A Touch of Sleep

Fighting family man DaVarryl Williamson takes his last shot at greatness.
February 2006
In the basement of a modest Aurora ranch, a middle-aged white man claws the air like a housecat. He's focused, and every few seconds he strikes at an invisible string in front of him. After a couple of swipes, he changes his tactics, scraping the string, or yanking it, or even spinning it, like he's twirling spaghetti on a fork. The invisible string is actually a chakra, an energy line, and the man, a pranic healer, is trying to clean it. The owner of the dirty energy line sits at the end of a queen-size bed in the same room. With his back to the healer, DaVarryl Williamson watches a boxing match on a small television. The match is a few years old, and the videotape is a little grainy from being rewound and played too many times. But DaVarryl ignores the grain, ignores the boxing commentators prattling in the background, because he's focused on one of the tiny men on the screen. The man's name is Chris Byrd, and in nine days DaVarryl is fighting him for the heavyweight championship of the world.

Behind DaVarryl, the healer turns and flicks the bad energy toward a small plastic bowl of saltwater that's sitting on the floor a few feet away. The saltwater traps the polluted energy, prevents it from drifting back to DaVarryl through the air. Satisfied, he takes a small bottle and sprays rubbing alcohol on his hands, cleaning off any bad energy that may be sticking to his fingers.

DaVarryl blinks at the television and leans closer. He thinks he just saw an opening in Byrd's defense, and as boxing is all about openings, this is very important. Byrd pauses after he throws a right fist, a pause that would give DaVarryl a chance to smash a fist into Byrd's stomach, or chest, or better yet his face.

The tape flickers. On to the next Byrd fight.

The healer, finished with his siphoning act, heads off to flush the saltwater down the toilet. He doesn't want the bad energy to escape, and the Aurora sewage system is strong enough to contain it. DaVarryl's focused on the screen and doesn't notice the healer leave. The old fights are more important; even the cleanest energy lines won't help him win against Byrd. And it's a win he needs. The first Denver heavyweight contender since Ron Lyle in the '70s, DaVarryl has 12 rounds to prove to the world that he belongs in the ring with the best. If he wins, he'll thrust the belt in the air, a 37-year-old heavyweight who finally made it. He'll be the champ.