YOU'RE GONNA BRING YOUR LOVE TO ME I'M GONNA BE THERE
I don’t think there was any one thing that influenced my way of how I saw women and sexual roles more than Andrea Dworkin’s book, “WomanHating”. Though I did not read it until the 90’s, I still had visceral images of her burned in my mind from various television shows. Her work was very direct and confrontational, and she became almost a brand for feminism. That book was the first one that confirmed thoughts that I had about society, and I have constantly expanded upon those opinions. From there I would make my ‘offer’ to society, what would I do, what I would give up, in order to gain what it was I was asking for in my life. That was how I met the Delta Girl. I put it out into the universe that “this” was what I was willing to do and be for what I had wanted.
Working at Champ’s Sports in the Four Season’s Mall during the Christmas shopping season, I was goofing around as the store traffic had finally slowed from frenetic to busy when she came into the store. One of my co-workers stifled a laugh, because just as it is with you folks here on-line, it was fairly obvious the kind of woman that I liked and was drawn to was. There was no surprise when she entered the store that I quickly went to the front and greeted her and her friend as they came through and went to the shoe wall. They were just looking, killing time before they left school for their winter break, and though waiting on them meant that I was losing out on sales (cause college students shop with their wishes and not with cash!), I kept talking, and she kept smiling. Her friend gave her the high sign to either spit or get off the pot and she said, “Well, are you going to ask me for my phone number or what?”
For the rest of winter and all of spring semesters, we kicked it like a martial arts exhibition. And just like that, I was head over heels. Carolina had grown on me, going from sleeping in a car to my own place and going to school. We’d have to sweat out the summer and we ‘fell’ out in the following fall, but I was in it for the long haul. She would eventually accept my affections for her as sincere and we’d move in together, sharing an apartment in a dot near the border with South Carolina. The love we shared was defined by the things we would do for each other. Nothing was an inconvenience, and everything worked to bring us together, at least until I resumed boxing.
It started innocuously enough. We would take a ride around the county, looking into the nooks and crannies, reading stories and news articles to one another as we took turns driving around. One day we passed a house with a heavy bag hanging from a tree in the front yard. The cat who lived there was a decent journeyman pro that never got the break to get him on the main event level. We stopped and I talked with him and he told me how I could get into the business in that part of the state. On our ride back, I could not stop talking about what it would be like for us with me boxing, her teaching, and the cute couple profile that we were establishing for ourselves. And for a while, that is exactly what was happening. People where I worked and the parents of her students were buzzing when I would have a match in a glorified club/juke joint. I wasn't fighting anyone but ‘busters’ and having a ball doing it. It wasn’t until the cat that made the matches got a call to send an opponent in a fight in Raleigh for a New York fighter on the comeback trail. He had a good record but had been off for a few years. Wanting to break him in ‘easy’, his people sent him down south to build his record with a few wins.
Going back to the ride home after I talked with the local boxer, I explained to Delta what I knew about the business side of boxing. Told her about how the fighters in the south were usually ‘opponent’ types, with the heart for boxing but short on the skills. I explained how I would likely be overlooked because I was fighting out of Carolina, but what no one knew was that I was a Detroit fighter! I thought I would get in a few wins just off my skills and being underestimated and after getting that proverbial ‘cup of coffee’ on the main event level, I would come on back ‘home’ and just settle in being the local boxing legend. Great work when you can get it and that is what I was angling for. Boxing, as much as I enjoyed it, was always the means to an end and not the end itself. I figured to get a little money to give us a cushion to start our lives together as a married couple. Of course, the best laid plans often are why I am writing this as a single man living in Omaha, rather than this blog never happening and me and the Delta Girl living in married bliss in Carolina with our little light-skinned children!
So I would beat the upstate cat and get some attention from some boxing people in Carolina, in Pecan Sandie’s hometown, where Nixxie worked and not that far from her hometown. After a few more wins, they offered me a deal… and that is when everything changed between Delta and me. Up until my boxing began to become a matter of importance again in my life, we had an idyllic existence together. As happy as I was… as happy as WE were, I did not think that living could get any better. I could not ask for more than what I had… the love of my life, a good job, still walking down a college degree, and I was boxing successfully again. What happened next is one of the things that happens when you think the game is about yourself when it is really about the team…