“I’m sorry Mr. Harmen, but I can’t, and I quote…”
Bright lights, a strange sterile smell in what looks to be a small time doctor’s office. There’s one of those charts that show body mass hanging from the back of the door. A man in a lab coat looks at a small clipboard, his name tag displaying Dr. Masterson. He lowers the clipboard and looks sternly ahead to High Flyer. Flyer sits on the edge of one of those beds with the wax paper covering it. His leg dangles like he’s a small child.
Dr. Masterson: One of those robot eyes.
High Flyer: scoffs. The wax paper crinkles as he moves.
High Flyer: Who knew North Korea had better health care?
The Doctor adjusts his glasses as he keeps looking at Flyer’s chart. He then flips the page over. After a more thorough look, he flips the page back down and then looks toward Flyer.
Dr. Masterson: What I can do is suggest surgery.
High Flyer: You guys already tried that once.
Flyer looks off, out the window to the outside world. It’s sunny. There’s a tree with a small bird singing on it’s branches. It’s calm. Peaceful. It’s not here. Dr. Masterson snaps his fingers, regaining Flyer’s attention.
Dr. Masterson: Your eye sight is only at maybe twenty percent. We have more experimental procedures. But it’s a multi-tier process. It’s going to require rest to heal as well. Four, six weeks maybe. For two, maybe three cycles.
Flyer looks just as sternly at the Doctor as Masterson had at him.
High Flyer: I got the LBI.
The Doctor frowns.
Dr. Masterson: I don’t think lecithin-bound iodine will help in this situation.
High Flyer: No. No. The Lee Best Invitational? High Octane Wrestling?
Dr. Masterson: Oh, wrestling.
He says it with such disdain. Flyer crosses his arms over his chest, and looks with a quiet seething hatred toward the man helping him.
High Flyer: Yes. My wrestling.
The Doctor takes a sharp inhale. Flyer already knows what’s coming.
Dr. Masterson: Mr. Harmen, I would highly recommend…
High Flyer: Nyah!
Dr. Masterson: … taking a…
High Flyer: NYOOPE!
Dr. Masterson: … break.
High Flyer: Can’t do it Doc. Won’t do it. Can’t. It’s a chance at the World championship. I’ve got a chance this week to win the ICON. I could pull a FART.
Dr. Masterson: I’m… I’m sorry?
High Flyer begins speaking at a rapid speed, increasing pace with each word. Worry paints his face into contorted frowns and wrinkles. The signs of an old man.
High Flyer: The ICON championship. And then the championship of the world. The HOW World Championship? Two of the greatest belts in wrestling history on my waist at the same time… Like, c’mon, doc, would you stop doctoring if someone told you you should because it’d be best for your health, even though you were this close to being called the best doctor in the world, twice?
Dr. Masterson: I… I don’t get the metaphor.
High Flyer: I dunno. Stress kills you or something, and there’s an Oscars for Doctors but you get two of them. Go with me here. I mean… I’m 44, I got a bum knee, more concussions than I’ll admit to, my bodies held together by medical super glue, elbow grease and luck.
Dr. Masterson: How many concussions?
Flyer ignores him, continuing his fast talking speech pattern. More frantic and nervous as he goes.
High Flyer: This may be my last chance doc. Some people only get a single break. And I’ve gotten more than I can count. But doc, that doesn’t matter… Cause I’m not ready. I’m not ready to leave the ring. I’m not ready to give this up. This could be the last chance. My last chance to win a Doctor’s oscar, or whatever you guys would call that.
Dr. Masterson: There’s… no such… Listen. Based off all that, AND your medical history, two knee surgeries, broken bones, and your psychiatric issues… I would honestly say you should have retired three years ago.
Unconsciously, with no control, Flyer’s nostril flares. He glares at Doctor Masterson.
Dr. Masterson: Maybe five.
High Flyer: And I honestly think.
High Flyer forcefully steps up from the patient’s table, pulling the wax paper up with him. He then begins pulling up more and grabbing it in a pile in his hands.
High Flyer: You should eat a fart.
Flyer throws the wax paper at the doctor and walks toward the appointment door.
High Flyer: We’re done.
Flyer rips open the door, and slams it behind as we hear footsteps walk away in the distance.
**MULTIPLE BURSTS OF STATIC, INTERLACED with the 97Red HOW World & ICON championships.**
It’s a bright white room. Empty. Can’t even see the tiles in the floor. Two single rectangular windows in the far background. In the middle, sitting on a standard 97Red Wrestling chair, is High Flyer. He has on his tights that resemble a snow like material, soft and fluffy to the touch. A towel rests over one side of his face, obscuring his mangled eye socket. There’s a stream of water, dark crimson red, collecting in the pool in the foreground.
