Wednesday January 9th, 2013

The exercise:

Write about: the punching bag.

There's a punching bag at the gym I've been going to. I punched it a few times last time I was there, just to try it out. And now we get a prompt out of it too.


"How can you be so stupid?"

He shrugs awkwardly, smiles bashfully. Mistakes have been learned from, he knows how to respond now. No more backtalk, never cry, don't even let the anger reach his eyes.

Just keep himself small, non-threatening. Weak. Not worth the time or effort. Being a pushover avoids all that extra abuse. It's much more manageable this way.

Roll with the punches, that's how he survives. At least, it has been.

You have to understand, this has been going on for years. Longer than he cares to think about. And all that rolling has covered a lot of ground on the plains of his soul. He is running out of territory now, the cliff is approaching.

A few more blows to his confidence, a well-placed shot to his self-esteem. That's all it will take to bring him to the brink.

And then he will be forced to make a choice: fall to irretrievable depths or, at long last, take a stand for himself.


Greg said...

The only thing I'd say about punching bags is that you need wraps for your hand at the very least, and preferably gloves. I've bruised knuckles before now from bare-hand punching on a punching-bag. Maybe I just have soft hands?
I think "plains of his soul" is a superb description and easily my favourite part of your work today :)

The punching bag
He'd filled the punching bag with cement powder because he'd run out of sand, and the bags were just sitting there. After all, it just needed to be powered and capable of packing, didn't it? He was careful not to fill the bag to the top so that there was room for it to move when he punched it. All was good.
Except... there's always an except isn't there? Except he'd forgotten that the roof leaked, and he didn't know it had rained for three hours last night. He found out when he punched the bag though.

morganna said...

Greg -- I don't think it's your hands, I wrote about the same experience. But yours says it much better. :)
Harder than it looks
Be sure you have your gloves on
Or you'll break your hand.

Marc said...

Greg - well, I was wearing my weight lifting gloves so I had a little bit of padding. But yeah, I could tell that I shouldn't go too crazy without the proper equipment!

Great little vignette there. I can just imagine his surprise after that first punch...

Morganna - yeah, they should really have a big ass warning written across them. Perhaps in the form of your haiku!