I couldn’t remember the last time we spent an afternoon like that. The benches were starting to fill as the Sunday crowd flocked around the cockpit.
Men in stylish shoes sat together with men in rags.
Men of power, money, and influence — mingled with minimum wage earners.
Men of authority in civilian clothing, men of vast lands, towering concrete columns, the strong men, the giants rubbed elbows with the little men —
The little men who live along the railways and by the creeks.
We could catch the scent of intensity, the smell of thin air belching out from empty stomachs, famished hearts, and unfulfilled dreams.
Of mixed warm sweat,
Dry, sticky sweat.
Arriving, we could see the owners carrying their prizefighters on their sides as if holstered pistols in a duel. Stroking their red and white fowls — their coats like a lion’s mane.
Wagers were in, bets were called.
A few flaps and a lot of slashing.
Fleshes were ripped, blood splattered in the dusty ring.
In a half-chance, winner-takes-all gamble.
All for the pot money and some stiff-meat lunch the next day.