Christmas Shoes

Christmas Shoes

Posted on December 24, 2023 at 11:18 pm by Jatt Starr

Room Number 38.  Patient: Lambeaux, Gilda.  The Thane of Starrkarth always snorted with derision whenever he saw that name when he visited his daughter.  When she was registered to this particularly exclusive private care facility in Upstate New York, Jatt Starr had broached the subject of using Gilda’s “stage name” of “Starr” as opposed to her government name.  Linda, her mother, shot him down as if she were Snoopy and he were the Red Baron.  In his estimation, Linda put Gilda in danger, she endangered a child, his child, by joining a cult.  Her parental rights should have been revoked, whether Gilda was twenty-six or not.  

The Ruler of Jattlantis could remember how he felt the first few months after Gilda was admitted.  He was hopeful.  He was paying enough.  Over the course of the last couple of years he had been paying between twelve to twenty thousand a month.  For that kind of money, he expected results.  And the results have been nonexistent.  Over the past several months, when he thought about Gilda, he always came to the same conclusion.  A lesson he believed others had learned:  Hope fades.

Now, the Jattinum Standard visits just to keep up appearances.  

Christmas Eve was no different.

Jatt Starr walked into the room.  He was greeted with the familiar and soothing sounds of the ventilator.  The Starrabian Knight sighed deeply.  He was here for a purpose and that purpose was not to deliver a Christmas gift that his daughter will never open.  He accepted that.  He had one Christmas where he saw Gilda’s face light up when he gave her a present.  One moment of fatherly joy with his daughter.  No more.  It used to pain him to think about it.  Nowadays, he did not give a second thought,

The Baron of Boca Jatton placed the professionally present on the table next to the bed and placed his hand on his daughter’s forehead.  


JATT STARR: Merry Christmas, Gillie.  I had my PWA Dual World Championship belts custom replicated for you.  


The King of Jatten Island pulled up a char next to Gilda’s bed.  For a moment, Jatt Starr looked out the window.  Snow was starting to amass on the sill.  A White Christmas.  Go figure.  Jatt Starr placed his elbows on his legs and put his face in his hands.  The Jattlantic City Idol rehearsed this moment in the car.  He had envisioned this moment to be simple, like ripping off a bandaid.  In his mind, this was going to be a quick conversation.  Instead, a multitude of different thoughts scampered throughout his brain.  


JATT STARR:  So, your mother is a stupid bitch.  She went back to Gary, if you can believe that.  That piece of trash told your mother that he could not deal with you being in a coma and gave her an ultimatum.  I guess there was no statute of limitations on that.  She told me in a text.  Can you believe that?  Told me three days ago.  Merry bleeping Christmas, am I right?  Just when I had…..Do you have any idea what I did for that dumb whore?  I put her up in a nice apartment, helped her get a job, a decent paying job with flexible hours so she could visit you, and this is the thanks I get.  Do not get me wrong, she has her good qualities, but pulling this mularkey now?  Now?   What timing….


The Jatti Master shook his head in disgust at the thought.  He felt agitated, almost anxious.  He rose from the chair and paced the room.  He noticed an arrangement of flowers.  The card surprised him.  He was sure it was from Gary or Linda or even Hugo Scorpio.  No.  It was from Lee Best.  The Scourge of Starrpathia had to give it to Lee Best.  These flowers weren’t “Get Well Soon” flowers or “Thinking of You” flowers….No, these were manipulative “Hey Jatt, Look at how much I am pretending to care, now you better go win the fucking HOW World Championship” flowers.  It was still more than his supposed best friend, Dan Ryan, had done for him over the course of the last twelve months.  It was more than Hugo Scorpio had done.  Period.   If only Lee knew the truth.


