I tried to open my eyes, but couldn’t. I was lying on my back, with something metal digging into my shoulder blades. When I tried to shift, I realized my entire body was paralyzed – by sleep or drugs, I couldn’t tell. All I could do was listen, and even that was foggy.
As I listened to the static noise of silence surrounding me, I felt myself slipping back into unconsciousness..
I was jolted awake by the vibration and sound of heavy but distorted music. I had no sense of how much time had passed, but I hadn’t moved an inch, still lying on my back with the same metal underneath me. My face was baking in sunlight. I raised a hand to shield my face and opened my eyes to see a clear sky through my bathroom window and was blinded by the Miami afternoon sun. The most dangerous time of day.
With a huge effort, I managed to roll onto my side. As I propped myself up on an elbow, I felt a bowling ball burp out of the ball return at the base of my skull and smash into my forehead. Grey specks danced in front of my eyes. I pulled myself into a seated position and finally got my bearings.
I was, indeed, in the bathroom of my apartment. No clue how I’d gotten there.. The last thing I could remember was hitting the bourbon heavily and snorting a bunch of drugs. Guess that answers my question.
The more my brain woke up the more I began to remember. I’d spent the best part of a week hauled up in my apartment, constantly drinking and throwing drugs into my body to numb the pain of the loss of the Tag Titles. That’s right, I did drugs again. John, Druggy-drug-drugs Sektor is at it again, being all predictable and shit by hitting the class-A’s when things turn to shit. Well guess what, dickheads? That’s what drug addicts do! And I literally don’t give a fuck any more. Drugs are awesome. Always have been, always will be. I won fucking War Games with enough methodone in my system to tranquilise a horse. I go sober and can’t win a match to save my fucking life. Don’t tell me that drugs are bad!
It may sound melodramatic, but I have a tendency to take losses very badly, and a match of such high stakes warranted a good old fashioned drug and alcohol binge. At least it did to me. I was in mourning and still am. Some people mourn the loss of a loved one. I mourn a loss…PERIOD!
Somewhere on the road to LA..
“Can’t sleep, hermano?”
Sektor hears Jatt’s voice calling softly in his direction, but fails to process it as the tour bus hums down the road with a low drone, heading towards LA. He sits quietly in a booth on the bus, staring out of the window and watching the bright lights of the highway fly past him in a blur.
On the table in front of him is a pack of smokes, an ashtray and a bottle of, single-malt, whiskey. Sektor can see Jatt’s reflection in the window, standing to the side of the table. However, he doesn’t look directly at it as he just continues to watch the world go by with an emotionless stare.
“You should try and get some rest, you know? We got a lot of road to cover and you have an important match coming up..”
A disheartened and pathetic sigh eventually escapes the confines of the downbeat former Tag Team champion. Former World champion. Former War Games winner. Former…legend.
“Sleep doesn’t come willingly to us, Jatt. You know that..”
The self proclaimed Thane of Starrkarth nods with a knowing smile, but then frowns as a moment of concern passes over him. Sektor has been changing lately, becoming more withdrawn and quiet in nature. He’s not been his usual arrogant and boisterous self.
“What’s bothering you man?”
Sektor just widens his eyes, pouting as he shakes his head. His eyes remain solemn.
“Come on..how many years have we known each other now?”
Sektor rolls his eyes, sensing one of Jatt’s soppy heart-to-heart moments coming on.
“How many of those years have we been enemies?” growls the Gold Standard, not in the mood to be locked up in a tour bus with the most annoying man he has ever met, who happens to have the unfortunate title of being his best friend.
Jatt rolls his eyes with a smirk of his own, shaking his head afterward and laughing.
“For the love of the How God’s, man! Would ya just spit it out and get whatever is bothering you off your chest?”
Sektor’s top lip and mustache begin to twitch as his teeth bite together. He can feel the frustration taking him away from the solitude he found in watching the traffic, and bright lights, whizzing past him through the window.
“What’s bothering me, is you standing over me. If you wanna talk, take a seat. Otherwise leave me be.”
Jatt forces a smile and removes his jacket, tossing it over the seat opposite Sektor and slipping into the booth. He folds his hands in front of him on the table and the Gold Standard reluctantly turns around. He keeps his gaze on everything but Jatt, snatching hold of his smokes and pulling one out and placing it between his lips. He lifts his gaze up to Jatt’s, blinking his eyes before offering him a cigarette. Jatt waves it away with disgust. The Standard just shrugs as he begins to light it up, knowing how much Jatt hates smoking these days.
Sektor takes a big drag and blows the smoke upwards, so as not to blow it in Jatt’s face. The Jattinum Standard looks around and stands up as much as he can, squashing his groin against the table as he tries to slide a window open.
“Don’t tell me you’re one of those guys who used to smoke, but complains about passive smoking?” Sektor asks, arching his lips with disdain.
He continues to frown inquisitively at Jatt who sits back down.
“Heh, Emphysema isn’t a myth, I’ve seen it,” Jatt replies, somewhat oddly.
“Did you just use a Waterworld reference for a lung disease?” replies the Gold Standard.
“I did. And I don’t regret a thing!”
Sektor rolls his eyes as he takes another drag, flicking the embers into the ashtray in front of him. He leans back in his seat, thumbing the butt of the cigarette as he takes a look around the bus. They’re the only members of the BA on the bus, still traveling like a tag team even though that ship set sail some weeks ago.
Sektor huffs to himself, wide awake, smoking and drinking at ‘stupid o’clock’ in the morning.
“So come on man, what’s bothering you? Spit it out..”
