This article is taken from Stand 229, 19(1) March - May 2021.

Deborah Ward The Prize Fighter
My wife is so afraid of dentists, she didn’t even tell me about the pain in her jaw for weeks in case I called up the dentist myself. I don’t know why she’s so afraid. We have a really good dentist. She said the last time she went she was shaking so badly that they had to give her a blanket and headphones. I guess she’s just scared because she’s a woman and women aren’t that tough.

It’s a Friday afternoon in July and I’m sitting outside in our yard smoking a cigarette. I’ve come home from work a little early to catch the fight on t.v. The 1976 Olympics are on in Montreal and I told Leona that we should watch the whole thing, but she isn’t really buying it. So far she’s watched the gymnastics and the swimming, but I can tell she’s losing interest.

We have a couple of plastic lawn chairs and a barbecue out here and there isn’t much room for anything else. There isn’t even any lawn. Just a few feet of concrete surrounded by a grey wooden fence that’s supposed to give us the luxury of privacy but makes me feel like an inmate.

There’s a little path running through our housing complex that leads out the back to the parking lot and from there you can walk through the mass of scraggly bushes to the mall parking lot. We can see the mall from our bedroom window. It’s a long, low, brown windowless building that looks like a bomb shelter. Leona works at a store ...
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