For eleven years he mistakenly believed he had murdered a man in a robbery, and unconfessed, yet guilty, wanting to be punished, LaMotta threw himself into boxing as much to be hurt as to hurt.When I first transcribed this quote, I typed "waiting" instead of "wanting to be punished." Oh, I thought, his impending criminal conviction depressed him; knowing what was coming, he lost the will to live. But no: boxing was the conviction, each punch the gavel coming down, and death, if it came, would be the cell he'd never leave.
--Joyce Carol Oates, On Boxing
Yesterday, my son told a lie. When called on it, he was immediately repentant, and Greg and I told him we forgave him, people make mistakes, that it was over and done. But all the love we lavished could not erase what clearly tormented him. He buried himself in the couch. Only with repeated drawings out and affirmations of love, a couple hour process, would he stand straight again.
Oates writes, "When LaMotta eventually learned that his victim had not died, however, his zest for boxing waned, and his career began its abrupt decline."