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Unformatted text preview: nd a sore tooth, was also a little disappointed. Even disgruntled. As he watched his uncle sink
slowly into the bed, he decided that he would never allow himself to die like that.
The man’s face was so accepting.
So yellow and tranquil, despite the violent architecture of his skull—the endless jawline, stretching for miles;
the pop-up cheekbones; and the pothole eyes. So calm it made the boy want to ask something.
Where’s the fight? he wondered.
Where’s the will to hold on?
Of course, at thirteen, he was a little excessive in his harshness. He had not looked something like me in the
face. Not yet.
With the rest of them, he stood around the bed and watched the man die—a safe merge, from life to death. The
light in the window was gray and orange, the color of summer’s skin, and his uncle appeared relieved when his
breathing disappeared completely.
“When death captures me,” the boy vowed, “he will feel my fist on his face.”
Personally, I quite like that. Such stupid gallantry.
I like that a lot.
From that moment on, he started to fight with greater regularity. A group of die-hard friends and enemies would
gather down at a small reserve on Steber Street, and they would fight in the dying light. Archetypal Germans,
the odd Jew, the boys from the east. It didn’t matter. There was nothing like a good fight to expel the teenage
energy. Even the enemies were an inch away from friendship.
He enjoyed the tight circles and the unknown.
The bittersweetness of uncertainty:
To win or to lose.
It was a feeling in the stomach that would be stirred around until he thought he could no longer tolerate it. The
only remedy was to move forward and throw punches. Max was not the type of boy to die thinking about it.
His favorite fight, now that he looked back, was Fight Number Five against a tall, tough, rangy kid named
Walter Kugler. They were fifteen. Walter had won all four of their previous encounters, but this time, Max
could feel something different. There was new blood in him—the blood of victory—and it ha...
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This note was uploaded on 01/17/2014 for the course ENG 99 taught by Professor Michal during the Winter '13 term at CSU Sacramento.
- Winter '13