He teaches me to hit, spar, follow through on kicks that act as whips to one’s opponent. Through him I find a sunken groundedness one cannot locate – I cannot locate – through dance, asana, meditation. He is teaching me that I love violence, that its art lies in its loose but lethal precision, and that control is the highest art of all.
He doesn’t know that I had already found this with the man who left me, the father of these children who now sleep with me, nightmares overcoming their brave little faces either before or during sleep. Hurt me, I’ll eat from your hand like a starved faun.
I told him. He’s too intuitive, he didn’t need to be told. So now I train with the boxer, and he knows. He knows I’m vulnerable more to his beauty than his fists. I’m terrified not of losing a tooth but that I won’t work enough, he’ll lose interest. Interest he doesn’t have to begin with: I have invented the perfect Punishment.
The boxer is a child. He is young, brilliant but uneducated. His beauty has caught me, I watch him from the shoreline: youth, movement, marriage, potential, money, family all downstream. His skin shines with an illumination unique to the quick and the strong. He is mainly animal. I was raised to view my life from the second, third, infinite angles of the mind. I have disciplined myself to believe one cannot live anything called a “life” without intelligence, analysis, perception, competition, and the melancholy understanding that everything is finite. Life is granted, like an award, after certain prerequisites have been achieved. He was raised to simply live: life is what happens while the body is in motion, that the body itself is wisdom, and has primordial needs that are met through action alone. I miss sex, intensely, when I am near him.
It is fascinating to watch an existence unfold after much of mine has flowed on and away. I say nothing. I don’t tell him how much I could teach him over a few long days in a small room. Or that the hard shell surrounding his girlfriend will eventually encase him, too, like a butterfly in amber.
I know nothing.
I have this beauty, this openness to my body, I move like a snake in wet grass. This face, these limbs: they are in the great, short lived stage of an exquisite Twilight. Never more receptive, never more charged. My mind is awake even in dream. Nerves with no casing. I am headed toward the sideline. But not yet, not quite yet… I am insatiable now, now that I know what has passed, what’s to come. Wisdom is a cutting cruelty.
I’m an old fool,
silly with watching.