Sektor narrows his eyes and he blows out a ray of smoke, as though it’s painfully obvious what his problem is.
“Por, el amor, de DIOS!” he yells, his words gathering traction towards a final roar of anger. “You know damn fucking well what’s bothering me. Don’t be an idiot all your FUCKING life Jatt!”
Jatt blinks his eyes rapidly, looking both hurt and confused by Sektor’s sudden outburst. He eventually swallows hard and straightens his shoulders whilst Sektor tokes heavily on his cigarette.
“I’m going to ignore that, because you are clearly upset and I am a firm believer that you hurt the ones closest to you,” Jatt states with a firm upper lip, almost as though he’s trying to convince himself of his own ignorance.
“Oh fuck-off,” Scoff’s Sektor, stumping out his cigarette into the ashtray as though it were Jatt’s face.
Jatt waits patiently and watches as Sektor breaths heavily and glares out of the window, as though the piece that view had brought had turned into a post-apocalyptic scene. Eventually his expression softens as his shoulders sag, as the weight of the World rests heavily on top of them.
“I’m done,” he eventually whispers.
“What?” Jatt snaps, turning his good ear in the direction of Sektor’s voice.
“You heard me.”
Jatt stares silently, and awkwardly, trying to gauge whether Sektor is being literal or not.
“Don’t be so melodramatic,” laughs his partner, waving a dismissive hand.
“I’m serious, hermano. I’m a fucking joke! I’m dragging you down. I’m dragging the BA down. Literally, the only reason Lee hasn’t tossed me out is because he feels some misplaced sense of loyalty towards me.”
“No, Jatt! Listen to me!” he instructs with authority, glaring into Jatt’s eyes. “Before the turn of the year I promise, I PROMISED, that this year would be another year for the Gold Standard to stand tall. We’re five months down the fucking line Jatt! And what have I accomplished, hm? I haven’t won a single fucking match on my own! I cost us the tag titles..”
“You didn’t cost us anything, we lost as a team..”
“NO! I lost! I took the pin! ME! Not you. Fucking, ME!”
Jatt seems to be genuinely upset and lost for what to say as his team mate angrily vents about his failures.
“I can’t take it any more. I refuse to be one of those washed up veterans that is too stubborn to realise when his time is up. I’ve tarnished my legacy enough. I cannot bury it any more, Jatt, I CAN’T!”
Jatt puffs out his cheeks as he leans back and folds his hands behind his head.
“Look, brother,” he begins, pausing as he tries to choose his words carefully. “You’ve had a shit run. You’ve had some bad luck.”
“Luck? Luck has nothing to do with this,” Sektor snappily responds.
“You gotta keep going,” continues Jatt, unperturbed by Sektor’s abrupt interruption. “You got a match in the books. Another shot at redemption. Win this and you got the monkey off your back and can move forward. Get yourself primed and ready for War Games.”
Rolling and eyes and shaking his head, the former Gold Standard almost growls out his latest sigh.
“That’s just the thing, isn’t it? This match? Could very possibly be my final, ever, match. And who am I even against. I literally am so already beaten mentally that I didn’t even look at who I’m facing this week..”
“Oh, uhm, what’s-his-face. That, newish guy. Won less matches than you…”
Sektor’s jaw clenches tight as a bemused and dead glare spreads across his face.
“Fester..Losingtime? No. Lester Festerton. Wait! Fester WINDCHIMES..”
Sektor’s eyelids drum as the bemusement sinks deeper and deeper into what little soul he has left.
“Fluster Mcdoodlepants? No, that’s not it. Lester MustyRhymes…no, wait confusing with my main man Busta. Lester Poopyslimes?”
“Chester pee-pee-poo-poo Dinglegrimes!”
“I’m gonna throw myself out this bus if you dont..”
“I GOT IT! Lester…Snortinglines!”
“Jatt for, actually, I quite like that one!”
“Thought you might. Needles-to-say…”
“Seriously, one more drug pun and I’ll punch you in the mouth.”
“Fair enough. Anyway, to summarise? He’s a nobody. A n00b. A BOT, as that worthless sack of crap Connort Fuse would say!”
“Don’t make this about you,” Sektor groans, pathetically. “Anyway, how’s it going to look when I have my last ever match against a guy you just spent half this fucking promo calling silly names? Career ended by Jester Woodbines..”
“Sek, I love ya, but you’re no good at the name thingy.”
“WHATEVER! Fact is Jatt, I am now facing the possibility that I am perhaps going to have the most defining moment of my career against a fucking nobody. A pion who has somehow made it onto the HOW roster, can’t win a match, so Lee thought he’d throw his old pal Sektor some charity. But guess what, boss. That could blow up in both our fucking faces if I lose again. Because my career is over and I will be left remembering my sunset moment as losing to a fucking curtain-jerking num-nuts!”
“I meeeeean, there’s other ways of selling this match, you know?” Jatt awkwardly points out.
“You know what? This is good actually. Because I’m now heading into this match with nothing to fucking lose.”
“Well, not to poop on your epiphany moment, but you literally just emphasised how losing this match could end your career in the most humiliating way possible.”
There’s a pause as Sektor stares at Jatt blankly for a few moments.
“SHUT UP! Fuck it, DRIVER?”
“YEAH?” Calls the driver.
“How long til we’re in L.A?”
“I’d say just under an hour if we don’t hit traffic..”
“Good. We’re going straight to Hollywood when we get there.”
“I think he just got out of surgery..”
“Not the wrestler you idiot. The fucking place!”
“Because that’s where all the best drugs are, Mi Amigo.”
“Oh yes! I’m getting my mojo back the only way I know how.”