Mike Tyson sat in his overstuffed easy chair and put up his feet. It was cool in his air conditioned mansion in the broiling Las Vegas night and he was sitting in a pair of tattered Everlast trunks and a sleeveless t-shirt. It was the uniform he had worn when he went into the ring. When he was young. When he was a champion. When he was invincible. That was a long time ago.
He had lost most everything. His money. His fame. His reputation as the merciless winner that struck fear into every one of his opponents. Now he was a joke. Or if not a joke then a caricature to be used to mock the person he used to be. He was a character in the “Hangover” movies spoofing his lifestyle. He had couple of shows on the Comedy channel.
Now at least he had peace. He had fought much tougher battles than Larry Spinks or Mitch Green. He fought alcoholism. Bi-polar depression. His own rage. It was a constant battle that he raged one day at a time. He didn’t always win. Just as he did in the ring. But these days he won more often than not.
His wife Kiki was away with the kids visiting her Moms. She at least still loved him. Not like that mercenary bitch from the TV who took all of his money. Or Monica who was the real love of his life but who abandoned him because of his sins. He was a sinner. Looking for redemption. She could not find it in her heart to forgive him. He could understand. He was not of a forgiving nature his own self. Still it was one more brick of regret to throw on the pile.
He was restless. He got up and looked at the bar. There was an unopened bottle of Crown Royal. He looked at it. Didn’t touch it. He liked to look at like he liked to look at good looking women. He was smarter now then he had ever been before. Lonely but smart. A dangerous combination.
He went into the game room. Rolled a ball across the green felt of the pool table. Picked up a ping pong ball off of the floor and put it under the paddle on the regulation size table in the back corner. He walked over to the card table he had installed for the games he enjoyed when his boys were in town. He loved to play penny poker with some of his old crew. Kevin. Stevie and Matt. Even Jamal and Cool Baby from Bed Stuy. It was just about the only fun he had these days.
He sat at the table and absently dealt out a hand of solitaire. He played six straight games.
Concentrating to stop the thoughts that rummaged around in his head. He yawned. He decided to just put his head down on his arms on the table. What did he care. He didn't have to act civilized. He was all by his lonesome. He snoozed.
Suddenly he felt a cool breeze. He looked up. There was a figure sitting across from him. In his own Everlast. And sweat. He was big. Big as bear. Sitting holding a hand of cards. He seemed solid enough but how could he have got in the house without tripping the alarm.
“Who da fuck are you” he rasped in his high pitched cackle that the comedians mocked all the time.
“You know me son. I am you. Thirty years before you. It’s me. Sonny. I came to set you straight blood. It’s time you got schooled.”
Shit. He recognized him. They thought he was just a thug but he was a student of the game. It was Sonny Liston. Or the ghost of Sonny Liston. In his house. At his table. What the fuck does that mean?
He was scared. Mike Tyson was scared shitless.