July. Past the Fourth. In school, it's the long slow slide: past the pool, past camp, past the games of catch-the-firefly. When you get older (when I got older) there was the gathering threat of High School Football practice -- the American kind -- in the August heat with forty year olds who are still living a dream, and not a good one, and not too well. You don't want to hit until you hit someone, good, and they fall down. That it's not proper or right or mature or anything you'd want to be is part of the pleasure.
Boxing, I tried it once or twice. But I'm too slow and my swing goes wide round, a rounder to the place between the hair and the ear, not straight out with a snap. Not to the nose, like I know it should (but I can't make my arms behave). It's not the same. Not like football. I was terrified until the end, and then I started to terrorize others and the fun started. And then, too soon, it ended. Not too much as a surprise after you've been worn down a bit but, at eighteen, it was a bit of a shock.
The slam. Feels good; let's replay it. It's time to slam again. This Thursday at eight o'clock in the evening, please. It's on. (So to speak.)
A taste of the last round follows. Trust me, you want to read them.