I tried, Clay. I really, really tried to walk the straight and narrow.
When Gilda was gunned down over a year ago in the parking of that gas station over a year ago, sending her into that coma, that coma in which she is still suffering, there was a part of me that felt responsible. The thoughts that ran through my mind during the weeks after….
What if she never sought me out?
What if I had just turned her away?
What if I had not reached out to Lee Best to get her a job?
Was I being punished for the sins of my past?
I have done some rather abhorrent things in my life. Clay, you were not around for the worst of it. The Ruler of Jattlantis stripped Sektor’s fiancee down to her skivvies and cracked her on the skull with a steel chair. The Thane of Starrkarth abused Darkwing on countess occasions. The Baron of Boca Jatton destroyed Trent’s most treasured item, his guitar, and burned down his locker room. The Mayor of ManJattan enabled and condoned the multitude of atrocities committed by Lee Best — training a cow to sexually assault his enemies, stabbing people, including my ex-wife, in the flipping eye, and other crimes that would keep you awake at nights.
Gilda getting shot…..
I tried to make things right.
I tried to save my soul.
I tried to save her.
And do you want to know what I got for it?
Do you know what doing the right thing does for you?
Bills. Debt. Fines. A hemorrhaging bank account. I had to sell my William Shatner signed official “Star Trek” phaser. Heidi Vaccarelli, my girlfriend. Is it weird to call her my girlfriend at my age? My lady friend, she has been offered a job as a series regular on a New Zealand television show about.
She thinks we can make our relationship work, but we both know better, don’t we Clay? You and I know that it is only a matter of time before it fractures under the strain of a long distance relationship. She will meet some New Zealand actor or rugby player or whatever, at first she will try to remain faithful, but, over time, the texts and phone calls will become less frequent, and one night, she will be out with her co-stars, drinking wine and goat cheese and lamb-kebobs or whatever they eat over there, and she will succumb to some Maori Adonis while I am sitting alone in a hotel room….albeit a five star hotel room….eating beluga and a Fresca….watching a showing of “The Shawkshank Redemption” on AMC.
I would say that the “We Need To Talk” phone call would be about a week or two later.
Oh! I forgot to mention the best part!
Thaddius Byrd the Third! The degenerate junkie fuck that shot my little girl?
A plea deal. Assault with a Deadly Weapon. My daughter lays in a coma and he gets eighteen months. There was an issue with the “chain of evidence”. His family is well respected in the community, they said. Well respected my Jattacular ass!
And it wasn’t just any kind of plea agreement, it was the kind where that piece of shit didn’t even have to say what he had done. They called an Alfred Plea or something.
I try to do the right thing and I am in debt.
This junkie asshole on the other hand?
He gets eighteen months.
Do you honestly believe for one second that this “well respected” family wants to pay one red cent for my daughter’s care? They have already called their team of lawyers and circled the wagons. Lee assured me that he will find me the sharkiest, piranhaiest, most vicious litigator he can find in my price range.
But there is no guarantee, right?
The fishing mogul Byrd family of Daventry employs half the island. That little shit did not even admit what he had done.
I remember going into her room at the care facility in Oneonta after I got the news, looking at her, sleeping, wondering if she will ever wake up. I remember how my voice cracked when I told her that the scumbag that put her in that coma pled out and got a slap on the wrists.
Did you know comatose patients can evoke physiological responses to auditory stimuli? That is what the doctor said. I don’t know what all that means other than there is a chance Gilda hears what I have to say.
Sometimes, when I visit and I talk to her, even though she had her eyes closed, I could almost sense her looking at me. Judging me? Blaming me? Suggesting that there should have been something that I could have done.
It’s why I don’t visit her as much as I should. I could tell you that she, uh….
Maybe another time.
There are times I wonder what would have happened if we had just pulled the plug ten months ago. Would justice have been served then? Or would he have gotten another slap on the wrist? I don’t like to think about it.
Don’t you find that sometimes the things you don’t want to think about creep inside your brain, like a roach slipping through a crack in the foundation of a home? Or maybe more like a rat in the walls, clawing?
Doing the right thing leads to nothing but heartache and struggle, Clay. Fact.
But, hypothetically speaking, is a father take advantage of a certain corrupt correctional employee to look the other way whilst a couple of other prisoners, whose family might received checks for an undisclosed amount, beat another prisoner within an inch of life several times a week for, say, eighteen months the wrong thing to do? Would you blame him?
It’s not like Gilda is waking up any time soon, right?
It is something to consider.
Do you know what this situation taught me?
That miracles do not exist. It is just a lie we tell ourselves so we can have that sliver of hope. You buy a lottery ticket, if you win, it is because of luck, not some miracle.
Maybe that’s why the Rembrandt of Wrestling went a little too medieval on Steve Harrison at “Chaos”. He’s the “Miracle Man”, right? Where was his miracle, Clay? The Sultan of SeaJattle tore his knee apart. The Jattlantic City Idol broke him.
