Punch

Carlo Costa entered the gym as he imagined a confident assured sort of person would, because he was after all going to be a confident and assured sort of person after today. At least he assumed that he would be with a kind of blind, educated hope gifted to him from that point guard pocket of the brain that predicts outcomes without your conscious consent. He immediately smelled sweat and leather. He inhaled it deeply with a mixture of excitement and disgust; it was after all a quite pungent and unpleasant scent. He walked in with a low head draped by lank blank hair and could feel his stubble rubbing against the part of his skin left exposed by his tank top. Carlo suddenly felt ridiculous as he ventured further into the arena, because whilst he has never considered himself to be a muscular man, he had thought of his plump flesh humps as being signs of a strong, stocky body; of a body lacking in cardiovascular ability rather than power. He immediately reassessed that assumption and came to a new one: he was chunky, fat and not particularly easy on the eye. However before he could fall into self-deprecation a slapping thud caught his eye, and he looked at the sparring session going on in the ring in the centre of the gym. A young, loose and lanky man with ochre arms was swinging and sliding around the ring like a child climbing a tree. He was awkward and janky, but was obviously enthralled with his efforts and was clearly having a great time. His adversary was not. The shorter man was substantially more muscular and had a salmon neck as thick as a tree trunk. However for all his bad intentions and obvious menace, his punches were slow and powder soft. Whenever he did land a hit, he landed with his whole body and frequently became entangled with his foe. Either that or he missed his adversary completely.
“Hey, who are you? You new here?” Called a man from across the room, and whilst he had a round belly his arms were thick and his chest was stiff and shapely. He had the body of a former athlete who was still fond of the gym, but even fonder of the drink. His skin was a bone white/yellow colour and his hair was bristly and greying at the sides, he had small eyes and layers of bags rolled beneath the slow twitch of his teal pupils.
“Yes I wanted to,” Carlo paused as he intimated towards the ring, hoping his eyes and gesturing head would fill in the blank.
“What, fight? You want to punch, punch?” He asked as he mimed a one-two punch combination, to which Carlo nodded his head. The man had an odd accent, as though he had lived in a number of countries or had been taught English by somebody who was neither from his own country or the United Kingdom.
“You a shy one eh? No problem plenty of us are, but you’re not so shy that you don’t want to study the sweet science yes? Nice beginners class starts in five, speak to Morris and he’ll set you straight.” The man explained before jumping up into the ring to end the sparring session. Carlo watched them with awe as the two man who had previously been pummelling each other now spoke casually and calmly, as though they were acquaintances who had bumped into each other at a bus stop.
“You, yeah you. You coming over mate?” The man who was presumably Morris called as Carlo heard him dimly from within his muted satisfaction.
I want that Carlo thought to himself, almost drooling as he fell into the blanket of his dreams.

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