Fear is a reaction, what you do is a choice

When I was driving yesterday, I saw that Royale’s trunk had appeared in the backseat of my new car.  Like magic.  This more than anything else has made me feel better.  Maybe it means he’s still alive.  Maybe it means even if he’s dead he’s still with me somehow.  Magic is real, why not spirits?

Crying and feeling sorry for myself doesn’t do any damn good.  If there are people out there like the Asian girl who are using magic to hurt people, what can I do about it?  Get better.  What magic do I know?  Maybe keep my car running.  Heal minor injuries.  Create a very realistic doll of myself.  Find missing stuff with varying degrees of accuracy.  That’s not much for a year’s practice.  

I realize I’ve been waiting for someone to come and help me.  To teach me.  No one is coming.  I need to start figuring this out on my own.  If you sit on the sidelines and whine you’re no better than the people doing the bad shit.   Practicing magic without knowing what you’re doing is risky, but if other people are willing to take that risk I have to be as well.  There’s no way around it.  

I used the last of my money to get a motel room and I tried to move stuff.  She seemed immensely powerful because of how easily she could move things at distance but maybe it’s not as hard as it seems.  After about twenty-five minutes I could make an empty water bottle move slightly.  It’s a start.

When I first met Royale I asked him about moving stuff with magic.  He said “why would you want to?  You have arms.”  Some of his ideas about magic were old fashioned I think now.  These are savage times.  Subtlety has had its day maybe.   

If I ever meet her again, or run into Eterno, or someone like them, I need to be as ready as I can be.

Bite the pillow

Some assholes in the comments have asked why I’m still posting if I’m so broken up about what happened in Lyons.  It’s a fair question.  They’re still assholes. 

Writing these messages doesn’t make me feel better but it makes me not feel worse.  When I was a kid a social worker told me once that I should imagine that I have a rope in my mind.  Everything I’m worried about I hang on that rope so it’s organized.   That helps.  A little. 

I started this blog on a whim.  I know that not many people read it.  I know that most of those people that do aren’t even fans.  But I think if I stop doing it I’d lose something.  I don’t know what.  Something I need right now.

I’ve met 5 Austin Starrs in wrestling and I know of at least 3 others.  It’s close to the wrestling equivalent of John Smith.  This Austin Starr is 37, is a good talker, a solid worker, and has a great look.  He’s been wrestling for 15 years he’s never gotten anywhere close to “making it”.  Unless you’re into the Memphis wrestling scene you’ve never heard of him.  The most exposure he ever got was working a non-televised match for AEW on their tribute to Memphis wrestling.

If he can’t make it who can?  He seems happy though.  He invited me to stay with him after the Saturday show.  In a moment of weakness, I allowed myself to be convinced.  His wife Laura has wrestled some too but mostly she was his valet.  I watched some clips of their stuff.  They had a good act going.  Being a sidekick is kind of a lost art.  A lot of dudes bring their girlfriend along as their manager but they don’t do anything. 

Or they do the wrong thing.  Your job as a manager or valet is to help get the person in the ring over.  If they can’t talk, you talk for them.  If they have to lose, you look bad so they can look strong.  If the crowd isn’t buying it, you sell them.  Too many of these tag along girlfriends do nothing but pull attention to themselves.    

Laura is pregnant right now.  I’ve never been around a pregnant woman before.  It was strange.  They were so nice and welcoming that it made me feel uncomfortable.   I think they’re people who love wrestling and like to help other wrestlers out. 

She had a bunch of old gear that she said I could have.  Luckily none of it fit.  I would have looked ridiculous in her sexy outfits but I wouldn’t have been able to say no.  She was at least able to give me some street clothes to wear.  She was kind of desperate to give me stuff.  It was awkward. 

At one point she very kindly asked me if there was anything I needed to get off my chest.  I told her no.  I managed to keep it together most of the weekend but one time I did go into the bathroom and stuff a towel in my mouth so they wouldn’t hear me crying. 