I guess you can add another nickname to the list:
“The Miracle Breaker”.
Wasn’t he a member of your little Highwaymen?
Are you worried, Clay?
Did you watch that match and think “Aw, well shit maw, I’m-a gonna soil mah britches cuz that thar Jatt Starr is deadlier’n’a rattlesnake on methanphetamines! Speakin’a which, maw, make sure you dun get me some more’o that newfangled nighttime coughin’ med’cine! Yee Haw!”
All joking aside, Clay….I admired you….
I respected you. Remember your first “War Games”? Back when you were embroiled in a legit war with Teddy Palmer? I tried so hard to befriend you, to help you, guide you in my own unconventional way. Instead, you shat on my head. You treated me like a nobody.
ME! The Ruler of Jattlantis! The Sovereign of Starrgentina! The Duke of Jattmandu! A HALL OF FAMER!
You treated me like someone who wasn’t worth tossing out your damp, moist tissue after you blew your nose into it.
And yet, I heard the stories and still sang your praises, Clay!
Clay Byrd! The man who ripped off Bigfoot’s arm and beat him to death with it!
Clay Byrd! The man who saved six virgins from a blood cult worshiping a demon named “Vampirilith”!
Clay Byrd! Vanquisher of the Nazi Hookers of Brazil! Hero of the Extraterrestrial Octopi Invasion from the Planet Ysatnaf! Recoverer of the rare porcelain doll of a crossdressing J. Edgar Hoover from the Illuminati! Tamer of the Great White Sharks! Mascot of the Philadelphia Flyers!
All of those accolades! The stories of legend! When you hear those tales, it is easy to get wrapped up in it and think you are an immortal force of nature. Someone who would make me quake in my proverbial boots.
But then I thought about it and do you know what the Starrson City Icon realized?
It all happened outside of the HOW.
You have been with the HOW for, what is it now? Almost two years? And what have you accomplished during that time?
A nice little run as HOTv Champion, a cup of coffee with the tag team titles with the Highwaymen.
I think that sums up your HOW career so far.
Two years into my HOW career the Grand Overlord of Jatturn was an Internet Champion, Transatlantic Champion, ICON Champion, Winner of the Tournament of Champions, and my first HOW Championship reign. A Hall of Fame resume!
To put it in perspective for you, by comparison, I am the Patriots and you are the Shits. I mean the Browns. Easy mistake.
Do not get the Sheriff of Jattngham wrong! You and Teddy Palmer tripped and fell off a boat and all of a sudden people took notice of you. Wow! I mean, seriously, WOW! No one falls off a boat like the Behemoth, am I right?
I swear, when you hit the water, that was the loudest “sploosh” anyone has ever heard since Bobbinette Carey watched that video of Jason Momoa with his shirt off.
And after that match you….
….haven’t really done anything of importance, have you?
Well, not until you joined forces with Joe Bergman, a man nuclear power plants hire to dump toxic waste in children’s playgrounds and has gone on record by saying “The Faces of Death” is the movie that makes him the horniest. You really sold your soul to the devil there, didn’t you?
Do you even know what kind of evil lurks behind Joe Bergman’s eyes? Did you know that he secretly kept the last living dodo in captivity just so he could torture it? Did you know that he fully supports testing cosmetics on bunny rabbits? Did you know that he hunts whales off the Alaskan coast the third Wednesday of every month? Joe Bergman hates animals. Rumor is, he shot a horse just to watch it die and that he believes Old Yeller got what he deserved.
He hates people too. He is the rat bastard that got that OnlyFarmers.com show produced on FOX. Diabolical.
Does it not bother you that he has yet to deny these claims?
Maybe you just don’t want to see him for the monster he is.
Steve Solex saw it. That’s why he nearly decapitated ol’Joe at ICONIC. That, and I am also reasonably certain that he came to realize that “The Highwaymen” were nothing more than “Tombstone” LARPers. And we all know how Steve Solex feels about LARPing.
Clay, Clay, Clay…..
You and I both know that I cannot make any outlandish claims about crippling you. You are far less fragile than Steve Harrison.
The truth is…..
El Jattador de Starrcelona cannot overpower you.
The Ruler of Jattlantis cannot outfight you.
The Jattlantic City Idol might not even be able to outwrestle you.
But there is a thing or two the Thane of Starrkarth can do….
Keep in mind, I am not some fourth rate PRIME wrestler wannabe like Blandon Youngblood.
I am Jatt Freaking Starr.
I can exploit every mistake you make. I can take advantage of any split second that the referee’s back is turned, especially if we draw that dunderhead, Matt Boettcher. And I can most certainly do everything in my power to prevent you from moving on in the tournament.
Think of it this way, the Rembrandt of Wrestling is doing you a favor, Clay, old bean. Do you really want to suffer the humiliation of getting your ass handed to you by Christopher America again?
Consider it my last truly selfless act.
You are welcome.