The day was like any other December day in Ohio — drab, dreary, and dreadful. Yet, what began in the morning hours and continued throughout the rest of the afternoon and on into the black night was a feat unsurpassed in its glory and splendor. It was like shaking hands with God, after which He reaches down, gently tugs on your testicles, and says “How’s yer father?” It was a bright ray of May sunshine on all of the unopened flowers of romance, still waiting, sleeping, in their dormancy. Birds began to sing; wild animals gave birth; we played basketball in the driveway — it was as if time had leapfrogged four months and summer vacation was in sight. It was the day my brother beat Mike Tyson.
It was ten, maybe fifteen years ago. My brother Leon couldn’t have been more than seven or eight at the time. Up until this point, he had showed no competency in any endeavor at all, save for memorizing the uniform numbers of the players on local basketball teams. But this day. When he put himself to bed at the end of this day, he was weary and spent, for he had bested the unbestable. He had conquered, from start to finish, with no codes or pussy-ass shit, one of the most difficult, challenging, blister/tendonitis/eyestrain-inducing games ever to be inserted, removed and blown into, and reinserted in an original Nintendo home entertainment unit. That’s right y’all — I’m talking about Mike Tyson’s Punch Out!
On this night, on the eve of the yearly anniversary of his birth, I toast him. Leon, few people ever have their moment in the sun. At seven or eight years of age, you had yours. You WERE the sun, and the moon, and the stars. A flame never burned so brightly.