To the woman who has signed up for a single-parent dating seminar because she wants to figure out how to get things right, he says, “It’s like boxing.” Then he laughs and apologizes. To a runner, the metaphor is endurance. To a world traveler, maps and foreign tongues. To a boxer? The next match.

“Sure, hear them out,” he says. “You can get good advice from everywhere. ‘Do it this way. Try that.’All of it probably works.” He halfway smiles. “My trainer teaches me things.” Here, he hunches his shoulders just a fraction and brings his loose fists up to shade his face. “’Use your legs like this, lean like this.’” He shrugs and his hands open like wings. One alights on his thigh hidden just below the table. “My legs might be just a little bit longer. Maybe I have to lean differently. I need to find that out.” Now he lifts his palms and placates an invisible onslaught. Of fists? Advice? Skepticism? “You just have to find your own balance. Your balance.”

The others at the table pause and let this settle in. The only Right is boxing from within your own skin. Continue reading “Featherweight”