A Wrestling Tale 12.03.02: I Want…


I have no family, I have no life outside this business, and according to the doctor I have less than 2 months to live. The cancer has eaten me alive without me even noticing it.

Don’t tell anyone.

If they knew, maybe they’d make me stop wrestling. Maybe they’d make a big tribute to me and give me the world title or something. Maybe the other wrestlers would be ginger with me, protecting me like I was a baby or something. I don’t want that. I couldn’t ask for that. There’ll be plenty of time for tributes when I’m dead.

Man, I just want to wrestle. I just want the boys to play another prank on me. I want to turn down the ring rats and go back to the hotel and ice my leg after a house show. I want those Internet freaks to bitch about my work rate. I want the majority of the fans to boo me, and to just hear those dozen or so people in the audience who like my character for some reason cheering for me.

I want to go on another 16 hour drive with a 400 pound monster of a man who apologizes every time he farts, which is often. I want to sit in coach on a plane and listen to my friend bitch about how lousy the flight is. I want to do my chair shot where I hit my opponent in the head and it bounces off and hits me in the head and he falls on me for the pin and the audience boos in disgust as we try not to crack up one more time.

Most people, they’d say they wanted to talk to loved ones or go get that girl they were in love with in high school or go on some fabulous vacations or something. I don’t really have any loved one, that girl I was in love with in high school gained a hundred pounds and a husband, and I’ve been all over the world with this company. My only dream was to be a professional wrestler, and I’m living it. I just want to die doing what I love.

I guess if I had to give some advice about all of this in a kind of live and learn way, it would be to tell the young wrestlers not to be afraid of the doctor. I mean, I know we’ve got to keep wrestling to keep earning money, but I think that living is should take precedence over not getting paid for three months. The first time I coughed up blood, I should have done something about it. I didn’t. It’s done.

Still, whatever. I don’t want to say would or could or should or the like. I want to lose cleanly against someone who doesn’t deserve their push and then complain about it to the other wrestlers. I want to get this close to trading blows with someone in the back because they worked too stiff. I want to turn down that one guy who keep offering to smoke me up one last time. I want to pull on my tights and become a super villain, a character, someone far greater then a man with no family and cancer.

I don’t need any of this. I don’t think I need anything anymore. What does the walking dead need? A casket? Some flowers? A bunch of people coming up to you and telling you that they’re sorry you’re dead? How about all of the things I’ve listed above? Nope. There are no more needs, only wants. If they’re unfulfilled wants, they’re still just wants.

But I want to jump off the top rope and feel like I’m flying. I want to read in the weekly report about how much potential the management sees in me. I want to rip up a poster about how much I suck or rule that some fan in the front row spent 4 hours making. When we get a few days off, I want to go to Atlantic City with some of the other single guys and girls and either double or blow all the money I made that week getting injured for a living. I want the fans to go ‘OOOH’ when I kick out at 2 and nine tenths. Just once more, I want to be screamed at by the management for putting on a few pounds.

Actually, they’re more likely going to scream at me for losing weight. For spontaneously bleeding in the ring. Maybe even for having a blackout or two. They’ll tell me I look sick. They’ll tell me that no one else wants to get into the ring with me. They’ll tell me to go see a doctor and get better, and I wonder if I’ll tell them the truth then. I wonder if they’ll start crying or be angry with me for keeping it a secret. I know the boys will feel betrayed. They won’t be furious with me, but each condolence I receive will come with a hurt look. My best friend probably won’t even talk to me for two months rather, for the rest of my life.

But we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. I want the referee to raise my arm, and then as he tries to leave the ring I make him do it again. I want to give the finger to fans by the exit who tell me I suck for not giving autographs. I want to sing 999 Bottles of Beer on the Wall all the way to 657 until the other people in the car start to physically assault me.

I want to do a 9 minute headlock. I want to run into the women’s locker room wearing nothing but a thong. I want to make fun of those cheesy music videos in the back with the rest of the boys. I want to almost make it back into the main event scene, only to be shut down by politics. I want to be envied by men. I want to be wanted by women. I want to slowly spin around in a circle in a full arena, center of the ring, my fingers pointed at the fans, thanking them. My last match, I want to point to them and let them know how much they meant to me. Then when I finish the circle, I want to point to my crotch and leave to a chorus of boos. Just once.

I want I want my nose to stop bleeding. I need a tissue. I want this cancer to stop eating me to nothing! I want to rip it right out of my body and throw it out the window of a moving car or send it back to wherever it came from! I want to wake up tomorrow morning and find out it’s all a lie. I want someone to explain to me how a God who is supposed to be all merciful and all that would allow something like this to happen? I might not have been the best man, but I was a good man. I just want someone to acknowledge that, to admit to that. That I don’t deserve this death! This cancer was meant for someone else, not me! I want someone else to have it! ANYONE! GOD!

I want answers, but I want more then that. Maybe the answers will come later. As of now, I want to arrive late for the matches one night without having taken a shower, and I want my opponent to grimace throughout the entire match. I want to say thank you as I receive my paycheck from the same guy who thinks I shouldn’t be with company anymore. I want to be afraid for my life when the plane we’re in hits a storm, and my best friend screams, “THIS IS WHY I HATE GODDAMNED FLYING!” One more time, I want to visit a sick kid in the hospital and lie to him, telling him that everything is going to be all right. I then want that kid to ask me why one of the good guys didn’t come. I want to roll my eyes and walk out of the hospital room and tell the doctor I’m not doing this anymore. Then I want to walk back into the room and cut a heel promo on the kid, and then ask him what he has to say to that. Then I want the kid to do his best good guy wrestler imitation and cut me down to size. Then I want the kid to smile.

I want no one to notice me decomposing before their eyes. I want nothing to interfere with the rest of my life. I have no family. I have no need to see the Pyramids of Egypt or the Great Wall of China because I’ve been there. I am a heel wrestler. I just want another six weeks of being a heel wrestler. I love being a heel wrestler. I love being a wrestler. It’s the love of my life. I want to die with the love of my life by my side. Please God, I don’t need that, but let that happen. No hospitals. No bed in my shitty one room apartment. I want to die on the road doing what I love.

So don’t tell anyone. Okay?