I was so excited. I had just scored a romantic coup. I had managed to get Jewish Argentine boxer Carolina Raquel Duer the perfect present.
A signed picture of Muhammad Ali running in the former Zaire before the Rumble in the Jungle against George Foreman. Ali, in his gray sweats, is stern and focused, surrounded by the effervescent yellow glow of an early African morning. The picture read:
Belief in one's self is the key to success.
I slid into the darkness of her room, planning on sliding the picture in the top drawer of her dresser. She would open the drawer and there, staring at her would be a signed, personalized, picture of Muhammad Ali. I was so satisfied at the joy I was about to give her.
I heard the door slam and whispered, "Oh shit!" I took a quick step towards the dresser, but the floor creaked underneath me.
"Who's there!" she screamed. She raced into the dark bedroom and belted me in the stomach. In my pain, my right hand swung out in an effort to block another potential punch. My left hand held firm. Both were still holding the picture.
I tried to tell her, "It's me! It's me!" but the punch had knocked the wind out of me. She threw an uppercut which sent me flying backwards. My head slammed against the wooden floor. I lay motionless save the occasional twitch.
She turned on the light and saw it was me. "Oh, my darling!" Then she saw the two halves of the picture addressed to her and signed by Muhammad Ali. The relationship ended.