Here, let me paint the picture, portratize the scene. Small curly haired little asshole, living the Ben Savage life just outside of Philadelphia. The city that’ll push over it’s own mother to catch the subway and wonder why it took her so long to catch up. Cept I didn’t just live there. I lived on the road. I followed my dad everywhere, idolized him. Any moment spent away from him was a moment I spent asking, “Where’s daddy?”And yeah, it was about my dad, and I loved him. Till the day he died… but really? I just wanted to be around the business.
I mean, I saw him wrestle. I saw him live. In that ring, he felt like I do. He felt truly alive. Like a whole different person. I used to feel it all the time, maybe not as much these days… but I remember that look on his face, the look I’ve seen it on mine when I watch some ol’ tape from the mid 2000s back. That sense of pure, unadulterated joy. Blissful, tranquility.
I want that back.
I want that feeling, I want to feel alive in that ring again, instead of what I’ve felt as of late. Listless, uninspired, a definitive lack of personal exuberance. My motivation has died.
And yet, I saw my own dad die, I saw him give up his own life, for this business, and you know what that did to me? It motivated me, more than I can even imagine. I always wanted to make my dad proud, I wanted to be bigger, better… Maybe I don’t want to be a star anymore, cause I want my son to shine brighter.
Oh, I was painting a picture of me as a kid, and start talkin’ bout me and mines. So, back to painting the picture, little seven year old me starts acting out after daddy got his neck broke. Only as a privileged middle class white student could: Talking back, getting depressed, listening to punk music, escaping. Particularly into the world of Professional Wrestling. The only world I ever loved. The world that took my dad from me. But that’s the thing.
He was never mine.
He was the business’ first. Ours second.
I know, because that’s how I feel. That’s how MY kids feel.
Maybe I’m just questioning all my life decisions after a life of living. Perhaps it’s just a mid-life crisis.
And here, I thought I had my mid-life crisis already when I was 23. I didn’t think I’d live much past 40. Good job me.
It’s Saturday Night.
You’re in the building. But you’re not being used.
But you’re being paid to be there. So instead of hanging around catering eating the fourteenth turkey club on mayo and turning into a fatty, you’re getting a work out in.
So you’re in the boiler room of the arena, punching walls and kicking pipes just to pump up the adrenaline. You hear the rush of the crowd muted above. It’s not the same. Like a copy of a copy of a copy
I remember hearing that noise backstage, sent goosebumps flarin’ up my arm, every night.
I forgot when that stopped.
It was recently. Back when I lost my spark, lost the smile. Kick harder damnit. Maybe Lee wants you for War Games.
Maybe Mike Be-
Or Troy and the 21-
Kick harder though. Kick so hard you break their faces. All their faces. They deserve that.
They may never want me. But I can make them need me. Next year.
Just keep kicking.
Now’s the time to focus, to look to the future. Play the long ball. Let the complacency sit in.
Catch them all when they’re sleeping.
All you need’s one good KICK, then you’re back in the game.
My name is Jack Harmen. I go by High Flyer. I’ve wrestled for almost 30 years now. I’ve seen, fucking everything.
Never seen an Arthur Pleasant. Tell you that much.
I mean, he talks the same like every HOW wrestler I’ve heard since the beginning of time. Derogatory this. Negative that. You suck. I’m better. This isn’t burying but here’s my shovel!
But in that ring? I’ve seen monsters. I’ve seen men. Arthur Pleasant’s neither. He, is on another level when it comes to staying alive, perseverance, unwillingness to go down. That’s coming from someone who’s made a career out of just that.
I’m not sure I have the heart in me to take the heart out of Arthur. Not how I am now…
I mean, a younger me would love the challenge. An older me would’a reveled in the enjoyment of shared mutual destruction.
This me’s gonna cheat and fucking run.