I’ve never been knocked out in one blow, but I’ve been punched in the face more times than most.
It’s just like they say in Fight Club – you’d be surprised the lengths people go to to avoid a fight. I’m no different, well, until I’m shit-faced.
Lately I’ve been fine. Ever since J-Rab flew back from the States and moved in with me, I’ve been well behaved because she has this way of making me calm and those things that used to swirl and turn inside me, they’re locked up and I know as long as we’re together the chains will hold.
Last fight I got into was because I head-butted some guy, I can’t remember why. The fight before that I was heart broken and ended up in hospital, the fight before that was over before it had even really started and the one before that I was just a kid and didn’t get in any blows to the face, though I received a couple.
Getting punched in the face is a whole other trip. People who’ve never experienced it, mostly girls (which is exactly how it should be – under no circumstances should a man ever raise a fist to a woman) often ask me what it feels like.
Well, when you get socked nice and hard, your brain actually knocks against the sides of your skull, and I swear you can feel it. It’s like for a second or two you lose signal completely, you blink hard, a bolt of pain explodes in your head and if you’ve been socked in the nose, your eyes tear up almost immediately and blood flows out of your nose like a leaky faucet.
It can be really disconcerting if you aren’t expecting it.
I don’t miss fighting, I was never very good at it and it solves absolutely nothing, although I’ll be honest, when you wake up the next day, your face all beat up and your fists grazed and aching, it feels fucking cool.
The time I woke up in hospital was the worst. I got fucked up so bad I was knocked unconscious and peeled off the pavement by some people who found me just as my assailants were kicking my inert body.
Kicking my inert body. How bad is that? They cracked one of my ribs, split my upper lip and left my face so swollen and bruised that the people who found me, who turned out to be good friends of mine, didn’t recognise me until they fished my student card out of my wallet.
Never the less, when I staggered home the next day, in so much pain it hurt to breathe, I felt like some kind of warrior returning from battle. Bruised, fucked up, but still alive and I swear to God, the cold beer I got out the fridge back in my digs was the best damn beer I’ve ever tasted, even though it stung my freshly stitched lip to drink it.
You’ve got to go to those places sometimes, those dark and hopeless depths, because you always come back with something, usually it’s a piece of yourself you never knew existed, a crucial part of the puzzle that is you.
And so I urge all the guys reading this post today to go out there this weekend and get punched in the face, nice and hard.
You can thank me later