JATT STARR:  ICONIC could be my last match.  For real.  HOW World Championship.  How about that?  What a way to go out.  For the HOW World Championship.  When I won my first HOW World Championship, must have been, what?  Eighteen years ago?  No one gave the old Sultan of SeaJattle much of a chance.  But I fought, I scraped, I clawed my way through the “Tournament of Champions”.  Say what you want, that win solidified my legacy.  To have one more shot, to add to my PWA Dual World Championship, that skyrockets my value.  Can you imagine walking out ICONIC the HOW World Championship beating one and half other people – Mike Best and Scott Stevens?  Can you imagine what Lee Best would pay?  How lucrative that contract would be?  It would be generational money for the endorsements alone.  I could be on Adidas commercials instead of  getting offered a couple of grand to shill for “Lebai Gretai”, some fisher price Lithuanian shoe brand that apparently supports child labor and is backed by a Turkish drug cartel.  It would definitely be more than Scott Stevens would ever get and yeah, even more than Mike….finally.


The Sovereign of Starrgentina turned towards the window.  Through the snow, he could see his rental vehicle, a black Lexus, running.  Ezster was probably staring at him through the window at this very moment while that incompetent pimple, Chip, was probably asleep or worse, playing some addictive candy themed game on his phone, rotting his brain.  Ezster….


JATT STARR:  You have yet to meet Ezster.  I reckon you never will.  She’s something else.  Completely devoted to the Rembrandt of Wrestling.  Once I walk out with the HOW World Championship around my waist, I will have those stitches removed.  She’s cute, in a goth girl gone professional kind of way.  Yeah, she is a little gaunt and gangly for a short dame, and yes, my skin literally crawls when she tries to plant a kiss on me, although can we really call what she is doing as “kissing” with those stitches?  Those stitches, UGH.  


The Grand Overlord of Jatturn shuddered as he thought of the last time he felt those lip stitches against his skin.  He almost felt nauseous at the thought.


JATT STARR:  But she has this little turned up nose….those eyes.  Those big eyes.  The way she looks at me.  I suspect she’s older than you.  Not much.  She’s probably pushing thirty, if she isn’t thirty already.  That’s probably why she was in the position I found her in.  Some ugly, vile, dank shack that smelled like urine, coffee, and mildew.  Thirty is over the hill for sex trafficked women.  I can do no wrong in her eyes.  It is almost like she worships the Starrson City Icon. That devotion needs to be rewarded.   And yet….


Jatt Starr turned back to his comatose daughter and sat down.  He let out an exacerbated exhale as he took a seat.


JATT STARR: …and yet, there is a part of me, a small part, that does not want to win the match.  Hell, there is a part of me that just wants to walk away right here, right now.  Do not even show up for the match.  Let Mike Best and Scott Stevens kill each other.  It is not like I have anything to prove.  It would be such a relief to not have to worry about falling off of War Games cages, getting impaled with a rusty hook, or the constant paranoia of waiting for my closest friend, heck, not even a friend, just some casual ally, to turn on me.  It can be exhausting.  I can see myself on a beach, nowhere near Miami because screw Sektor, a fruity smoothie in one hand, my PWA Dual World Championship in the other, nary a care in the world.  I would not have to endure Jace Parker Davidson droning on and on about who cares, no one really listens anyway.  No more Bobbinette Carey.  No more Darin Zion-Brian Hollywood matches, they have had like sixty-eight already and no one wants to know the stipulation for the sixty-ninth.  No more Xander Azula challenging people to matches.  No more seeking acceptance from Lee Best only to feel like a failure when I cannot deliver.  I could be happy without this poppycock, Gillie, I really could. I can almost visualize it.  I can endorse Slovenian bunk beds or caviar from Bulgaria to make occasional buck if it means my mental and physical health.  


The words came from his mouth without a thought. Jatt Starr himself was perplexed by what he was saying. Bulgaria? Slovenia?  “Are they even real countries?”, he wondered.  Whether they were or not, he had almost convinced himself that being a spokesperson in some country he’s never of before could be a viable economic option.  But still….


JATT STARR: And then I think about them.


