CUTTO: I’m at a computer, typing expertly with one finger on each hand. I’m angry, but I’m focused, and I’m making coherent sense. It’s definitely not 2 am and I’ve absolutely positively NOT found myself on 4chan. Arguing with teenagers.
High Flyer: I do not agree with your suicide anime cult. Sincerely. Flyer four twenty at Hotmail.com.
My phone rings. I pick it up.
High Flyer: Oh! Hi! Tom from MySpace. I thought you were dead! Everyone does? You get that a lot? Awh. Sorry. Yeah. I get it. But I don’t want to continue talking to you like the rest of the world. Unfriend.
I hang up the phone.
High Flyer: I hope he doesn’t go join that suicide anime cult.
I look at the computer.
High Flyer: The internet is weird.
The overhead light turns on bright, and I try to shield my eyes and hiss.
High Flyer: Bright light! Bright light!
I turn around and see Mary-Lynn Mayweather, standing at the entrance way to my basement. See, this is the sub basement of the basement of the Odessa Dungeon, the training school I gifted to Mary-Lynn before I tried to commit suicide and now say I did it for tax purposes. I didn’t think she knew there was a basement under the basement.
Mary-Lynn Mayweather: What are you doing down here?
She looks pissed. But she’s too nice to be pissed. She’s more disappointed. That makes it worse. I lift up a picture of Steve Harrison. I know his name, but I won’t ever say it out loud.
High Flyer: Listen, I was watching Stranger Things talk about how old I was, so I decided to come here and find my basement time capsule. See?
I point to the wall, where a large Eric Lindros poster hangs. Donovan McNabb gives me a thumbs up. A time machine. There’s also a LARGE banner that just says the words “Buy The Snow” with snowflakes falling all around it. Some fans made it for me in 2000. I love those fans. Whoever they are. Wherever they are.
I hope those fans haven’t died, but they could have. Probably have, at least one of ‘em. Shame.
Wait? I’m disconnected from the internet again?
High Flyer: Damnit!
I bet Tony picked up the God Damn landline again. I pick up my rotary phone.
High Flyer: Tony, I’m on the internet!
I hang up my rotary phone. Then, I click two buttons and hit on a modem like I’m the Fonz. Eyyyyy. Then. It starts making that really loud screeching sound. Nobody likes the screeching sound. I try to talk over it.
High Flyer: See?
She can’t hear me. The modem is too loud and the walls echo too much. We both wait for the modem to stop. It finally does.
High Flyer: See–
It picks back up again. We both awkwardly stand there. After forty five seconds.
“Welcome. You have mail!”
Ah, quiet. I turn to Mary.
High Flyer: – My desktop is Cindy Margolis.
Mary-Lynn crosses her arms in front of her red skirt suit. She is having none of me.
Mary-Lynn Mayweather: I don’t even know who that is.
MULTIPLE BURSTS OF STATIC, interlaced with the HOW97 logo. CUTTO: A medium shot on me, High Flyer, standing there, wringing my hands. I wear my white singlet with red trim, covered by a large oversized white puffy snow jacket. On the edge of the sleeves and at the base of the trim are little speculates of blood drops, embroidered into the design subtly. The collar simply has a metallic button clasp, with “H” on one button’s side, and “F” on the other. I look cool, but in a disconnected and uncaring sort of way. My profile is to the camera as I raise my head to the lights, letting them bounce off my face.
High Flyer: This isn’t a retirement tour Steve. It’s not a redemption story.
My wide cartoonish cheshire grin gleams the spotlights, bouncing off my pearly whites.
High Flyer: This is a Dead pool.
Somewhere, Ryan Reynolds gives me a thumbs up. He doesn’t know it, but he cut in front of me at the commissary one time.
