“Always a pleasure donating to the Bobby Dean Fund, ya dickhead.” The words leave my mouth as I toss a few twenties at my old pal. I chug down the rest of the Miller Lite in my hand, and toss that at the big boy, too. “Can’t believe you brought me Cancer’s leftover carbonated pissbeer.”
Of course, Bobby just sat there grinning while he counted my money. Almost unrecognizable (not really) without his baby blue suit, my fat friend changed it up to all black tonight. So did I.
Why, you ask?
Well it’s gambling night, that’s why. And unfortunately, not everyone’s a fan.
(You’re welcome, Kevin. Congratulations.)
So we’re tucked away, deep within the bowels of the Fiserv Forum, throwing dice. It’s kind of therapeutic, if anything. With dice, you at least have the same chances as your opponent. These days, The Dooze ain’t a favorite against anyone.
Winless? You’ve found your guy! I’ll have that fixed in a three count. Or a tap…
Shit even Kevin Capone knows it. That’s why he’s trying so damn hard to convince himself not to take me lightly. Oh, and it’s okay Mr. NYC, I don’t care if you like me or think I’m a fun guy to have a beer with. How about you fuckin’ focus on fighting me as much as you like to talk about it?
“Heyoooo,” Dean’s voice snaps me out of the zone I somehow found myself in. “That’s another loss, buddy! Fork it over!”
Apparently I threw a shitty pair of dice while deep in thought. Or, knowing Bobby Dean as well as I do, maybe I didn’t.
Whatever. Just another loss.
“You got anything else to drink?” Yeah, I relied on Bob for beer tonight. The last couple trips to the store didn’t go so well. Sometimes I forget just how many people follow High Octane.
“Ummm, yeah. One sec.”
I guess that’s one thing.
Dean scurried around and unzipped a black bag. After digging around a bit, he stopped and sheepishly twisted around to face me.
“What?” Rolling my eyes, I ask the question knowing I probably don’t want to hear the answer.
“Bud Light, okay? He asked as I squinted my eyes like I was preparing to take a sucker punch.
It took me a second to respond, because I had to let that one replay in my head to make sure I heard right. “Yeah, man. You know, back in the day, that was my fav-”
“Watermelon mojito seltzer?” The fat fuck spat those words out so fast like he was auditioning to be the voice that reads the disclaimers at the end of radio ads.
I could feel my face turn red.
I could see Bobby’s face turn white.
“Sorry, buddy.” At least he sounded sincere with the apology. “Just sounded so good, I had to try it!”
“Just give me one.” I say, defeated. “Might as well lose my dignity, too.”
Bob lets out one of those awkward “Heh” laughs.
“Didn’t you already-”
I raise my free hand, close my eyes as calmly as possible, and shake my head. Even Dean knew better and shut up right then and there.
Cancer’s Red Room
My 5 Minutes
Things have changed.
Don’t worry, the red loveseat is still here. Isn’t it nice?
So is the stupid, fucking fern.
But my precious? The painting I paid way too much for? You know the one…
Centaur Darin Zion. Hoof pressed upon the chest of COOL.
Nowhere to be seen.
In its stead?
A portrait, commissioned by the long, lost friend I still weirdly share this room with, of…
Me. Tapping out to Mitch. Like a bitch.
It’s fine, though. At the very least, it’s fair. I told you the kid was underrated. Shit, I’m pretty sure I believed in him more than he did for a second there. And then he did it. He showed that not only does he have what it takes to hang in the land of High Octane, but he’s learning the ways of the world here.
When I hit that EggU, I knew I missed the mark. It didn’t feel right. I didn’t feel as strong.
But you played dead, you devilish little douchebag. You did it so well, too. Or maybe, along with the physical, I’m losing some of my mental sharpness. Because you had me fooled, kid.
Sincerely, just as I was before we stepped into the squared circle, I wish you luck. Mitch Quinlan can succeed. And I hope you continue to prove it.
However, we all have to move on in this game, right? If there’s one thing HOW has taught me, it’s HOW to lose. And while it’s taken a lot of losses to figure out how to cope with them, that’s a horse pill I’ve finally swallowed.
So I guess that’s all to say, congratulations Kevin Capone.
You got the Dooze.
The dollar menu delinquent… right, Jace?
You two faced fuck.
The poor man’s knock off Kostoff.
And at this point, even that’s an insult to my former mentor and Hall of Famer.
Regardless, it’s not about me. Fuck, it has never been about me. It’s sad how long it took to realize that. The Old Bull, huh? Heh… more like the Old Mule.
Stubburn as fuck.
But somehow… I’m still kickin’.
And that’s where we’re at.
Another winless rook about to pop his cherry.
I don’t care how humble you want to seem, Kev. If you think you’re the first kid to come around the block claiming that I’m more than what I am, so you won’t take me likely, blah blah yada yada… go for it. You’re not. You’re the same flavor of bullshit covered with rainbow sprinkles that I see left and right at this GOD forsaken place.
Don’t worry, I won’t “Dooze and Dont’s” you to sleep, asshole. But I will bring some reality down to you. That pussy shit you pull? “Oh don’t take this the wrong way, but” type shit? That’s why I’ll be your first win after four matches. And trust me, when I say that, it’s not a compliment.
You’re in High Octane.
Take advice from someone who can’t even take their own.
Quit that shit quick. Grow a set. Be yourself. Be confident. And don’t undercut yourself with humility. HOW isn’t for the humble.
You got booked against me for a reason. And that reason is because you haven’t won.
This is your chance.