::::The yellowish-green numbers on the alarm clock on the nightstand read 3:49 when he left the comfort of the bed and headed into the living room. Standing in front of the bay windows looking out at the Big Apple at night, sporting a black and teal tracksuit and black Adidas sneakers with red stripes is Simon Sparrow. The sounds of horns and sirens can be heard even at this late hour of the evening. Even the stench of the city permeates through to the apartment – the mixture of exhaust and garbage, an odor that becomes even more foul on a muggy, humid evening after a heavy rain. Heidi will light another one of her scented candles in the morning (Simon noticed that her favorite tends to be balsam and cedar), by that point he will have been gone.
It was their last night together before Simon Sparrow had to make the long trip to Ukraine. She came to Madison Square Garden to support him, which was the only time she came in the evening. After many attempts, Heidi Vaccarelli ended up reading and marking her edition of Medea by Euripides (to which she scored the understudy of the lead role in an Off-Off Broadway production starring Broadway mainstay Josephine LaFontaine), went to sleep, her sexual appetites unsatiated, yet again. And Simon Sparrow was (and is) left feeling inadequate, almost emasculated, yet again.
How many times in the past two weeks has he been as impotent as Mike Best after snorting a kilo of cocaine like a Dyson? Five? Six?
How long will it take for Heidi to get sick of his flaccid one eyed monster. Can it be considered a “monster” under the circumstances? Would it be more a “weensy weenie”?
That two word alliterative term makes Simon Sparrow wretch as he gazes out the window at the apartment building across the street, a scowl on his face, disgusted….
….at the stench of the city.
….at his body’s failure to perform.
….at Heidi’s disappointed face at Simon’s lack of a libido.
….at Heidi’s almost condescending tone when she had to correct Simon when he mistakenly assumed she was in a Tyler Perry movie.
….at Stronk’s continuing success.
….at Stronk choking him out with an illegal choke hold.
….at Matt Boettcher allowing that choke to happen.
….at Lee Best for coming back. For favoring everyone and anyone but him, the man who has been with him the longest. He could have shifted the teams even more, put Stronk with Conor and put the HOW Classic with Team Best. But he didn’t. Because after all this time, Lee Best has decided that Simon Sparrow has no value to him. Simon has been tossed aside for something new and shiny…a Stronk and an unemployed hack that calls himself an “influencer”.
….at the entire Best Family for not allowing Sektor, a Hall of Famer, Simon Sparrow’s former tag team partner and ex-best friend, to retire weeks ago. Instead, he gets retired by Darin Zion. (It could be worse, though. At least Zion is a student of Sparrowdynamics, so there is a little positivity that came out of it – and credit to his protege for laying out his former best friend in record time. But still, Sektor’s LSD Championship run alone should have granted him the courtesy to leave on his own terms. The ego of that family! Ol’Ollie Best makes Sektor his number one pick and, after Sektor says he wants to retire, to save his fragile ego, he keeps him around because he doesn’t want a “bust” number one pick like Ryan Leaf! And then, when Sektor loses Lee treats him like a pile of pig shit and allows David Noble to brutalize the Gold Standard as a final “screw you” to Sektor. Fuck them all!)
Simon looks down in the direction of his crotch and mumbles obscenities at it. He sighs before walking down the hallway, illuminated by the flashlight from his mobile phone and he enters the bedroom to the light, gentle white noise of Heidi’s purring snoring. He leans over and gently kisses her light brown and blonde streaked head, the sweet odor of her strawberry based shampoo fills his nostrils, almost sending him into a state of calmness.
The gentle peck on her hairs awakens the actress.::::
HEIDI (groggy): Wha—What’s goin’ on?
SIMON SPARROW (whispering calmly): Shhhhh…go back to sleep. I was about to head out.
HEIDI: What time is it?
::::The Professor of Sparrowdynamics looks over at the clock which reads 4:38.:::
SIMON SPARROW: Four-forty.
HEIDI: What time’s your flight?
SIMON SPARROW: Two-thirty.
HEIDI: You’ve got plenty of time. Can’t you stay a little longer?
:::Simon lets out a resigned sigh, walks around to the other side of the bed, kills the flashlight on his phone, and he sits on the plush mattress next to Heidi. She snuggles up next to him.::::
HEIDI: Talk to me, just til I go back to sleep.
