There was a boxer. Cliff Fields. When I was a kid, long after his boxing days, I often saw him walking the streets of my hometown scrounging for cash. He was a boozer. It was the boozing that got in the way of the boxing, although he still liked a good fight by all accounts. He’s been dead for some time now. There was a woman. She was homeless, and she stank enough to make people cross the road to avoid her. She died in some bushes. Near the hospital? The stink of her and her putrid death alerted others to her mummified remains, teeming with all manner of insects and lice. I crossed paths with her near the library once. I was walking with my mother on a grey morning during the school holidays, and such was the smell—even in life—that we had to flee in the opposite direction as fast as we could. They knocked the library down a few years ago, remember? I don’t know where they buried the woman. I don’t know what happened to the insects and lice, either. More than likely, they produced more insects and lice, who, quite understandably, produced even more than before. The boxer once sparred with Mohammed Ali. He also drunkenly grappled with my uncle before throwing him into a bush. It sounds like I’m making this up, but I’m not. I swear. My uncle had been in a church celebrating some family do or other. The boxer was a friend of my other uncle. The uncle who’s not an uncle but is. It was the same church my parents married in—the one near Wilko. Wilko was called Wilkinson back when I was a kid. The store in my hometown is near another church, but this one is far smaller. It has a book shop next to it—a religious one. I’ve never been inside, mainly on account that I’m not religious. I was never christened. I’ve never even read the bible.
X and I: A Novel and A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon UK
X and I: A Novel and A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon US
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