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The pugilist

I announced my retirement as a professional boxer today. I won fifty fights and lost only four, and my manager patted me on the back and said, “You should be proud of yourself, son. You owned this sport,” but I cried in the shower. I sobbed and screamed, “What a tragedy! What a fucking waste of time!”

I never knocked anybody out during my career as a prizefighter. I had puny wrists for a heavyweight and punched like a toy soldier. I barely bruised my opponents. I just threw a few punches and prayed they would help me earn a split-decision victory. I feared counter punches and hooks. I had a glass jaw. The four people who beat me made me question the meaning of existence while I saw stars before terrifying darkness set in. It was scary as fuck.

While the other heavyweights had eight packs, I had an enormous belly. I’d cry when I was alone and help myself to pork chops and mashed potatoes. I also had skinny legs, and my back always hurt because of the stomach fat. Fuck, I hated myself. During press conferences, my opponents would often stare at me with cocky grins, and I’d shiver with sweat pooling on my forehead. Some would insult me, and I’d feel like running away. Their breath, the crowd, and the weight of my belt made the atmosphere oppressive.

I was never a good trash talker. My opponents would say, “On November 28th, I’mma knock your fat ass out.” And I’d say something stupid like: “I’d love to knock you out too!” The press would laugh. I didn’t bother reading the newspapers because they only made me eat more. One opponent, in particular, was very intimidating. He knocked me out once and wouldn’t stop bragging about it. I was frightened of him. I spent nights dreading the rematch and watching porn. Finally, he showed up where I trained, and I rushed to the bathroom and hid in a stall. It was high school all over again!

I could barely lift and begged my trainers to go easy on me. I hated training sessions that lasted over ten minutes. Many of my fights didn’t happen when they were supposed to because of training injuries. And as much as I loved procrastinating, I hated the hospital. The food there was terrible, and my anxiety only heightened as the recovery date approached. The only good thing about the time spent there was reading comic books. They had quite a collection!

I wasn’t popular with the women either. I thought a celebrity could get any woman he wanted, but I had no such luck. I spent years looking for the one and often hired escorts and dated gold diggers because I was frustrated. I bought them cars, jewels, and fashionable dresses. In return, they shared my bed, but I never got a full erection. I tried drinking and snorting cocaine, but it only made me puke.

I return home today as a three-time world champion. What a tragedy! What a fucking waste of time!

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