::::Simon Sparrow feels almost stunned at the request. He has nothing prepared, no clever fairy tale. He glances at bent, well read softcover play on the bedside table. He spent a few days over the past couple of days reading through with her as she talked through “intentions” for each and every line. It was a tedious process for him.::::
SIMON SPARROW: You must be excited, huh? First day of rehearsals tomorrow, right? Does a, what did you call it, a “table read”, does that count as rehearsal or is that something else?
SIMON SPARROW: What’s that line she has? Something about not letting anyone think of her as weak or passive, that she’s dangerous to her enemies and loyal to her friends. I like that. I can relate in some weird way.
HEIDI (on the verge of sleep): …yeah…?
SIMON SPARROW: When I think about it, I really relate to her. She’s got this guy Jason who used to be an adventurer, did he take an arrow to the knee? Did they mention it? Anyway, this prick tosses Medea aside for a young princess type. Just like Lee cast me aside for Max Kael. And then Mike Best. And now Stronk and Tyler Streets. Maybe killing the kids just to watch Jason suffer was a bit overstated, but as she says, and you nailed it when we read yesterday, which is why I remember it so vividly because you are amazing, “…but stronger than all my afterthoughts is my fury, fury that brings upon mortals the greatest evils”. You put all those years of loyalty into a man and suddenly he disappears like a fart in the wind, he comes back and suddenly, you’re nothing. Of course you are going to enact a plan of murderous revenge. How many people does she kill? Like five? And she gets away with it. She flies off in a dragon pulled chariot. Her fury is not justified, but, in the end, it’s basically rewarded.
::::Simon Sparrow stares off into the darkness as Heidi mumbles something incoherent. “Fury”. The word resonates with the Rembrandt of Wrestling.::::
SIMON SPARROW: How many eyes has that prick collected over the years? How many people sold their soul to that man only to be betrayed, cast aside, or forgotten? You think he loses sleep over the death of Max Kael? How many people are going to hell because of that man? How many lives has he ruined? How do you really hurt that man? How do you make him suffer?
:::Simon Sparrow feels the sneer form across his face as he thinks about the decrepit, morally bankrupt owner of the HOW. He can feel the stomach acids in his stomach churning and bubbling like a witch’s cauldron. As Brother Buster, the life coach he has not spoken to in two months, used to say “Inhale at a count of four, hold your breath for a count of seven, and exhale at count of eight.”. Simon inhales, silently counting to four. He holds his breath for a count of seven. And exhales at a count of seven, if he had tried until eight he might have passed or shat himself.
Simon slowly rises from the bed, careful not to disturb his thespian lover and makes his way towards the door. He takes another glance and smiles before blowing the sleeping Heidi a kiss. The lone bright, white light he has in an otherwise gray and dreary existence.
He slowly closes the door and walks down the hall. He picks up his duffel bag and carryon resting next to the door. Simon Sparrow gingerly opens the door, making sure to lock it as he closes the door behind him. As he walks down the red, blotchy carpeted corridor towards the elevator, he ponders that last question he had, that question that lingered in the air. How can Simon Sparrow make Lee Best suffer?::::
“Nepotism”. Such a crass and ugly word, isn’t it?
Do you know where it comes from? It’s based off the Ancient Greek tale of Nepos from Mepos, a wealthy, corrupt merchant who went to a psychic who told him that he would be crossing the River Styx in death within the year. He had built a capitalist empire selling knick knacks claiming they honor the gods. He approached his son, Balki, who was weak willed but kind, and began grooming him to take over the business. As each day passed, Balki’s heart grew darker and darker. Gone were his charitable acts. Instead remaining chaste for his lady love, Marriantigone, he joined his cousin, Larriappletonius in cheating others out of their gold, going to orgies, and fulfilling every hedonistic need he never knew he had until he was under his father’s tutelage. When Nepos died from being gored in the anus by a bull, Balki took over his father’s business and lost everything in the Great Depression when he put all of his gold in cactus juice and ultimately roamed the Greek shores, penniless, and suffering from lepercy to the point where his penis fell off in his hand.
Which reminds me….
I want to take a moment to educate you on some HOW history. Did you know that last year Sutler Kael, your adoptive cousin became the youngest War Games winner in history? I know, you don’t really care about that, after all, he’s not really a “Best” is he?
Hell, he is not even a Kael.
He’s a Reynolds.
Has it been pointed out yet that Shane Reynolds and Sutler Reynolds-Kael became the first blood relation father and son to win War Games? I’m sure it has, but I don’t want the whole Max Kael “adoption”, if you can call it that, to take away from the truth.
