Bill Frisell’s 70th birthday party at Village Vanguard last night.
“Ali had now been boxing eight rounds, five of them easy, too easy to show this much fatigue — the green of his skin did not speak of a good liver. The tourists, a crowd in the main of white mill workers in flowered sport shirts, sprinkled with an occasional beard or biker, looked apathetic. You had to be familiar with Ali’s methods to have even a remote idea of what this workout could signify. Toward the middle of the last round Bundini began to be heard again. Hardly unknown to readers of sports columns (for he was the inventor of “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee”) he had on average days a personality more intense per cubic inch than Ali’s, and was now screaming in a voice every onlooker would remember, for it was not only hoarse and imprecatory but suggestive of the ability to cut through every insulation in the atmosphere. Bundini was summoning djinns. “Snake-whip him! Stick him! Stick mean!” he howled with his head back, his bald rocketing eyes spearing ectoplasmic ogres. Ali did not respond. He and Roy Williams kept clinching, wrestling, and occasionally thumping one another. No art.”
“The workout seemed to have taken too much. An absence of stimulation heavy as gloom was in the air. Of course, it is not uncommon for fighters’ camps to be gloomy. In heavy training fighters live in dimensions of boredom others do not begin to contemplate. Fighters are supposed to. The boredom creates an impatience with one’s life, and a violence to improve it. Boredom creates a detestation for losing”