The Pugilist at Rest: Stories by Thom Jones. Read online, or download in secure ePub format. The Pugilist at Rest by Thom Jones; 5 editions; First published in ; DAISY for print-disabled Download ebook for print-disabled (DAISY). Editorial Reviews. terney.info Review. Thom Jones's first collection of stories is a revelation. Kindle Store; ›; Kindle eBooks; ›; Literature & Fiction.
|Language:||English, Spanish, Dutch|
|Genre:||Politics & Laws|
|Distribution:||Free* [*Registration Required]|
Get this from a library! The pugilist at rest: stories. [Thom Jones] -- 14 stories grouped into four parts: the horrors of Vietnam; men at war with women; the. The Pugilist at Rest book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Thom Jones made his literary debut in The New Yorker in One might have to reach back to Raymond Carver's Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? (which copped the National Book Award for fiction in ) to find a.
I want to go infantry. I want to be a ground-pounder. I had been thinking of him a lot. He was a clerk in headquarters company. Much to my astonishment, he was fifteen pounds heavier, and had grown two inches, and he told me he was hitting the weight pile every night after running seven miles up and down the foothills of Pendleton in combat boots, carrying a rifle and a full field pack.
Headquarters is one boring motherfucker. When did you get so gung-ho, man? Look, we pass the physical fitness test and then they send us to jump school at Benning. Semper fi, motherfucker! It was not supposed to be any kind of big deal at all—just acclimation. The morning after our drop we approached a clear field. Everything was spooky; I was fresh meat, F. Before moving into the field, our team leader sent Hanes—a lance corporal, a short-timer, with only twelve days left before his rotation was over—across the field as a point man.
This was a bad omen and everyone knew it. Hanes had two Purple Hearts. The team leader signaled for us to fan out and told me to circumvent the field and hump through the jungle to investigate a small mound of loose red dirt that I had missed completely but that he had picked up with his trained eye. Most likely it was an anthill, but you never knew—it could have been an NVA tunnel. As I approached the mound I saw that it was in fact an anthill, and I looked back at the team and saw they were already halfway across the field, moving very fast.
For a millisecond, everything went black. I was blown back and lifted up on a cushion of warm air. Like that, but not confined to a small area like the elbow. I felt it shoot through my spine and into all four limbs. Grit was blown in between my teeth. I later discovered that fine red earth was somehow blown in behind the crystal of my pressure-tested Rolex Submariner, underneath my fingernails and toenails, and deep into the pores of my skin.
When I was able to, I pulled out a canteen filled with lemon-lime Kool-Aid and tried to flood my eyes clean. This helped a little, but my eyes still felt like they were on fire. I rinsed them again and blinked furiously. I rolled over on my stomach in the prone position and leveled my field-issue M A company of screaming NVA soldiers ran into the field, firing as they came—I saw their green tracer rounds blanket the position where the team had quickly congregated to lay out a perimeter, but none of our own red tracers were going out.
Several of the Marines had been killed outright by the mortar rounds. Jorgeson was all right, and I saw him cast a nervous glance in my direction. Then he turned to the enemy and began to fire his M It took off his whole arm, and for an instant I could see the white bone and ligaments of his shoulder, and then red flesh of muscle tissue, looking very much like fresh prime beef, well marbled and encased in a thin layer of yellowish-white adipose tissue that quickly became saturated with dark-red blood.
What a lot of blood there was. Still, Milton continued to fire his. When he emptied his clip, I watched him remove a fresh one from his web gear and attempt to load the pistol with one hand. He seemed to fumble with the fresh clip for a long time, until at last he dropped it, along with his.
He was basically out in the open, and if ever a man was totally alone it was Jorgeson. He was dead meat and he had to know it. Most of the recon Marines carried grease guns or Swedish Ks; an M was too heavy for traveling light and fast, but this Marine had been big and he had been paranoid. I had known him least of anyone in the squad.
Indeed, now he was dead. It was difficult to judge how quickly time was moving. Although my senses had been stunned by the concussion of the mortar rounds, they were, however paradoxical this may seem, more acute than ever before. I watched Jorgeson pick up the machine gun and begin to spread an impressive field of fire back at the enemy. Thuk thuk thuk, thuk thuk thuk, thuk thuk thuk! I saw several more bodies fall, and began to think that things might turn out all right after all.
The NVA dropped for cover, and many of them turned back and headed for the tree line. His M machine gun flew straight up into the air. In the meantime I had pulled a cleaning rod out of my pack and worked it through the barrel of my M When I next tried to shoot, the Tonka-toy son of a bitch remained jammed, and at last I frantically broke it down to find the source of the problem.
I had a dirty bolt. My fingers felt like Novocain, and while I could see far away, I was unable to see up close. I poured some more Kool-Aid over my eyes.
It was impossible for me to get my weapon clean. Lucky for me, ultimately. Suddenly NVA soldiers were running through the field shoving bayonets into the bodies of the downed Marines. It was not until an NVA trooper kicked Lieutenant Milton out of his tripod position that he finally fell to the ground.