Sometimes when you’re down you want people to help.  Other times people helping you just makes you feel worse because you don’t think you’re worth helping. 

Me and Jeff Hardy

When I got to the show I told the promoter I had been robbed and I had no gear.  He gave me half my money up front and I went to Wal-Mart.  Olive green “athletic” shorts and a black Johnny Cash t-shirt is my ring gear now.  I don’t know if I’ve ever heard a Johnny Cash song.  Is he the one who sings Country Roads?

A woman who was there but not working the show offered to lend me her boots.  I worked barefoot.  Like the Wild Samoans.  Borrowing boots was too much.  The match was terrible.  I was terrible.  At one point my opponent gave me a hard slap across the face.  I knew she was just trying to “wake me up”.  She was trying to get me to do something.

She probably thought I was high.  That’s better than anyone thinking that I’m just sad.  People are like that.  Drug use can be forgiven.  It’s strange because not everyone has been on drugs but everyone has been depressed.  Yet there’s little empathy for the second. 

I used to conduct business in the car.  Since I don’t have my adapter anymore, I was making calls for more bookings backstage.  My lie about getting robbed had gotten around and a wrestler called Austin Starr told me he could get me on two shows in Memphis tomorrow and Sunday.  Based purely on pity.  It made me feel ill. 

After the show, I sat in the corner on the floor in the locker room for a long time.  They closed the place up without realizing I’m here so I’m just going to sleep here. 

Problem dog

I bought a 1980 Crown Victoria for 5oo bucks.  The odometer says it has 34,000 miles on it.  How is that possible?  I should have asked.  I was too busy feeling sorry for myself.  Now I have a piece of shit car, my phone, and the clothes on my back.  I lost my adapter with my old car.  I’m going to have to be careful about keeping my phone charged.

I booked a show in Pegram Friday.  I have enough money left to get there and maybe get some food on the way.  It’s hard to see what the point is. 

A lot of wrestlers work as bouncers.  They say if you do it long enough you can tell when a guy wants to fight.  When you get really good you can tell when someone wants to get their ass kicked.  I never understood that before but that’s how I feel now.  When you feel like total shit you want worse stuff to happen to you.

I don’t have many good qualities.  One of them has been that I don’t let the world get me down.  Life kicks the shit out of me but I just push forward.  Nothing else you can do.  I’m having a hard time finding that within myself now.  Two people are dead and what?  Life just goes on?  Everyone just walks around like everything is fine?  It’s not fine. 

I never watched Breaking Bad but I saw a clip where the kid is in rehab and he’s losing his shit because if you keep screwing up all the time and forgiving yourself what’s the point?  The old therapist guy said that beating yourself up doesn’t make anything better.  Both sides seem valid.  I guess if there was an answer people wouldn’t be fucked up all the time. 

I remember a guy at a show once who was upset because his father had died.  The promoter said to him “the show goes on no matter who dies”.  I guess that’s right. 

Nothing to say

I don’t feel the need to apologize for not posting for a while this time.  What is there to say?  That I’m drinking too much?  That I can’t sleep but I lay in bed most of the day?  That I’m blowing through my money staying at a motel  and not looking for work?

My car’s gone.  The police impounded it and I can’t get it back since I don’t own it.  Everything I own was in that car besides my phone.  I think about that sometimes when I should be thinking about how I probably got two people killed. 

That girl I “saved”?  She died a few days later.  They said she killed herself but I know the Asian girl did it.  The kid she was arguing with that night is dead too.  A week later they found him in his driveway with a skull fracture.  The police asked me about it like they think I did it.  Maybe the Asian girl made them think that. 

The story is that the kids were out in the woods partying.  I came up and asked them for money or drugs.  When they wouldn’t give me any I attacked them.  It makes more sense than the truth.  Maybe the Asian girl didn’t even have to do any magic to sell that story. 

Coming here was the worst thing I’ve ever done. 

(untitled)

She hadn’t given me very good directions where we were supposed to meet in Portage Woods but when I got there I followed the sounds of yelling.  You forget how far voices carry at night.  Maybe it seems that way because everything is quieter at night.