High Flyer: There ain’t enough good in this world I could do to make up for the bad I’ve done. Redemption’s off the table. I know that. I just strive to be the best version of myself moving forward I can be. I learned that over my twenty five years in that ring, and I learned it the hard way. I know you’ll be as wise and pragmatic as I am now, once you’ve been in the business for as long as I. Because I was just as brash and simple minded as you are now. You think telling old man jokes is gonna get you into the main event? Get you across the ring from someone like Mike Best, or Cecilworth, or even gorram Bobby Dean, whom you seem to have some sort of unhealthy fascination with…
I wonder how Bobby Dean lost the weight, and imagine there’s a workout video being sold on HOAX right now.
Oh right. Talking.
High Flyer: It’s understandable. Beautiful Bobby is a stunning man who’s history betrays his present. The last time I wrestled Bobby in a ring, he pulled a melting ice cream bar out of his trunks and it acted like a Conor Fuse power up.
I stare out, a bit too long. I get lost in Bobby Dean. Don’t we all?
High Flyer: Harry and the Harrisons, you say you respect, then you say you don’t give a shit. You say you can decrypt body parts…
What? I blink. I blink again.
High Flyer: … What?!?
… what the hell does that even mean? I look perplexed. Weren’t you?
High Flyer: What even ARE you.
I pause. I try to figure out what he is. It’s impossible.
High Flyer: I mean, you have a Jamaican stoner who’s your Goose. You go around trying to sell a white powder that helps create something called ‘Miracle Milk.’ You have a beautiful woman by your side who’s probably sick of your shit…
I double take. I look at my time machine. Could it be?
High Flyer: It’s like you’re a younger version of me… living in the future. Which is the present… wink three times if you’re me.
Your picture doesn’t wink. Good. I can destroy you now.
High Flyer: You’re the new generation of talent? YOU!? Mr. Generic boring name Steve Harrison, biting my shtick from 20 years ago?! Don’t get me wrong, I kind of enjoy the trip down memory lane. I enjoy your overall aesthetic. Miracle Man.
I lay out the marquee as if it’s floating in front of me. Maybe we have CGI monkeys who can put it right in front as I say it. That’d be cool.
High Flyer: I love the fact that you’re incorporating small business with professional wrestling. It seems like a lost art left to garbage men and C-List celebrities like Mikey Unlikely. But you haven’t learned ANYTHING from our generation, have you? You’re going to fall and stumble upon the same traps and pitfalls we did twenty years ago. I bet you don’t even have a tax guy. Alright, so, here’s the thing. You thought I’d talk about how I’m a wrestling legend and you could learn a thing or two from me. And that’s entirely true. You could. But today, I’m going to teach you a few things about…
I smile. My teeth are sparkly white. Thank you Crest. Give me my money now.
High Flyer: Business.
This’ll be good. Just you wait.
High Flyer: FIRST TIP, try not to use words like SHILL, or HAWK, or TRICKED,
High Flyer: It makes you seem less trustworthy. SECOND TIP. Use the word “miracle” less. It will make the impact of the word mean more. THIRD. TIP.
I begin to unzip my drawers. The camera cuts to static. It returns, and I am still clothed. I did not flash anyone.
High Flyer: No third tip. Sorry.
I rub the back of my neck. This… is awkward.
High Flyer: Lee won’t pay the fine. And I had a big ending planned too, but now it’s been ruined. So, here’s a picture of a really bad joke.
MULTIPLE BURSTS OF STATIC. Interlaced with my WIDE EYED EXPRESSION. CUTTO: An EXTREME Close up of my wide bloodshot eyes.
High Flyer: It’s a miracle the Man of Miracles is still alive.
I laugh. You don’t?
High Flyer: When I get done with that joke of a human being, the Hyde in me will tear the jekyll from him.
MULTIPLE BURSTS OF STATIC. Interlaced with the HOW 97 logo in a “Technical Difficulties. Please Stand By” Graphic.. CUTTO: I’m sitting on a chair, prim and proper, hands over my crossed knees.
High Flyer: I wish you the very best of luck!
MULTIPLE BURSTS OF STATIC. Interlaced with my WIDE EYED EXPRESSION.
High Flyer: You’ll need it.