Well hun, I hope the kind words Mike wrote in your yearbook made you all warm and fuzzy inside because this is about to go a different way entirely. Grab onto something. This is gonna hurt.
I am absolutely fucking exhausted by you, Lindsay Troy, and it’s high time you heard the truth.
My back has been killing me lately, and just recently I realized what the problem is. I’ve been dragging you along with me to every wrestling company in the world for so long that you started to feel like a permanent, needy backpack — me trudging along like a pathetic, wounded asshole while you ride on my shoulders with a remote control trying to point me in the direction you want me to go.
It used to matter to me what you thought of me, but I’ve had a bit of an epiphany. You’re not any better than I am. You’re just too much of a fucking coward to admit it. You play the role of ‘mom’ because it sounds like a good idea to you. You like the idea of being respected, of being seen as the matron saint of wrestling because it means you can shuffle off someday and sit on a marble pedestal in a dusty building and look down, nodding your head and parade-waving to all the poor souls whose sad worlds wish to be part of yours. ‘Oh, you dear things. Mind your manners, dears. Mom is watching.’
You fucking hypocrite.
You dare to tell people that you acted as my moral compass? You didn’t help me maintain my moral compass. You tried to get me to be guided by yours. But your moral compass is a goddamn joke.
You dollar store, cheap perm-headed, female Dan Ryan impersonating cunt. You trollop, you intellectually deficient sham.
How does it feel knowing that the jig is finally up, Lindsay? Huh? How does it feel? How does it feel knowing, finally that you can’t just shuffle around in your last-season Prada shoes and expect everyone to just bow down to you like a fucking queen? How can you be a fucking queen anyway? Half of what you have, you owe to me. All of your opportunities over the half-decade or more are because I asked someone nicely to give it to you, or else I got fucking bored. That’s who you are right now. You’re a fucking anchor on me, and you’ve been dragging me down for a long fucking time now. How many times do I have to run to your rescue? How many times do I have to save your stupid ass from embarrassment?
Do you think the Group of Death even wanted your half-baked, repetitive, corny ass in the first place? They only asked you in because they thought I wouldn’t come without you, and within months, you’d already thrown everything about your so-called moral compass into the garbage can. How much cajoling did it take for you to hop in bed with Mike Best, huh? Do you think I’m stupid? ‘We mustn’t let Dan know. He wouldn’t understand. Tsk Tsk, tut-tut, listen to mom.’ You’re so fucking mentally weak, I saw it coming a mile away, and as usual, I hinted at what a bad idea it was. Oh, but the queen has it all under control. Why don’t you tell us when it all started, this feminist move to take control of your sexuality and anger-fuck Mike Best to get back at your effeminate ex-husband? Tyler fucking Rayne, the biggest pussy this side of the Prime Meridian, who I avoided, for you, because I snapped his fucking leg like a twig for mouthing off to me. You put up with bitches, I don’t. So is that when it started? Is that when you traded in respectability and class for a spot in an introspective Mike Best spot five years from now?
What did it take, three weeks? Four? How long did it take for Mike to get tired of you exactly? You want everyone to take you for some badass while simultaneously sipping your stupid little flavored tea and casually looking down your nose at everyone, meanwhile, the nail in the coffin of that delusion came with how quickly you morphed from the Queen of the Ring to another curly-haired bimbo, tossing Mike a sideways glance over her shoulder while he stuffed that 2020 strain of HPV into your hole. I almost thought to ask you if you were having a cookout since he just slapped his meat on your grill without so much as a side of potato salad.
Mike says you don’t have a landing strip so much as you have an abandoned airfield. But an experienced pilot can land anywhere, right?
Now you want to co-opt my daughter for your boring story. Everything interesting about you is because of me. If you can’t dig deep and find a reason to be here on your own, I’d rather you just go away.
I don’t want you near her anyway, you fucking scraggly bushed, bookworm with cheap face makeup-wearing, walking disappointment. She’s in a better place now, finally realizing what she’s capable of, and she doesn’t need a goddamned burnout old hag like you being a bad influence. Go buy some more of that cheap discount store makeup you use to cover the varicose veins starting to poke through your calves. I’m raising a motherfuckin’ winner. When I want her to learn how to make the worst fucking decisions imaginable, then use her genitals to ‘assert her independence’, then fucking die alone, I’ll send her to you.
Or, I know, maybe I’ll just stop saying your name altogether. That way, people will naturally stop thinking about you since you can’t generate any fucking interest on your own, and you’ll just fade away like the hungry little ghost you are.
I don’t know, maybe in a way, I should admire you. It must be so much easier being you than it is being me — never having to worry about expectations of greatness, just happy to be here, like Charlie in the chocolate factory. You aren’t weighed down by ambition. You just float along like a dead body in a river.
So since you flushed all of your credibility away over the past year and change, and since the Navy now classifies you as a friendly port, how about we dispense with the sanctimonious chit-chat that I’m sure is coming, okay? Let’s not waste time with your predictable ho-humming as you sit there and pretend that nothing I have to say can bother you. Let’s not come out again at Alcatraz in your best ‘I’m Just a Girl” Gwen Stefani pouty face before OHMYGODLINDSAYTROYISAHOUSEAFIRE happens and you jump on me and start wailing away. I’m sorry, but I’ve seen your movie about a hundred times, and unlike Star Wars, it’s not all that rewatchable, so I think I’m gonna have to pass this time.