I walked on a paved trail for a while and then followed a dirt trail to a spot where people had worn their own path into the trees.  It was weird to be in a forest but to know that city streets were a couple hundred feet away.

They were in spot with a bunch of empty beer cans and some condoms on the ground.  The kid I saw riding his bike was there.  He has bleach blonde hair.  The kind where they leave the roots dark on purpose.  He has an ugly pouty face.  He’s skinny but in an athletic way.  Wiry I guess they call that.  Another kid was there who looked a lot like him, even had the same hair, must be brothers.

She looked like she was dressed to go clubbing later.  She was wearing a short skirt and a shiny top and heels.  Must have been hard to walk there in those shoes.  She was arguing with a kid who was probably 6’4 and had a lot of size on him.  I imagine he was a football player.  I only got to listen to them for a moment, but it sounded like he was mad because he thought they were just going to play a joke and she was taking things “too far”. 

The two blondes were between me and them and on the other side of them was what they were arguing about.  Two other football looking types were kneeling down holding a girl who they had on a leash like a dog.  They had a ball gag in her mouth and her face was streaked with blood from a wound on her head.  She looked like that girl who played Molly in Booksmart.   Her eyes were rolling like a frightened animal. 

There’s an image stuck in my head that I think is going to be there forever.  One of the guys holding her down was wearing a WWJD bracelet.  Not one of the rubber ones.  One of the metal engraved ones.  His hand was on her neck so tight next to this terrified girl’s face, streaming with blood, that little glint of metal in the darkeness.  WWJD.

I gathered that one of the boys had lured her there and then the rest ambushed her.  Sounds like they weren’t all in on the entire plan.  Or maybe they just didn’t want to believe it.  Once she saw me, she turned all her attention to screaming at me.  She asked why I talked to her mom as she was cursing at me.

I told her that whatever she was doing was over.  I told her to let the girl go and everyone would go home.  The next thing I knew I was down on the ground with a mouthful of dirt and leaves.  I felt like I had been hit in the chest with a bowling ball.  I couldn’t get my breath. 

I heard her telling her followers to “get her clothes off”.  I don’t know if she was talking about me or the girl on the leash.  I heard her screaming at them because they weren’t following her instructions.  I heard the one she was arguing with telling her that the magic and the “sex stuff” had been fun but this was too much.  I suddenly felt a painful sensation like being too close to a fire.  Just for a second.  I don’t know what that was. 

As I was trying to get to my feet one of the blonde kids came over and starting punching me.  I was in so much pain already I didn’t really feel it.  There was some yelling back and forth and I was dragged to my feet.  The kid she had been arguing with was down on the ground.  Looked like someone had hit him with a beer bottle.   One of the other football players was just standing there looking lost.  I didn’t see the other one anymore.  The brothers had taken control of the girl with the ball gag, holding her by the arms and yanking on the leash around her neck.

No one was holding me up.  I could feel hands on me.  They were strong like iron.  But nothing was there.  She was standing in the middle of this chaos looking so angry it was almost comical.  Like a cartoon character.  Only it wasn’t funny. 

My toes were barely touching the ground as I was dragged to her by an invisible force.  Once I was in front of her, she made an impatient gesture like someone swiping a phone and I was slammed into the ground so hard my vision went black for a minute.  I could see her lips moving but I couldn’t hear what she was saying, my ears were ringing so bad.

I pushed myself up with my hands and she aimed a kick at my face.  I turned my face away and she hit me in the shoulder.  There was barely any force behind it at all.  She stumbled and almost fell, the scared-looking football kid catching her by reflex.  I could see her screaming at him for touching her and him flinching away like an abused animal. 

When she turned back to me I grabbed her by the fingers on both hands and snapped them back.  She was far more powerful than me when it comes to magic.  But I doubt she had felt much real pain in her life.  She wasn’t prepared for anything like that.  There’s no way she could concentrate to do any more magic like that.  She screamed so loudly I could hear it.  She reeled away clutching her hands to her chest and crying.

