Saturday, December 8, 2012

the last book I ever read (The Good Son: The Life of Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini, excerpt six)

from The Good Son: The Life of Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini by Mark Kriegel:

"I work with poor kids," says Carmen, "and a lot of them want to be fighters."

Her response, invariably, was to discourage them. There may be a fighting gene, a pugilistic predisposition carried in the blood, but boxers are both born and made. Carmen had seen enough to believe that which makes them fighters is tethered to a "pure dysfunction" somewhere in the family history. What's more, even worse than being a fighter, was being an ex-fighter.

"They go from being famous and adored to being nobodies," says Carmen. "Boxers, I think, have really sad lives."

Her father-in-law had been lucky, she thought. The bills didn't come due until late in Boom's life. But they always came due. The manifestations were varied: dementia, drugs, debt, detention. One way or another, those intimate with violence were corrupted or imperiled by it.

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