Hell, all I’d have to do to beat you at Alcatraz really is set up a dozen or so bonfires, then scatter some mementos around the prison, because God knows you can’t walk past a fire without tossing some old sentimental item into the flames and then looking longingly into it with a single tear rolling down your cheek like a goddamn Apache chief stumbling upon a pile of litter alongside a highway.
You’re so fucking unimaginative and boring that it makes me sick to my goddamn stomach, you two-dimensional walking mattress stain.
You wanna pin this current state of your humdrum relationship with your sister on me?
I’ve tolerated you for a FUCKING DECADE. I’ve had to put up with you and your stupid made-up hypocritical morality for all of that time. You nagged me like a fucking wife, and I put up with it, and for what? So you can waltz around the wrestling world on my coattails and fucking embarrass me with your half-assed effort in the ring? I have to go around winning shit, then feel bad because you’re not doing as well? Why should I babysit you anymore? You put out this air like you’ve got it all figured out, but you’re a goddamn weak link in everything you do, and you damn well know it. You’re just fuckin’ MJ Flair with more experience and a better name, that’s all, and don’t act like you can deny it. You might as well start taking up playing the saxophone right now since I’m sure your foray into the deeply personal musical arts of the South is right around the corner.
Never in my life until this year have I seen a stable basically hint to a member that maybe they should take some time away because they can’t win a fucking match anymore. You have a name they respect, and they just couldn’t bring themselves to throw you out on your ass. Out of RESPECT. You made a group of killers pity you, so I guess that’s your superpower. But you were in a War Games match where Perfection pinned you, for fuck’s sake. Perfection, who was so thoroughly ashamed and embarrassed by his lack of skill that he sulked away like a half-dead dog with not so much as his pride even remaining. That man pinned you. Do you allow it to register just how fucking ridiculous that is?
Hell, if it turned out that Max Kael had a brain-eurysm and clicked over to become the Minister again as a direct response to you being around all the damn time, it wouldn’t surprise me one fucking bit. And as a result, it set him and Mike on a collision course to a fucking death match, Lindsay. Your strange ability to be so fucking boring ass may well have resulted in a man getting killed. Great fucking job.
So why are you even mentioned in the company of people like Max Kael, like Mike Best, or Cecilworth Farthington? Do you even realize that you were asked to be part of the group to get to me? Do you? Did you gloss over when I said that earlier? I bet it flew right in one ear and out the other, didn’t it, because it’s a sad fact that you just don’t want to believe. Well, fucking believe it. I’ve had to apologize for you over and over while you continue to do and say stupid shit, and I’m tired of being your advocate. You even said it to me once… ‘I probably wouldn’t still be here if it weren’t for you.’
So why don’t you fucking go already?
Lee Best was the only fucking person who really wanted you here, and that’s just because he has dreams of lying back on his bed and doing his best Rudy Giuliani while you do a little dance for him.
More than once, I’ve signed with a company and made the mistake of asking what you think, only for you to go… oh um… hmm… that’s interesting, maybe I’ll call the company office too and see if they’d be interested in me also. Won’t that be fun! Inner Circle! Family! Fucking Ohana! YAAAAY.
No, it’s not fucking fun, and this ain’t Ohana, bitch, because you’re about to get left behind.
It’s a fucking drag pretending to want to be a package deal with you and I’m fucking sick of it. No more. Do you understand me? No fucking more. Find your own drive. Find your own fire, or leave me the fuck alone.
Go be a fucking Egg Bandit. Play patty-cake with Bobby Dean and throw breakfast shit around. But leave me the fuck alone. Find your fire and then come back and see me, or fuck off.
I already know you don’t have the balls to do what it takes to get the ICON title from me, so since the only reason you took this match is that you can’t run away from shiny things, come on in and get your punishment. I owe you one hell of a fucking beating, and since I can’t beat the fight back into you, I’d rather cripple you and put you out of your misery instead, because no one wants to see what you’ve become anymore. I won’t have it. You have to answer for what you’ve done, Lindsay.
Everyone meets their reckoning eventually, and this is yours.
Phyllis stood there, at the end of Pier 39, the wind in her face blowing her graying hair behind her. She pulled her long jacket close around herself and braced herself against the cool air, but the thing that made her shudder the most was the voice that came from behind.
“You took care of it, then?”
She didn’t have to turn around to know who was there. She recognized the voice instantly and easily. She could sense him too, though with his size and heft he shouldn’t have been able to sneak up on her so easily. Years of practice I guess.
Her eyes thinned as the wind blew into them and she looked across the water at Alcatraz island sitting there, the West Side gardens just visible from her vantage point through the mist and fog.
“I made sure it was delivered. It’s there. Whether or not it stays there, I have no control over.”
He stepped up beside her, dark sunglasses covering his eyes and a long trench coat covering the rest of him from neck to ankle.
“If Lee Best’s cronies find it, so be it. I’ll take that chance. You’ve done well, Phyllis. I knew I could depend on you.”
She kept her eyes right where they were, didn’t move, didn’t turn her head, just listened.
He smirked, looking from her, then out across the water.
“No need to be nervous. You’ve been loyal all these years. I don’t know what I’d do without you. Your importance is only growing, not decreasing. There’s nothing to fear.”
She simply stood there, breathed in the salty air, and nodded just so.
“Besides,” he said softly, leaning so his lips practically brushed her ear. “Cecilia absolutely adores you.”
He turned, letting his eye linger on her just a moment, then walked with heavy footfalls up the wooden steps and back down the pier, and Phyllis watched as the tugboats went by, pushing their cargo ahead.