Garage Boys

He had me training since I was young. So young I didn’t know any better.

He had me training in the basement of old an old nightclub. We trained on those blood, sweat, tears and spit flavoured mats, punch bags, focus pads and kick shields; we all fucking loved it!

Most of them were older than me, although my dad was the instructor; they treated me like any other student in the club and kicked my head in.

He would also take me to other clubs to train with their students and I remember one club had a logo: We’re not perfect, but we’re so close, it scares us!

I remember beating some of their best and my dad and their instructor laughed together looking back at me to say: FUCK HE’S GOOD!

I disconnected from my dad and his training. I was twelve then and I needed a little more out of life for a while.

Then a few years later I would come back but it was out of fear.

I got jumped one night, but the fucker who started it: I hit him so fucking hard that when he hit the floor he was half-knocked-the-fuck-out! I was about to finish it with a boot in the face until his friend stepped in and said he would stab me if I did it!

I didn’t want to get stabbed as I watched his friends helping him up, then someone shouted: RUN!

So I ran home, I never wanted to be jumped like that again. So I decided the next day to get bigger, stronger, more powerful and fitter, so no one could even last a minute or even a few seconds with me standing up or on the floor!

That’s when I met my dads Garage Boys.

This was sick training. It was a mixture of dirty boxing, dirty wrestling, powerlifting, long distance running and we all ate six times a day.

I immersed myself in this new life, like a bat hidden in a cave, so I could live it, breathe it, piss it and shit it!

We literally spent every night in there. We pissed into empty water bottles. People used to walk passed the garage every night thinking we were murdering each other and in a way we were.

My dad and me reconnected again. It was good and he could see after a short time I was getting fucking good… even better than him!

One time I was giving a few tips to some of his students to help them hit harder or lift more and he asked me to not undermine him in front of his students.

That’s how good I was getting, and he knew it!

So a year later he handed them over to me like it was a gift. That was a big honour for my dad to do that. He knew I was training outside the club with ex-bouncers and ex-army men who were just vicious bastards!

They would tell my dad at these training sessions: your son is so fucking good that it even scares us! They continued: if he gets into a scrap with someone – they’re gonna die!

About a year later, I bumped into that fucker who started that fight a few years before. He was walking towards me and he was on his own. He just sprinted off in another direction because I was too big of a threat to him!

I could see that in him and I could see it in women and even children when I walked passed them, trying to protect themselves from the ugliness I created in physical form.

I needed to change this, so I started reading books on philosophy and spirituality and psychology etc.

I came across a man who was a Yogi, who sat with the likes of Gandhi, eating food and praying together.

I came across a system that was all about cleaning yourself with a mantra. It was called Ho’oponopono, and they said: please forgive me, I’m sorry, thank you, I love you.

So I started practicing these forms. I started to shrink and lose the ugliness like I was a fat person losing weight.

I gave up the Garage Boys, and gave up on my training completely. My dad was furious!

He didn’t speak to me again for a few weeks. Then he asked me: what are you gonna do with your life now? I said: I’m gonna be a poet.

Then we disconnected again, like pulling a plug out of the socket.

It didn’t matter anyways because a year later he left us because of my ‘fuck off if you’re not happy advice.’

It left my mum in despair. She came back after confronting him one night with a black eye.

He was staying at his mothers who lived up the road from our family home. I walked up early the next morning furious!

He was scared as he heard me come through the door. We stared at each other with both of our fists clenched for the fight.

I knew I could kill, and he knew it too!

I kept repeating to myself, as I closed my eyes into total darkness: I am the poet, I am the poet, I am the poet.

Then I heard an involuntary smack, then a gasp from his mother…

And I was still standing.




Paul Butterfield Jr




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