|Posted by Paul McCall on April 14, 2019 at 10:00 AM|
This is a short story I'm working on that came to me in a dream I had.
Found myself driving through my old home town awhile back, and it turned out to be a trip down memory lane.
I cruised slowly down Main Street and noticed the old gym where I made my first attempt at boxing, it was still in business.
I pulled into a parking spot and just sat in my car and thought about it for a while. I decided to pop in and look the old place over.
I jerked the car door open and got out. I had to cross the street; traffic wasn’t bad but the noise the cars made swishing by polluted the scene. I crossed when I got the chance and when I got to the front door, I could hardly believe I could still make out my initials where I had carved them so long ago under all the years of paint.
Opening the door, the smell brought back memories. Not much had changed from the last time I had seen the place. Feeling my age, I took a seat on one of the benches along the wall and watched the young kids working out and sparing. A couple of the kids were pretty good and in between rounds I kept looking the old place over.
I noticed one of the trainers in the ring who looked familiar, I was sure I had seen him some ware before.
Once the bouts were over, I got up and wandered over to the ring and leaned on the edge watching from under the ropes.
After a while the man I thought I knew spotted me and said, “can I help you with anything?”
I said, “no, I’m just looking around, I use to train here when I was a kid”.
“Really,” he said, “when was that?”
“Oh, must have been over fifty years by now”. The guy was milling about with the boy he had been working with removing the kids gloves, then he told the kid, “take a break Mike” the kid said, “thanks Mr. Peterson”.
Unlike me, Mr. Peterson, had a full head of thick gray hair and was in a hell of a lot better shape than I was. He came over, grabbed the stool from the corner of the ring near me and sat.
Wiping his face and neck with the towel he had around his neck and shoulders he said, “you from around here, are you?”
“Not anymore, I had to go to Boston this morning, god I hate driving in there. I'm on my way home and thought I'd make a slight detour to check out the old town.
When I saw the gym was still here, I had to stop and check it out”.
“what’s your name, I’ve been here forever I might remember you”
“Paul, Paul McCall”. I said as I reach out my hand and we shook. I could see a strong resemblance and then it hit me. “hold on, you’re Snuffy Peterson”?
“guilty as charged” he said, then, “holey shit, P. J. is that you? I don’t believe it.”
“Yup, it’s me, we were quite a team back in the late nineteen-sixties’?”
“no shit.” Snuffy hopped down from the ring and stood almost face to face with me, Snuffy was much taller. He looked me up and down. “Dam P. J. you’re falling apart old man.”
“yeah, well, life you know?” I said
“Son of a bitch it is you” he said, and he pulled me into a hug. “I thought you must have been dead by now; as I recall you were a drinker.” then he put me at arm’s length and cocked his head and said, “after all, you were such a shitty boxer.”
I said, “yeah, but I never hurt anybody.”
“Not a good thing in this business.” Said Snuffy.
I said, “As I recall you lived close enough to go home for lunch. You know, I never did see where you lived.”
“Yeah well that old place is gone, there’s a Minnie Mall there now. Paul, listen I got some time, how about some lunch on me? Ted’s Dinner is still here, different owners but just as good.”
“sure, can’t wait to see the old place, just across the street, right?”