Look, I’m probably losing you, I know it. You don’t want to hear about history or Ancient Greeks. Right now, you are likely pulling out your phone and looking at videos of dogs masturbating, checking your Tik Toks, or looking over your MySpace page.
I really wanted to predict your future.
I see the Cryptkeeper approaching you…no, nope, it’s Lee Best…an understandable mistake. I see him placing his withered, trembling hand on your shoulder. He’ll grin like a shark and give you some bullshit line like “you don’t need a fucking phone for followers, you’re a Best, for fuck’s sake! You’re not some attention starved pussy! You’re different from these fucksticks, you’re different than the Son, they will follow you” or some other ridiculous line that you will end up falling for. He’s got this way about him where he can make you feel like the only person in the world that matters, until he finds someone new or he reverts back to his deadbeat dad ways and fakes another death before coming back. It’s Lee’s version of “I’m going out for a pack of cigarettes”. You’ll resent him for leaving but when he inevitably returns, you’ll seek his attention, his approval. You’ll be willing to do anything for it. You’ll do what he says, and then, months, maybe a year from now, you will look into the mirror and you won’t see yourself anymore. You’ll see your father’s reflection looking back at you.
Another depraved Best.
Mike Best Junior.
Tyler, I would beg and plead that you avoid this path you are starting on, but I’m pretty damn sure you wouldn’t listen. So, I am forced to take matters into my own hands.
I need you to know that this is less about you, Tyler, as much as what you are destined to become. It can’t happen, sport.
I think the Rembrandt of Wrestling needs to paint a little picture for you….
I left my lady friend’s apartment and walked around the streets of the Upper West Side for what seemed like hours, my duffel bag over my shoulder, pent up with aggression, the rage building inside of me….
One thought kept invading my brain over and over….
I am getting so sick and fucking tired of Bests. Lee. Mike. Ollie. And now you.
And as that thought was going through my brain, I heard some homeless guy shouting about aliens taking over McDonald’s so I looked up in his direction out of the corner of my eye, to my left, I saw it. It was like a bolt from beyond! I coveted it through the window, resting in a velvet lined case that looked like a little treasure chest.
So I entered the store, “Sven’s Antiques and Rare Books”. It’s like e-bay only you can physically go inside the store and look at the merchandise.
When I pulled open the door, get this, there was a little bell that jingle jangled over my head. The proprietor, a gaunt looking man who kind of looked like the Tall Man from “Phantasm”. What am I saying? You haven’t seen that movie. He looked like Max Kael only balder, taller, and wearing a checkered sweater vest. He spoke in some sort of accent….German? Dutch? Mandarin? Who knows?
The store had a familiar scent of leather, must, and grandma’s house. There’s nothing like the smell of a book. A book is like an e-reader only with a cover and a bunch of pages filled with words between them.
I went to, who I can only assume is “Sven”, although his nametag said “Bjorn”, which was obviously his last name. I asked him for a very, very special item. He tried to sell me one once owned by Thomas Hardy. “Venom” sucked. Why would I want something owned by him?
No, instead, he gave me …..
And if I could play “Oh Yeah” by Yello right now, I would.
An Eighteen Seventy fountain pen made of mahogany and pure Birmingham steel, the tip, though! Ah, the tip! Reddish brown with rust!
In case you hadn’t figured it out by now, sport, I fully intend to stab you in the fucking eye.
Yep, a Bottomline will happen at War Games, only it won’t be Lee’s shaky hands wielding the pen.
But, you know, I don’t just want to plunge this rough, sandpaper-like tip in your eye and just watch your eye explode into a gloopy, gooey mess. I also want the added benefit of the jaggedly, brittle tip of this pen breaking off inside of your eye socket and giving you tetanus.
And I want that elderly human scotum you call a grandpappy and that degenerate choad of a father of yours to watch while I do it. Some things, try as I might, I can’t let go. I thought I moved past it, and sure, it doesn’t keep me up at nights anymore, however, I see this as an opportunity to right a wrong from the past. I am not some doormat, I am no longer someone that is going to let shit go. The bullshit they’ve put me through? Fuck that. I want them to know what it feels like to helplessly witness someone mutilate one of their loved ones for a change. Well, maybe not “loved” ones. You get the picture.
And much like Medea, the HOW gods will find me justified, I will walk away not only unscathed, but also a two time winner of War Games.
The best part? It only cost me twenty bucks. A small price to pay to mutilate a Best and save a soul. Literally.