boxing gym.jpg

“You too, Joey?”

“I got nothing against them personally, Jack. I just don’t want to box with them.”

“So that’s it, then? You’re quitting?”

“No. Maybe go to Lopez’s.”

“You boys don’t have a problem with the Spanish, then.” The old man sat back in his chair, the old wood creaking with the weight. Joey could see the ghost of a fighter’s body beneath the thin shirt, the hard-won biceps and pectorals.  “I’ll need my speed gloves back. And the shoes.”

The boy stood looking at the ground.

“Anything else?”

“Just that it wasn’t my idea, Jack.”

“I know, kid.”


Friday Fictioneers



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  1. Lynn Love

    Such a strong piece of dialogue beyween the two men here and their characters coming through so well. The young man feeling awkward, the older one resigned. And I can see the older man, muscles still like carved wood under that shirt. Great writing Josh

  2. k rawson

    Superb writing. I love everything about this piece and I don’t love boxing. The line …”the ghost of a fighter’s body beneath the thin shirt, the hard-won biceps and pectorals” is especially genius.

  3. James

    Palooka was right on the edge of my memory and then I Googled it. I assume you know that Palookaville is both a film and a comic. Great dialogue.

  4. Rowena

    Thank you very much for the photo prompt this week, Josh. Much appreciated. I must admit I found myself out at sea again this week with the prompt as it’s way out of my league, but I based mine on Australian boxer, Les Darcy, who went to box in America but died suddenly aged 21. I read where you said you were interested in boxing and I thought you’d find this link interesting to a excerpt from a book about Les Darcy which looks at the US boxing scene:
    Your take was so poignant and moving. i could really sense the characters.
    Best wishes,

  5. Mike

    You drew us a great image, then left it for the reader to decide who ‘they’ where. Great writing.

  6. Inside the Mind of Isadora

    HA HA … you brought back a lot of memories for me with this story, JHC.
    My dad used to make-believe punch a friend in the arm while calling him a big Palooka.
    My dad was a big fight fan. As a child, I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to be a boxer. It looked painful to me. Anyway … enjoyed your story and thanks for the photo prompt.

Don't just stand there.