Voices 11 (Fighting James Randall)

I had not been in a good fight for fifty years.

Last time was at the YMCA in town.  A guy who fought all over town who I knew I could take.  James Randall.  He talked a big game and had whipped a few guys in town but he was skinny with no upper-body strength.  We played a game of pool there, I knew a fight would come of it, and I was on a roll and he started moving the balls around on the table with his hands to block my shot and so I just took him to the ground.  I said something to him before, but I can’t remember what it was.  I wasn’t afraid, but I always got my back up for any fight and I loved that blood-in-the-throat feeling.

This time I was sixty-four years old.  The guy was twenty years younger than me and didn’t think I would try anything.  A guy like me who had everything to lose.  But I had had enough of his stuff and the girls were all out of town and I was, I don’t know, just feeling it, like I had not felt it in, well, about fifty years.

I didn’t wait for anyone to throw a punch, I just came straight at him when he sassed me and got in my face.  I grabbed his neck and took him to the floor and held him in a stranglehold until someone pulled me off.  It was the best time I had had in fifty years.

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