The Duke of Jattmandu said that word: “them” with as much bile and contempt that he could muster as if he were talking about vegan food, New York City subway rats, or Yahoo Serious films.


JATT STARR: Mike Best and Scott Stevens.  One is a pretentious, douchey windbag and the other is a clodhopper.  Getting beaten by Scott Stevens would be the equivalent to losing to a marshmallow.  A one eyed marshmallow with breath that reeks of whiskey and rotten cheese.  That would be an embarrassment.  2017 Cleveland Browns embarrassing.  “Battlefield: Earth” embarrassing.  New York Jets level humiliation.  I could not show my face in public, ever.  I wonder how Mikey’s coping with that.  At least he has the Darin Zion excuse.  I would wager that Mike is extra motivated to knock Scott’s block off and reclaim what I believe he believes is rightfully his.  As do others.  Mike is the clear favorite.  Always the favorite.  Lee’s favorite.  The oddsmakers in Vegas. Dan Ryan. 


The Hero of Jattlanta stopped.  He thought about how he had betrayed his former PWA Co-World Champion.  He wanted to tell Gilda about it.  He wanted to tell her the truth.  It was as much a business decision as it was personal.  Sure, there was Dan’s relationship with Mike, but more importantly, by taking Dan Ryan out, he increased his odds at winning the HOW World Championship. One less person to contend with.  He could tell her all about it but it wouldn’t have mattered, it wasn’t like she would respond anyway.  He would get a bigger response from a bag of soggy potatoes.  Ultimately, he decided against it. Instead, it was time to get to the true point of his visit.


JATT STARR: I need to win this. By any means necessary.  I do not give a rat’s rectum if those two nimrods kill each other, well, I do, actually.  If those two festering pustules are dead, I would win by default.  We both know that scenario is not in the realm of possibility.  However, my point stands.  As I was thinking about this match and my career, more specifically, the last couple of years, I had an epiphany.  I discovered the secret to winning this match.


The Sultan of SeaJattle placed his hand atop Gilda’s.  No reaction, no surprise there.  He knew what he needed to say next.  Jatt Starr could feel his throat in on him.


JATT STARR:  The secret is you, Gillie.  We are done.  You are this-this-this dark cloud following me around.  A-a-a hex!  This whole coma thing, it is a real downer.  You bring me down, Gillie.  If I want to be victorious at ICONIC, I cannot have you hanging around my neck like an albatross.  Ever since that night, you have been the cement shoes that have been anchoring me in the deepest depths of the ocean.  You are a cancer on my career and I have made the decision to cut you out of it. As far as i am concerned, we are finished.  I have paid for two more months for you to stay here but after that, you are your mother and Gary’s problem.  If they want to keep you here, let them flit the bill or pull the plug or whatever.  The HOW World Championship, not losing to Scott Stevens, and, most important of all, beating Mike Best, are the most important things in my life right now.  And my success hinges on what I do about you.  I do…love….you, Gillie….just not in any way that you need.  It was not like we had a lot of time together anyway.  Good-bye.


The Champion of Jattanooga felt a tear beginning to form in his right eye as he leaned in and kissed his daughter’s forehead.  It startled him that he was becoming emotional.  He had not shed a single for Gilda in months and here was one about to trickle down his cheek.  Jatt Starr stood up and adjusted his houndstooth before taking a deep breath.  Jatt Starr opened the present to his daughter and retrieved the replicas of the PWA Tag Team Championships and gently placed them across her midsection and grinned slightly.  He took another moment to gaze at his daughter one last time before exiting the room.  With each step he took away from Room 38, he felt more and more relieved……


He will return five months later at which point he will be informed that she is gone.  Discharged.  The whereabouts, they would not release since Linda Lambeaux would be her custodian at that point. All that will be left is a note, the words “Goodbye Daddy” shoddily scrawled on a piece of stationery.  He will look at the piece of paper often and ask himself one question:


“Was it worth it?”