I wondered what had happened to Hanes and if he had gotten clear. About this time Jorgeson let off a horrendous shriek—a gut shot is worse than anything. Or did Jorgeson scream to save my life? I repinned the grenade, got up on my knees, and scrambled away until finally I was on my feet with a useless and incomplete handful of M parts, and I was running as fast and as hard as I have ever run in my life.
I can still feel it and smell it to this day. He was like the rest of us—eighteen, nineteen, twenty years old. What did we know of life? I mean, yes, he knew that in theory he would die, but he felt like he was going to live forever. I know that I felt that way. Hanes was down to twelve days and a wake-up. When other Marines saw a short-timer get greased, it devastated their morale.
However, when I saw them zip up the body bag on Hanes I became incensed. Twelve days to go and then mutilated. Fucking Milton! Theogenes was the greatest of gladiators. He was a boxer who served under the patronage of a cruel nobleman, a prince who took great delight in bloody spectacles.
It was the approximate time of Homer, the greatest poet who ever lived. The sort of boxing Theogenes practiced was not like modern-day boxing with those kindergarten Queensberry Rules. The two contestants were not permitted the freedom of a ring. Instead, they were strapped to flat stones, facing each other nose-to-nose. It was a fight to the death. Fourteen hundred and twenty-five times Theogenes was strapped to the stone and fourteen hundred and twenty-five times he emerged a victor.
The statue depicts a muscular athlete approaching his middle age.
He has a thick beard and a full head of curly hair. Also, the forehead is piled with scar tissue. His neck and trapezius muscles are well developed.
His shoulders are enormous; his chest is thick and flat, without the bulging pectorals of the bodybuilder. His back, oblique, and abdominal muscles are highly pronounced, and he has that greatest asset of the modern boxer—sturdy legs.
The arms are large, particularly the forearms, which are reinforced with the leather wrappings of the cestus. It is the body of a small heavyweight—lithe rather than bulky, but by no means lacking in power: a Jack Johnson or a Dempsey, say. If you see the authentic statue at the Terme Museum, in Rome, you will see that the seated boxer is really not much more than a light-heavyweight.
People were small in those days. That he is seated and not pacing implies that he has been through all this many times before. It appears that he is conserving his strength. Could it be that someone has just summoned him to the arena? There is a slight look of befuddlement on his face, but there is no trace of fear. There is an air about him that suggests that he is eager to proceed and does not wish to cause anyone any trouble or to create a delay, even though his life will soon be on the line.
He knew this more than two thousand years before Shakespeare penned the line. How did he come to be at this place in space and time? Would he rather be safely removed to the countryside—an obscure, stinking peasant shoving a plow behind a mule?
Would that be better? Or does he revel in his role? Perhaps he once did, but surely not now. Is this the great Theogenes or merely a journeyman fighter, a former slave or criminal bought by one of the many contractors who for months trained the condemned for their brief moment in the arena?
I cut and ran from that field in Southeast Asia. What is the truth? Jack Dempsey used to get so scared before his fights that he sometimes wet his pants.
It was something close to homicide. What is courage? What is cowardice? I got over that first scare and saw that I was something quite other than that which I had known myself to be. There was a reservoir of malice, poison, and vicious sadism in my soul, and it poured forth freely in the jungles and rice paddies of Vietnam.
I pulled three tours. I wanted some payback for Jorgeson. I grieved for Lance Corporal Hanes. I grieved for myself and what I had lost. I committed unspeakable crimes and got medals for it. It was only fair that I got a head injury myself. I never got a scratch in Vietnam, but I got tagged in a boxing smoker at Pendleton.
Fought a bad-ass light-heavyweight from artillery. Nobody would fight this guy. He could box.
He had all the moves. But mainly he was a puncher—it was said that he could punch with either hand. It was said that his hand speed was superb. They were right. His hand speed was superb. I was twenty-seven years old, smoked two packs a day, was a borderline alcoholic. A very long time before, I had been the middleweight champion of the 1st Marine Division. I had been a so-called war hero. I had been a recon Marine. But now I was a garrison Marine and in no kind of shape.
He put me down almost immediately, and when I got up I was terribly afraid. I was tight and I could not breathe. It felt like he was hitting me in the face with a ball-peen hammer. It felt like he was busting light bulbs in my face. Rather than one opponent, I saw three.
I was convinced his gloves were loaded, and a wave of self-pity ran through me. I began to move. He made a mistake by expending a lot of energy trying to put me away quickly. My buddies were watching, and I had to give them a good show. While I was afraid, I was also exhilarated; I had not felt this alive since Vietnam. I began to score with my left jab, and because of this I was able to withstand his bull charges and divert them.
I thought he would throw his bolt, but in the beginning he was tireless. I must have hit him with four hundred left jabs. It got so that I could score at will, with either hand, but he would counter, trap me on the ropes, and pound. He was the better puncher and was truly hurting me, but I was scoring, and as the fight went on the momentum shifted and I took over. I staggered him again and again. The Marines at ringside were screaming for me to put him away, but however much I tried, I could not.
Although I could barely stand by the end, I was sorry that the fight was over. Who had won? The referee raised my arm in victory, but I think it was pretty much a draw. Judging a prizefight is a very subjective thing.
