19 AUG 2020
I don’t know what I was thinking when I accepted the invite to Alcatraz. Ok, maybe that’s a lie…a free first class airfare, a free in flight meal, and Top Gun as an in flight movie. I fucking LOVE Top Gun. I see myself as a much taller, and completely more sane Tom Cruise; award winning smile, infectious attitude…all that’s missing is the millions of dollars, and a bullshit “religion.” My religion holds mass every Saturday night, and there’s hardly ever an empty seat. My religion doesn’t rely on scripture, instead it relies on the scathing observations of one God towards another. My religion doesn’t rely on prayer…my religion relies on pugilism.
And yet there I was on a Tuesday, flying out to Alcatraz via San Francisco on a 97RED aircraft, with a 97RED interior, and a flight attendant who wore the nicest 97RED lipstick I’d love to see around the base of…well, maybe I’ll save that thought for later – toss it up in the ol’ spank bank. Seeing how I knew this was set up by Woodson, it’s no doubt a ruse. I bet she had the worst case of crotch crickets you can imagine…or worse. As Kenny Loggins’ buttery smooth voice filled the cabin, I closed my eyes, imagining what was awaiting me at the prison. What fresh hell had Woodson been subjecting Hughie to? For him to reach out to me, of all people…why? In what universe does that make sense? Was he finally sick of Woodson’s shit? Was he looking for a way out? All questions I want to ask, but, well…we knew how that’d end up.
I set my bong back on the table and exhaled a thick, billowing cloud of white smoke. I went into the secret stash for this strain, then I added some grinder scrapings to the top like an icing. Kosher Kush, it’s called, and it’s apparently really good at helping with anxiety. I mean, after the prison incident, I needed something to curb just that.
Hughie couldn’t understand me. It’s like he thinks I’m just an ogre – strong like bull, smart like rock. But what he didn’t know was that my visit to Alcatraz wasn’t for him, it was for me. I brought him peace offerings…a steak, a potato, some salad…likely better food than they’re feeding him there, and again, for a reason. Same thing with those roses. Admittedly, probably the wrong choice, but that’s all I could get on short notice. That’s the last time I take Bobby Dean’s advice on how to “reunite with an old friend.”
Apparently chess is a big game in prison, along with dice, dominoes, and shanking snitches in the bathroom (prison documentaries taught me that). The food? The flowers? All a feint. Just like in chess. Move pieces around the board, expose the opposing king, and capitalize. My entire plan was to make sure he was ready, to make sure I wasn’t accepting a match for No Remorse against anything less than a monster – THE monster that is Hughie Freeman. I know how these H.A.T.E. Guards were…they couldn’t give a rat’s ass about him. To them, he was just a name, just a number, just how Scott Woodson wants it. Just how Hughie’s king wants it: not a person, not a man. More a thing. In chess terms, that makes him a pawn.
Hughie IS a man. In truth, Hughie is more like the Queen to Woodson’s King – to stick to the whole chess analogy one last time. He made that quite evident when he decided to drop trou and wave his baloney pony around. That was exactly when I knew what was going on…or, what HE thought was going on. Let me tell you, what he wanted was more fucked up than a redneck fingerbanging his sister and finding his dad’s wedding ring. Hughie decided to fixate on me, use me as his fantasy. He wanted me to take a ride on his Hershey highway…
As the THC started taking hold from the Kosher Kush, my head got light. It felt like my body was floating gently on a cloud, and my memories became much more vivid, much more raw.
That’s when I saw the weak chains clasping his hands to his waist straining. Woodson set this up…and Woodson wasn’t waiting for No Remorse. Woodson wanted blood, and he was going to use Hughie to spill it. Woodson was looking to utilize Hughie’s straight up fanaticism with me to his own twisted ends; his own HATEful ends. I made my move then, calculated, cunning…and maybe seeming a little homosexual – I grabbed Hughie’s crotch. I got a handful of testicle, and I squeezed enough for him to know I wasn’t playing around. When I knew he was distracted, I did what any self respecting man in a confrontation like that would do: I introduced his face to my forehead. That’s what nobody else bore witness to. Those crashes, bangs, and screams though? Not at all what everyone ASSumes – see what I did there?
As he stumbled backwards and fell seated into a chair, one of his hands broke free from the restraint to his surprise. Obviously he must have weakened the links between his cuffs and waistbelt when he was punching his fists back and forth at me, wanting me to pick either Love or Hate. With a mighty pull, he loosed his other hand and I closed the distance, only to be met with a hard right cross that connected with my nose, followed by a left hook that damn near sent me to my knees. I somehow managed to tackle him and the chair to the ground, overshooting the landing and crashing into the table. As I rose to my feet with a snort, I noticed the coppery scent of blood, and I began feeling my sinuses throbbing. Hughie kipped himself up from his back and spun to face me, his eyes wild, his face a twisted mask of anger and lust…was it turning him on?! Despite what they say about Irish dudes and their stereotypically tiny wieners, Hughie was clearly either not Irish, or cross bred with livestock – I’m not sure which. He began trying to take his foot out of the leg of his pants, and all I knew was that my time to strike was right then.
I lunged forward again and closed the distance in a single bound, my fist connecting squarely with the point of his chin, sending him reeling backwards. As his arms flailed, I grabbed his hand and pulled him in close with a roar, my other hand gripped his throat and I lifted him clean off his feet, rotating my body with him midair, and slamming his back into the table with a crash. That was when I knew I had to get the fuck out of Dodge – I wasn’t interested in any sort of “encounter” with Hughie. I completely misread the situation, and I wasn’t about to stick around for him to wake up from his little forced nap. I didn’t knock at the door for the guards to let me out, I simply kicked it open with everything I had and followed through with the weight of my body, tumbling through the doorway – that’s what you DID see.
You didn’t see that the prison doctor cleaned me up and offered me a clean shirt, clearly a remnant of when the site was a tourist attraction. It was orange, and proudly displayed “PROPERTY OF ALCATRAZ” across the chest, prisoner number 820647 on the back. I politely refused, or at least as politely as my limited vocabulary would allow, and put back on my bloodied shirt and headed out to the waiting boat. You also didn’t see Scott Woodson looking out over the dock from the dock house as I left the island. I caught sight of him as he mockingly waved goodbye to me with a smile on his face; a wicked, dark, evil grin…almost as if his plan worked exactly how he wanted it to. As the small craft motored out into the bay he watched me until we rounded the corner of the prison and headed off to a nearby Marina.
I flew back to Chicago the next day, on a flight I booked myself online through Travelocity. I wasn’t taking any chances after the previous day’s events, no sir. No 97RED aircraft, no 97RED interior, and no flight attendants sporting 97RED lipstick…just a regular first class ticket from San Francisco to Chicago with a layover in Denver. Yeah, it took longer, but it gave me time to process everything. Time to really understand the layers to the story. It was an uneventful flight, and that’s just how I wanted it.
Saturday at No Remorse, back at Alcatraz in a match with Hughie Freeman, that’s where the redemption begins. That’s where I begin to slowly grow, to sprout anew. Saturday night is where love triumphs over hate…but that love comes in the form of religious healing; in the form of pugilistic flagellation. Yes, Saturday night the stage will be set, the props will be in their place, and the actors will take their marks. Saturday night will be the night Woodson’s Queen is taken out of play, and not long after that Woodson will have no choice but to lay down and surrender, just like in chess.
Come No Remorse, Hughie, I promise to make you beg for mercy. You seem to want love from me? All you’ll find is tough love, and I’ll be happy to make sure you feel every ounce of it. Hold on tight, because it’s gonna be a bumpy ride…sorry, not sorry, bud.