers, like hockey players, are spared from self pity from the humble road they take to apply their skills. In hockey, like boxing, you hit someone hard, don’t worry … you have just put that out in the air … and YOU KNOW it is going to come around, maybe not that game or the next, but it is out there.

Only people who really know or pay you any attention, are just the junkies who are into the sport. As far as ‘adoration’, maybe in your town, but leave it, and you are just another cat walkin’ the street.

You NEVER are allowed to get the big head, because not only is there someone gaining, you still have to deal with those on your level. And they got there the same way YOU did. So there is great respect for each other, and yourself.

Not only that, YOU KNOW what you are daring. Football players live in a bubble, and they don’t. I remember the INSTANT it literally hit me … I was sparring this older cat, and he was a decent enough fighter. I must have been about 16, and we were close in talent, but I had a little zing, that would let me get the better of him in sparring. One day, we were going at it, and the first three rounds were close, but I did have an edge. He was a little taller, and I kept moving in and out, stepping to the side on him, Philly style. I remember my trainer making a wise crack about how I was making him frustrated. Then it happened.

Kiko Bejines.

He was a young boxer who got hurt boxing for the title. I couldn’t pronounce his name, that is until the fourth round of sparring. The guy hit me a shot POW! And in the yawning milliseconds that occur in athletics, his name which had been said in the news, came clear to me. I threw up my hands; I had enough that day.

I took that week off, no training, not even a run. I thought about what happened. At that moment, I asked myself, if I still wanted to do this thing, chance that risk?

So at that moment, I lifted my choice to pursue boxing as unassailable, as I knew then, what I was getting into …


“There are but two cardinal sins from which all others spring --Impatience and laziness.” -Franz Kafka

Had I not married my wife, and I think I may have mentioned this before, none of this happens. With out her in my life, maybe I just go on to U of D … or straight away to Morehouse instead of A&T … or, since I was still active as an amateur, a gold medallist … or just a more accomplished pro.

I feel I inspired a fighter in North Carolina to do just what I was trying to do, he fought on the highest levels, got his degree in finance, and I can imagine that he has a good life. But when I could have used that kind of person to have that kind of conversation with, I was married to my first wife.

Part of why I MUST go thru Detroit, is to start the healing between me and our daughter, Skye. She has very, very, mixed feelings, and it comes from her Mother, regarding our relationship. I know that she has bad mouthed me around her, and has done so for years. So I can picture my baby, trying to be proud that her father was ‘a bad man’, when her Mother was talking trash and making him just a bad man.

The conflict that with her still pining over me … ooh, it just makes me want to lose my mind! This has been verified from independent sources, as well as those who have interest in knowing … and I ain’t no dummy … I KNOW what she thinks.

Now, I might spit some bitterness out regarding Mookie, but my first wife is a person I won’t give her the benefit of being bitter over. “The is no revenge like ignorance. It is the entombment of the unworthy in their own nothingness.”

Dealing with that, that is my truest millstone. Guilty about Pecan Sandie and Lexxie … wish Nixxie and KT could have spent more time together. But I have come to grips with that.

Let my Mom down, sure I have. Don’t be fooled, my referencing her now is just what parents have been telling their children for ages, that once they are gone, you will understand the lessons they tried to teach. That is another weight.

But for those rare, rare moments where I wonder how this all could have been changed, I go back to only one event in my life, one that I KNEW as I did it, was closer to being the worst thing I could do, it all rest on the day I married my first wife.


mpnaz58 said...

Thats a heavy realization to come to...that everything else hinged on that one event.  But, if thats the source, then it is what it is!
You've been a good influence on lil' Mook for sure.  I know you are proud!
xoxo ~Myra

lv2trnscrb said...

good for you for taking the stand you did with Mookie's family when they swooped in and got lil Mook without leaving a note/checking with you, whatever. I think the polite thing would have been to leave a note rather than have you be in a panic which is what I would have done too (been in a panic)

good for lil Mook for remembering what she needed to do when she left the house when you were in charge


csandhollow said...

I have had the same thoughts about boxers, football players and hockey players.
I enjoy a good boxing match. i do not enjoy what Tyson did to the sport.