A day later, and that annoying little voice in the back of my head was right back on my case again. Something about how getting sloppy drunk and bleeding all over the place didn’t do anything but make me look like a fool.
I don’t know how normal people deal with that voice in their head telling them that they’re doing the wrong thing. Honestly, most of the time I just feel like normal people just automatically know what to do, like there’s a sixth sense that every single person in the world except me has. Things seem so right when I’m doing them, then afterwards, they don’t seem so great.
Over the years I’ve tried everything to get that voice to shut the fuck up and leave me alone, but nothing worked. And in desperation I threw away the best thing I ever had, and all that got me was a face to match the voice.
My lips aren’t bleeding anymore, but they’re covered in enough liquid skin that there’s a translucent shiny lump screwing my mouth up and making me slur my words almost as badly as the booze did.
“I just want you to know, that no matter what our differences are, no matter how different our lifestyles and worldviews are, that in this instance, your pain, I sympathize with it. I feel it. I share it. I’ve been there, I know how bad it hurts.”
Right now I’m struggling not to laugh.
And it’s not because I don’t sympathize, but because I do.
“They ruin everything.”
“Whether it be by throwing towels into matches causing us to lose, or literally biting chunks of flesh out of our bosses face, they find a way.”
“I mean, look at me.”
I gesture at my mangled face, as if everyone hasn’t seen enough of it already.
You see, that little voice can’t be silenced. It can’t be reasoned with. It can’t even be out debated. But it can be put in its place.
The trick to putting it in its place is by deliberately doing exactly what it doesn’t want you to do.
(The trick to not letting that strategy mess everything up for you is to make sure you don’t cut off your legs to spite the voice and doing something like going out to wrestle drunk off your ass, but I’m getting better at that part of it, I swear.)
“I’m torn to shit, I’m hurting, I’ve been drunk for three days straight and now my tongue feels like sandpaper and tastes like barf and fertilizer. And it’s all thanks to a bitch - and I don’t mean Marie Van Claudio she merely exacerbated the symptoms.”
I love acting like a dumbfuck drunk redneck and then slipping ten dollar words into my ranting. And ‘exacerbated’ is a particularly good one - gives you a Sir Point for every usage, so I understand.
“But they never get what we do, I mean, they watch what they do, and they completely miss the point, it goes over their heads, so they just go on telling us what they think is right, and being so wounded when we don’t do it, and the guilt trips, and the heartstrings, and the hypocrisy… Mikey, I’m sorry, I really am.”
For the record, I’ve completely lost track of whether I’m being sincere or sarcastic. It’s just that sometimes those blue eyes show up in my mind, and the harder I try to beat them shut the worse I feel about all of it.
But Jeff Andrews is nothing if not committed.
“There’s a solution, though.”
“BE MORE LIKE ME.”
Time to quit crying about bitches, there’ll be plenty of time to do that in the upcoming decades.
I step back and throw my arms out to the sides, grin as wide as the liquid skin will allow, then slap myself on either side of the head.
“Mike, you wanna know why I waltz into UTA, stick my nose straight into the World Champ’s business, and don’t just get away with it, but thrive on it? Because I don’t care. I just do.”
“If something happens, doesn’t matter what kind of thing it is, what matters most about your reaction, it isn’t tact or intelligence, and to be honest it’s not even necessarily violence. It’s volume.”
“Volume and audacity and the ability to grandstand for hours at a time.”
“Winning helps, but lemme just ask you something. Who’s more interesting, Amy Harrison or Lew Smith?”
“I rest my case.”
I fold my arms.
“I go out and I do stuff, knowing all the while that it isn’t what the bitches want me to do, and if I didn’t have wrestlers to beat up I’d go to South Carolina, visit my family and kick the shit out of a bunch of anthills. And I do it to the point that I’m not actually doing anything at all - I’m simply being it.”
“You, on the other hand… well, look at you.”
“You got your pretty hair and wife and your pretty movie career and your pretty designer clothes and your pretty bestie Kendy and before that you had your entire Dynasty and I know Dynasty was a bunch of different kinds of goods for like ever in UTA history and it did a bunch of stuff, but while you were in Dynasty, what were you being?”
I drop my arms to my side and shake my head.
“Another dime a dozen prettyboy with an ego, another interchangeable airbrushed in post production cog in the same ‘bunch of douchbags gravitate towards each other with no intent beyond douching in concert’ machine.”
“You’re a gatekeeper because you haven’t actually tried to be anything else.”
“And I’m being something else every waking minute of every waking day.”
Preparing to wrap up, I fold my fingers, bend them in towards my chest, then push them out, and shake out my shoulders.
“I’m not completely looking past you Mike, being the gatekeeper means you’ve got at least something to show. But know what it means in the end?”
“You’re a gatekeeper and I’m Jeff Andrews.”
Liquid skin and everything, I give him my best threatening smile.
“Jeffer gonna Jeff.”
“Gatekeeper gonna lose.”
"[on the subject of Robot Pete's e-fedding hobby] ANOTHER great example of a distraction! I mean, seriously, you wrestle for a living, why do you feel like you also need to write immature power fantasies with a bunch of barely-literate e-slackers?"
- Uncle Rocky