Club Bounce in downtown Queens, New York put the word “BOD” in Bodacious where, as all the fancy brochures claimed, size and style met. One such specimen of the surplus variety was currently working that pole in the center of the plush-pink room, grinding and swinging like she was trying to bring the room down. And there sitting front row, to add to the already odd picture, was El Trébol.
Well, sitting was probably not the best word; slumped in the chair with his head resting in the crack where top met bottom fast sleep was a better, and wordier, way to describe the positioning of the little man. It looked as if the show had rendered El Trébol in a comatose state until a loud snore is heard over the gyrating music and the clapping of flesh from the stage, suggesting that the luchador had simply fallen asleep.
Suddenly, El Trébol startles awake, looking left and right frantically. “How,” He yells over the din, “How did I get here?”
“Let me let you in on a little secret, kid,” a voice says to El Trébol’s right. El Trébol looks over and even behind the mask you see his jaw drop.
Donald Trump, toupee and all, leans over with elbow resting on the arm of his chair and whispers to him while never taking his eyes off the show before him, “No one ever cares about how.”
Spoken by a true politician, with laced with venom deeper than meets the eye, all while said with a smile. El Trébol nods. “So what, build a wall?”
Donald grins. “You got it,” he replies as he reaches into the inside of his jacket and pulls out a wad of cash. “And tip your girls well.”
He hands the wad to El Trébol who, after a moment, throws it in the air. And that is how the scene fades with El Trébol and Donald Trump sit in the green rain while the girl brings home the bacon and the rest of the pig too. Green fades to black.
Central Park was a massive expanse in the middle of New York City where the city dwellers came for a taste of the natural world. And while El Trébol didn’t consider himself as deprived as the people he saw walking the paths and resting on the benches, he too found himself in this iconic location for the experience. Nestled deep within the park the little man sat, feet dangling, on a black park bench beneath the naked limbs of an oak. A light dusting of snow covered the ground—it had been a mild month here in the NYC—but a few green strands of grass poked through the soak in the dim sun above. And El Trébol watched them in their attempt to live, contemplating his own life.
“I debuted in this business when I was nineteen in a little lucha federation that hosted their show in a vacant lot in downtown Mexico City.”
He doesn’t look at the camera, doesn’t act as if he knows it’s there. Only the grass and the things trying to hold it back, hold it down.
“It was June, so it was like ninety degrees that day, no clouds or anything. The sun was glaring, cooking us all where we sat and stood, but that didn’t keep those people from coming. They came to see us, the luchadors.”
A small pause.
“And I can guarantee you this: none of them came to watch us because we were cool to look at. They came to see us wrestle, no matter how small we may have been. They didn’t cut me all slack that day, nor any other day in the year I spent down there.”
El Trébol holds his hands out, gesturing to the park around him, but he still doesn’t look at the camera.
“From that vacant lot I find myself in the most iconic park in the biggest city of the United States of America, mere days away from my second title bout in as many matches. And you want to know what I see?”
El Trébol finally looks at the camera.
“A place not so different from my little lot down in Mexico. Because the thing is, this park was vacant at some point too; this grass you see, it ain’t rooted in gold or cement. Dirt and grime, filth and failure . . . they are the keys to success for the grass and for you and I too.”
El Trébol shrugs. “But maybe I’m wrong and Scott Steven’s shit doesn’t stink. Maybe he was always this good, the Wildfire Champion we always needed but never had.” He leans back, shaking his head. “I mean, he only competed and lost in a four way match to earn the title shot for the Wildfire Championship. In other words, he proved himself to be the second best loser, earning himself the proverbial participation trophy in what many considered a farce of a match.”
Trébol grins. “But hey, people didn’t think I deserved a shot at your title, Scott, after losing to Kendrix two weeks ago. Irony, it’s funny sometimes.”
El Trébol sighs, his frustration evident in his body language. “But it’s okay right, El Trébol can handle it. He’s dealt with the underestimation and the dismissal all of his life, he can take it. He chose to compete in this business with the ‘real’ men, so the least he can do is take all the crap people throws at him. He wants to call himself a hero, right, because he wears that mask? Well then let’s throw the world at him and forget anything about feelings or emotions.”
El Trébol twirls his finger in the air. “Good for me, right?”
Another sigh and, despite the mask, it looks as if El Trébol tries to close his eyes in an attempt to block out the negative thoughts consuming him. “Don’t get me wrong, I have accepted my role as a hero to these people, even if I don’t see myself as one. It’s just hard, you know, to maintain this face of goodness and respect for my opponents when, if I’m to be honest, they don’t deserve it.” He points to the camera. “That’s you, Scott, in case you were checking your phone for score updates or something."
A pause, giving Scott a chance to put away his phone and pay attention.
“I mean hell, I made my arrival to this company in a box of alcohol. I partied with T-Pain and asked Amy Harrison to play strip poker with me. I was supposed to be the guy you could just laugh at and then proceed to have a damn good match with my opponent. That was it. I didn’t think I was going to be the hero of kids, the man to stand against those who oppressed and tormented the UTA. That should’ve been a job for someone like you, Scott, you and your cliché failure-turned-success story.”
El Trébol shakes his head. “Thing is all you do to people is leave them wishing they can just run away and take a vacation.” He points to himself. “So I remain the light in the darkness, the hint of spring sticking out in the throes of winter. I walk into Albany, New York not as the man I thought I would be here, but the man I’ve since become.”
A long, suspenseful pause. “A man who I believe is better than you, Scott Stevens.”
El Trébol points to the screen forcefully. “And that is something I have never said in my short time here, even when I competed against Skylar Montgomery who has never won here at all. Yet I gave him that shadow of a doubt that I wish people would give me. But not you, Scott. Not you.”
El Trébol scratches his chin and the figurative stubble on it.
“I won’t give it to you because you wouldn’t want it from me, anyway. You only want what Scott Stevens can give you and damn all, friend or foe who stand in your way to take it. At least Kendrix and Sean Jackson are honest in their vileness; you disguise it as drawing first blood and acting like a true champion. I’d call bullshit but, again, children look up to me and all. So instead I leave it with this.”
El Trébol drops onto the ground as the camera zooms in on him.
“On January 18, 2016 I walk into my first ever Victory looking for that very thing. And you, Scott Stevens, are the man standing in my way. I wish I could’ve walked into this match with my record intact and my resolve untainted by failure. But hey, it takes a little dirt for the grass to take root. And my fields, they’ve already been sown. But you, Scott, look like you need a little bit of my help.”
One final pause.
“So come Monday night, I’m going to help you plant a F[Redacted]g garden. See you soon, Scott.”
And with that final, strong statement, the scene fades out.