He let go of the
hawk because he felt sorry for it, says another.
I let go of the
hawk because it was so powerful, says Tyson. I let go of it because I was
Two days to go,
please make it come soon; can't they schedule these fistfights any closer? His
eyes catch the newspaper: What? I've lost the fight, I've lost! Look right
there, on the back page of the New York Post, a large photograph of him
dropping to the floor, Larry Holmes standing above him as he falls. I've lost,
I've lost, I don't remember it, but I've heard that happens to fighters, I've
happened, it's a photographer's trick, says Rooney. Tyson seizes the picture,
rips it into tiny pieces.
Was it six years
ago that he stepped outside the arena, just before the U.S. Junior Olympic
finals, and broke into sobs—"If I lose, I'll lose all the people who like
me, I'll lose everything I have...." Or was it just now; dear God, why does
everything seem like just now? Dear, gruff Cus, on whose grave he poured a
bottle of champagne when he won the title, and his dear dead mother, and all
the grainy black-and-white gods and all the ghosts inside all the skulls of
Brownsville—who's he fighting for? For them. Why? They're gone!
And now they say
it's time to fight. He sits in his black trunks and black shoes, the past
circling over him like the hawk; he can feel it there, smell it there, hear its
wings beating the air—or could that be his heart? This world is sick, this
world is evil, Robin, please pick up the phone. The hawk is circling, the noose
is dropping, the pigeons are cooing, it's midnight in Brownsville, the
holocaust's just a few minutes away by limo, Robin, please pick up the phone.
This world is sick, this world is evil, they rip heads off birds, they put
poison in aspirin, they murder little boys, they pin down girls in the woods,
scrawl NIGGER on their bellies. Somebody's got to stop it, nobody will stop it,
I will stop it, I will be justice, I will repay them all.
The bell rings.
The people gape. Look, look at Holmes's face—why, he's scared!