Since Dad died I’ve been putting on the gloves three times a week, working the combinations: jab, cross, left hook, right hook, uppercut, body. Nearly a year dropping sweat, flailing the air, swatting mitts—now for the first time squaring off to hit and be hit. I do everything wrong, circling into his power hand, chin high and vulnerable, blinded by the headgear. I take one on the nose, spring tears, suck wind. Again. Try to put the left in his face, make him react, bring the hook around, slip his punch, breathing hard, still standing. The exhilaration is total.