The camera angle turns to a close up, as he looks up. You can see faint glimpses past the flowing towel, revealed by the sway in the wind. It looks dark, but the rest of Flyer’s good side looks incredibly professionally lit.
High Flyer: I don’t know man. This is all strange. Mike Best is playing us all against each other. MJF comes back and blames me for losing to Kael. And she’s not wrong. I did it twice. Shit. It was three times. I hardly ever talk to Ryan unless Troy’s in the room. I try and do my part, and I’m not even invited to ice skating.
High Flyer: Whatever. Rollerblading. I wasn’t even invited to ice-rollerblading or whatever the heck it was. I don’t even remember.
The usual brash bravado, the seeker of joy and violence, a sense of a curtain falling shines through. Genuine disappointment. It’s quick to nip in the bud, as Flyer shoots some snot out of his right nostril.
High Flyer: Whatever. I didn’t join HOW for the money. I didn’t join HOW for the spotlight. As much as the fans are awesome, I didn’t join HOW for them. Didn’t do it for Lee Best. Didn’t do it for Eric Dane.
He stiffens his upper body, hunches his shoulders for a moment before relaxing.
High Flyer: I didn’t do it for the Industry either.
With a sense of inner peace, Flyer just smiles.
High Flyer: I didn’t know why I did. But now, with the opportunity presented before me, I realize…
He chuckles to himself.
High Flyer: I think I might have joined HOW to fight Dan Ryan.
He lets out a heartier laugh that he stifles.
High Flyer: And D-Ry knew that all along. Why he’s kept me at a distance. Doesn’t change the fact that I got a grudge and I have the memory of a dolphin. I mean, seriously, guy threw me off the top of a cage like, eight months ago. Beat up my kid, tossed him around the ring like a rag doll with a smile on that fucking face. I can’t forget that. Who could?
Flyer clenches his teeth, rubbing his fist into his palm. Without even realizing, he relaxes, hands now at ease on his waist.
High Flyer: But I can get over it. I don’t want to hurt you Dan. I don’t want vengeance. I’m just… curious. ‘Cause I respect you and what you’ve done to mangle this body only but a year ago. But see… after all that domination… you never pinned me. You only ever beat me in 2005 by countout when you threw me outta the ring, after we DREW the week before. Aren’t you just the slightest bit curious, what a definitive Dan Ryan vs. Jack Harmen match would look like? Your winner… VIA PINFALL…
He shakes his own head and lowers it.
High Flyer: Listen, I shouldn’t have said all that. It hurts, being excluded, and I took it out on you and it’s no fair. That’s what therapy tells me to do. Say my feelings, not show them with vitriol. But sometimes I don’t think I’m saying my feelings. I’m just saying what they tell me.
High Flyer: Try to be a good man. I try. Seems like a good idea. Why not right? Never really did before. I dunno. I don’t think I’m a good egg. Can’t ever put an egg back together once it cracks. I try though. But here… HOW. Seems a fools errand… People enjoy the cracks. Or maybe that’s just what Mike Best wants of us. Cracks, tearing each other apart. Tear down the entire Industry.
And it’s working.
Flyer looks directly into the camera, as the camera switches to a wider shot.
High Flyer: Didn’t take much. Didn’t take me. I don’t wanna fight you. I mean, I will, and I’m going to, and I’m going to win. I will do everything I can to make sure my hand is raised. Because if you don’t wanna win, if you don’t wanna be the best, be the CHAMP, why the hell are you in this sport?
I had gotten ahold of my son. He must have crashed there when we blew through it on a BRAZEN show. “Was she mad?”
Ha. My son went on and on, told me she was furious and cried a bit. She swore off me forever. But she watched the pay per view. Most of it.
Couldn’t get through it.
Funny thing. She didn’t even see me lose my eye.
Jokes on her.
I winked, but it was just creepy. This is going to get some taking used to. As he spoke, I kind of got distracted and begun thinking about the Harlem Globetrotters Scooby Doo crossover special. When I returned to reality, Kate was there, just… laying into me. She read about the eye thing. Wouldn’t watch it. She saw the stabbing. That was it.
I told her I wish the eye thing happened before the stabbing. I might not have freaked out as much.
Joke on me.
Eh. Maybe in a few years. She on her own, me too, fate brings us back together. My body, probably stuck in a wheelchair… but my heart and soul sated for the first time in my entire life. A legacy well lived.
The final chapters begin with the LBI. Dan Ryan. Jack Harmen. The fight of their lives.
Cause I expect nothing less from the Egobuster.
Whatever happens… We can go get a beer after.
Could be a fun bar fight…