About an hour after the bout, when the adrenaline had subsided, I realized I had a terrible headache. I stumbled outside, struggling to breathe, and I headed away from the company area toward Sheepshit Hill, one of the many low brown foothills in the vicinity.
Like a dog who wants to die alone, so it was with me. Everything got swirly, and I dropped in the bushes. I was unconscious for nearly an hour, and for the next two weeks I walked around like I was drunk, with double vision. I had constant headaches and seemed to have grown old overnight. Socrates , Socrates, , Philosophy, Ancient, pages.
A sobering expos of the secret relationship between neo-conservative policy makers and the Christianright argues that Middle East instability reflects an ongoing battleTwo and Too Much , Mildred Pitts Walter,, African Americans, 32 pages.
Told in lucid and beautiful prose, the story of Indias wild ridesince independence is a riveting one. Guha explores the dramatic protests and conflicts that have shapedmodern 'The first great novel of the war in Afghanistan' Wall Street Journal You've had no sleep since thefirefight last night. The morning fog beyond the walls of your base lifts to. Presents the story of a red apple fromwhen it is picked from a tree to the time when its seed grows into a new tree and produces new red apples,ready to be pickedBuilding Better Beings: A Theory of Moral Responsibility , Manuel Vargas, Jan 17, ,Philosophy, pages.
Building Better Beings presents a new theory of moral responsibility. Most people think there is little or nothing you can do to avoidAlzheimer's. But scientists know this is no longer true.
McGrew,Jun 1, , Psychology, pages. Practical and thorough, this is a readable guide to understanding andinterpreting the revised cognitive section of the Woodcock-Johnson test battery WJTCA-R.
A book for parents and teachers thatexplores how children's individual strengths create success. Educator Fox is poised to change the conversationabout education in this Encyclopedia of the documentary film, Volume 3 , Ian Aitken, , Performing Arts, pages Innovative, analytical and stimulating, this 3rd edition of Physiotherapy: A PsychosocialApproach completely updates the text and aims to provide readers with a solid.
British Approved Names areshort, distinctive names for substances for which the systematic chemical or other scientific names are toocomplex for convenient general use. The seventh edition of the book that launched Bradt Publications in has guided countless hikers through the Central Andes. The region is famous for its Inca roads, ruins. The books contains well over a thousand questions. Superman must protect a young boy who crash lands on Earth and seems to be from Krypton,eventually leading to a confrontation with BrainiacThe End of the Old Order Napoleon and Europe,, Frederick W.
Kagan, , History, pages. Thishilarious episode in the remarkable exploits of Reginald Iolanthe Perrin follows our hero on his mostambitious venture yet.
Setting up a commune strictly for the middleHeraclitus Homeric Problems, Heraclitus,, Literary Criticism, pages. Gender and Physical Education offers a critical and comprehensive commentary on issuesrelating to gender in PE and teacher education.
The first of a new mystery series - Whenjournalist Alison Glasby gets the opportunity to work with Fleet Street legend Bill Davenport, she jumps at thechance. Extensive data on properties of more than steels. CaitlinCunningham was fiercely independent, but when a mix-up at a Chinese orphanage ledPrinciples ofSedimentology , Gerald M. Williams, , History, pages. An exiled war resister himself, Roger Neville Williams tells how and whythis country has lost so many of its most talented, intelligent, and aware young men and women to Are youstressed out over how to feed your family a nutritious meal at the end of a long, busy day without turning toconvenience foods or the drive-through?
Describes the ordeal of a Phoenix,Arizona housewife who was arrested, tried and convicted, and jailed for a double murder of which she wasinnocent, and finally freed only. This book is a study of the genesis and films of the fifth-generation of Chinese filmmakers who emerged inthe s, and whose work vividly reflects the nature of change in The Folks in the Valley A Pennsylvania Dutch ABC, Jim Aylesworth, Feb 20, , Juvenile Fiction, 32pages.
A rhyming alphabet book about the people and activities of a Pennsylvania Dutch settlement in a ruralvalley. A guide for amateurs and those who wish to embark on a professional career in racing. Coverage includes physical and psychological conditioning, selecting a class and carFreeloading Cymru ,Tony Millin, Oct 2, , Wales, pages.
Cofnod difyr o ymgais y digrifwr Tony Millin i deithio ogwmpas Cymru am ddim, gan ddibynnu'n llwyr ar gymwynasgarwch y bobl ar ei ffordd. Civil Service Dept. Management and Personnel Office, Great Britain.
Office of Public Service, Great Britain. A walrus and a carpenterencounter some oysters during their walk on the beach--an unfortunate meeting for the oysters Jorge LuisBorges declared The Invention of Morel a masterpiece of plotting, comparable to The Turn of the Screw andJourney to the Center of the Earth.
Set on a mysterious. Plato's Theaetetus is an acknowledged masterpiece, and among the mostinfluential texts in the history of epistemology. Throwing himself wholly into his courtship of the repressedVictoria Emerson as a means of making her over-particular father angry, Nicholas Sinclair is unprepared forthe Hausa , Philip J.