“Why do you insist on playing as her?”
They say when you came to Chicago, one needed to try to deep dish pizza; entire websites were devoted to week long tourist crawls of the best pizzerias in the city, a concept created by the gluttonous imagination of the American society. And while El Trébol Jr had the desire to be included in this crowd, he had neither the time nor the intestinal fortitude to complete the challenge, not if he wanted to be fit to compete come Monday night. Besides, Halo 5 called to him, so he answered.
The scene opens to El Trébol Jr sitting on the edge of the king sized bed in his apartment in his full-body lucha suit, with a headset on top and a controller in hand. An open box of pizza sat beside him, half-eaten, from Bartoli’s in Roscoe Village. It had been a nice diversion, but El Trébol’s focus was held now by the wave of Promethean Knights flanking him on the television screen as he and childhood friend Derek Abreu, Xbox Live Tag xXAbrechooXx, rolled through the co-op of Halo 5.
“Because Zhalia Fears is a freaking beast on this game,” El Trébol replies into the mic as he puts a bullet from his sniper rifle into the head of a Lancer before ducking behind cover.
“Still, it doesn’t line up with the lore at all, Finn. There are no wrestlers in Halo.”
If it wasn’t obvious, Derek Abreu was a slight nerd. El Trébol reaches for a slice of the pizza, handling it deftly while never once pausing the game. By now, with the pizza and the green suit, it was safe to draw comparisons to a quartet of adolescent turtles right now because this was definitely what this scene was presenting here.
“Forget the lore, dude. I get to kill bad guys and I have a killer pair of tits. Your argument is invalid.”
“Ah, screw that.” A pause over the line as the last of the enemies had been killed in this particular area of the game (which is left undescribed for fear of spoilers). “Seriously, why spend your money just to play as one of your co-workers?”
Why not, El Trébol thought as he took a sip of the Budweiser he had been cradling between his legs. Still, he took the bait. “You’re totally going to take this the wrong way, but I feel this weird between the game and real life. Like, Zhalia Fears is on fire right now in the UTA, and when I play as her, I have my best games ever. It’s some weird, mystical shit.”
Silence on the line as the duo move into the next area of the map, where a boss battle awaited them. And then, “Bullshit. You mean to tell me just because she’s been winning, you suddenly get more headshots? Man, bug off.”
“I’m serious, Derek. I run by mirrors on this game and see Zhalia looking back at me and I’m turned on. More so, I’m unstoppable.”
“And if you were, I don’t know, controlling someone else, someone worse, and you’d start doing bad too?” The boss appears. “Who did she beat last time?”
El Trébol grins. “Sean Jackson.”
“Well now you’re him, figuratively speaking. Now let’s kill this boss.”
Immediately, the boss tosses a grenade and blows them both up. Respawn. They last a few seconds more, splitting off to divert fire, but are quickly mowed down by supporting troops. Respawn. Derek rushes off to the left, but El Trébol stands center stage, staring the boss down. He was Sean Jackson. All he needed to do was stare down, to say he could beat this boss, and he would. Sticks and stones and weak words; a single burst of fire from the boss kills him, leaving Derek to fend for himself.
El Trébol looks at the clock. “Derek, I have an event I have to run to.” He really didn’t, but the game was getting to him now.
“What? You didn’t even show me what Sean Jackson can do?”
El Trébol pulls the mask down completely over his head. “I think this is answer enough.”
Rage Quit. El Trébol tosses the controller onto the bed beside the pizza as he heads for the door. The scene fades out moments later.
When the scene reopens, viewers find themselves staring at the UTA backdrop hanging across the otherwise bare wall; El Trébol was seated with his back against it, a hand held mirror in his hand while he stared into it. In the background, the sound of a buzzer could be heard going off. The Bulls were playing a home game tonight but were gracious enough to allow UTA to set up for their last minute promo shoots. This was one such production.
“I’d be lying, Sean, if I told you part of me didn’t wish they could see your reflection when I looked into this mirror here.”
El Trébol flips the mirror towards the camera, waving it around for a moment, casting the reflection of the cameraman back at the viewers.
“Because dammit, you have the look. When people see you step out on that stage, they see a champion through and through. Maybe you don’t always have the gold over the shoulder or around the waist, but the imprints of past success is more than evident. You have nothing to hide, so you don’t. It must be nice. And me?”
El Trébol’s hand drifts up to his mask, rubbing across the cheekbone and chin, fabric on fabric.
“I have to don a mask to have every the slightest bit of credibility when I follow in your footsteps. Without this suit, people would think me a child who had gotten lost and somehow found himself caught up in the lime light. They chuckle at the notion that a man like I would even be presented to them as a viable threat. They watch, fully expecting a quick squash, when I make my way down to that ring instead of turning back and going home. And when I win?”
El Trébol gestures off-screen, towards the sounds of a crowd and a sport.
“They turn to their presumed reality, put off by the notion that despite the odds, a man such as myself can defy the odds and overcome the barriers this sport has to offer. The naivety of adulthood, I suppose.”
El Trébol chuckles as he sets the mirror on the floor beside him.
“There’s that word again, naivety; I used it two weeks ago in regards to a certain child who had deemed me his hero. I used it to try and console Chance von Crank, to assure him that it was the child’s fault for seeing him as a bad man. Didn’t quite comprehend at the time that maybe he and I were both in the wrong. Funny how things like that work.”
A pause, as El Trébol focuses his eyes on the camera.
“The difference is, I’ve used these two weeks to reflect on this misinterpretation. I took Chance’s words he threw against me and lumped it right in with the same words, laced with the venomous theme of incapability, that I have heard my entire life. You’re too short, you’re too small, you’re too weak. I’ve lumped you in as well, Sean, into this faceless adult-archy thinking it’s their business to determine my ability. No, I think I’ll stick to what the children think when they see me. They’re no less aware to my shortcomings, Sean, or my lowliness or whatever other generic play on word you can come up with to emphasize.”
El Trébol taps himself on the chest.
“They see it all and still call me their hero, not you.”
A long pause before El Trébol shrugs his shoulders.
“Maybe that doesn’t faze you, Sean, maybe it never crossed your mind that the youth of this generation, of the UTA universe, look at you and don’t see it. You know, the champion aura and all of that. Oh, they’re was probably a time where they accepted you because they’re simply wasn’t a better example around. But the times, Sean, they are a changing and I . . . I have given them hope.”
El Trébol reaches down and flips the mirror over, hiding its reflection from sight.
“And that is all I need on my side going into this match, Sean, at Season Beatings. Most of me have already accepted who I am and who I stand before; it was always just a small bit looking for signs of other greatness in the reflections. But maybe I’ve been looking in the wrong places. Maybe I should look into the eyes of the children here in Chicago, come Monday night, when I’m perched atop that top rope.”
El Trébol rises to his feet, the camera staying low, so as to give the little man that sense of height in the scene.
“I know when I look into their eyes, I won’t see a hint of Sean Jackson in them anymore.”
El Trébol looks down the camera.
“And these children, they know what the hell is going on. They don’t accept success as heroism, only goodness, and for some reason, I have proven to be the possessor of this quality. I tried to dismiss it, suppress it for the sake of another two weeks ago, but I was mistaken. You don’t want anything I can give you, Sean, so I won’t bother. Come Wrestleshow #50, I will be fighting my heart out for the children.”
A suspenseful pause.
“To show them that it’s about high you stand, but effort you make to reach those heights. You’re already there, Sean. And me?”
A small grin forms behind the mask.
“I’m closer than you think. I’ll see you soon.”
El Trébol walks off-screen as the scene slowly fades out.