“Victor is to Joel an uncle, where days after Joel turned ten years old, Victor takes him to the boxing gym, because one year prior, Victor tickle-boxed Joel and Joel raised his guard and slapped back and bobbed in promising ways.
“Joel follows his uncle Victor into the gym and thinks maybe Victor knows a person there, or has some business there, or walked in there in error, because when Victor borrowed Joel from Joel’s mother, Victor said to her that they were going to the theater to see Return of the Jedi.
“Inside, Joel is stopped in his tracks by a combination, hit first by the burn-smell of the sweat-work, then by the grunt-sounds of bodies throwing heavy punches and of heavy punches hurting bodies, then by the sight of men’s noses and teeth and muscles arranged in ways never intended at birth. All these things together cause Joel to gag. Still, he puts on the gloves and squares up in front of the bag.”