"He is my worst enemy."
"Then what are you crying about?"
If I wasn't crying about that, I was crying about my cash-flow situation. I was learning fast how Sugar Ray Robinson could have died poor and Joe Louis ended up as a casino greeter. The 80 large sounded like a lot of dough, but pay off Doggy, a cutman he had rounded up and the tax man, it gets whittled down fast. Plus, it hardly seemed fair that I had quit working to train for this fight and was making bubkes thus far, while Considine, Doggy and the schmucks from the reality TV crew were all doing fine. I decided to call Considine for a modest cash advance. Two thousand, I figured, would get me through.
"Don't take this the wrong way, Tom-Tom," he said. "But paying you more than I gotta, that'd be like putting premium gas in a rental car."
I didn't have a response, but he picked up the conversational slack. "What do you need two large for anyway?"
"Pay off my rent, my cable bill, get a silk robe and some real boxing shoes."
I didn't tell him that with whatever was left over, I was gonna buy a nice little engagement ring.
[ VI ]
USUALLY I JUST LET THE machine pick it up, but I was worn down. Here it was, six days before the fight, and the reality guys were getting desperate for the lifestyle crap and had spent all day trying to get more--more interviews, more color. "More Juice!" That's what that goateed producer guy kept saying. Anyway, there they were: Poking me as I'm waking up, following me into the john and then into the shower, so they could get that shot of the Spiderman curtain they wanted so bad, down to the bagel joint for a coffee, muffin, water. I'm drinking water constantly, training so hard it's just going through me. All the time they're asking over and over about Pop, the fight, what it means. How the hell should I know what it means?
So finally they clear out for the day. It was one of those bleak days, chilly and not a bit of sun, the Grand Concourse drowning in that iron-gray 4 p.m. December nothing. I always liked that time of year. Yankee Stadium is empty, all those rich kids from the suburbs aren't coming in for the game, looking at us scared and superior like we're zoo animals or something.