I wanted to jump on her and knock her down and start punching her.  I wanted to beat her face until there was nothing left.  Because I was angry.  Because I was afraid.  Because I was disgusted.  And a little part because I was jealous.  Why should she have power if this is what she was going to do?  Why does she deserve to have a home and money and whatever she wants if this is what she’s going to do?  Part of me wanted to kill her. 

But I didn’t.  One of the brothers threw a beer bottle that hit me in the ribs.  It hurt more than I thought it would.  The other one had a knife out.  One of those locking ones that douchebag high school kids get.  He didn’t look like he knew what he wanted to do with it.  I walked over to the girl with the ball gag and the bottle thrower came forward like he was going to do something.  I shoved him out of the way and helped the girl to her feet. 

I told the one with the knife to stab me if he was going to fucking stab me.  He spit at me.  His brother came back to grab at the leash about the girl’s neck and I slammed my forehead into his face.  I was aiming for the nose but I hit him in the mouth.  His teeth ripped the skin away in a line from my brow to my left eyelid.  I felt some of his teeth snapping against my head.  I don’t think I’ll forget that sensation. 

We got lost three times trying to get back to my car.  I tried to get the leash off her neck and the gag out of her mouth but I couldn’t do either.  My fingers were clumsy and numb.  It felt like I was trying to undo a padlock with my bare hands.  She still had them on when we finally got to my car but she was able to get them off herself then.

The blood on her face was starting to get tacky and thick.  She asked me if I was okay.  She asked me.  I asked her where the police station was. 

(untitled)

This morning I had I swung back to thinking that I was being silly letting myself be intimidated by a teenager.  Whatever she knows and whatever she can do, she’s a child.  I decided I should talk to her parents.  I don’t know why that didn’t occur to me before. 

It wasn’t very hard to find her home address online.  When I went out to the parking lot there was some kid riding around on a bike eyeballing me.  I think I recognized him from some of her social media posts.  He zipped off before I could decide if I wanted to talk to him. 

The house was by Portage Woods, which is where she had told me to meet her later that night.  It was a nice enough place, a little run down.  It was narrow and long like old houses are.  The driveway was stretched out to a garage that was behind the house. 

I wasn’t expecting anyone to be home, ten in the morning I assumed everyone would be at work.  Maybe I was hoping no one would be home.  The mom answered.  I recognized her from the porn video.  She looked like Amy Ryan in Gone Baby Gone.  Not all the way cracked out but someone who’s living too hard, knows it, but can’t do anything about it.  She looked healthier in that video.  I wonder how long ago that was made. 

Caught off guard, I stammered that I wanted to talk to her about her daughter.  She asked if I was a cop.  I think she was pretty out of it.  Before I could answer she walked into the living room and sat down on the couch.  The place was kind of a mess but not a hoarder nest.  There was a TV stand with no TV.  On it were several piles of magazines, who buys magazines? 

She told me she didn’t know where her daughter was if I was there trying to arrest her.  She said that she wasn’t at school because she never went to school anymore.  I told her that I wasn’t a cop.  She asked me if I was from her lawyer’s office.  Before I could say anything, out of nowhere she said that she was on Lexapro and Chlorpromazine.  

I lamely told her that I thought her daughter might be mixed up with something.  She started crying without warning.  I had no idea what to do.  I asked her if I could talk to her husband and she said that he was gone.  I sat there not saying anything and having no clue what I should do next.  She sat there and cried unabashedly. 

I had no plan going in there.  What would I have said if she was able to talk?  That I think her daughter magically called me here to participate in human sacrifice?  I mumbled an apology for bothering her and left.  Driving away I thought about calling the police but what would I say?  It’s the same thing.   

When I got back to the motel I saw that kid riding around the parking lot again.  He cut down an alley when he saw my car.

She knew

I didn’t get much sleep last night but eventually I nodded off.  When I woke up this morning, I decided I was overreacting.  I decided that I was getting worked up over nothing.  I decided that this girl is not dangerous.  I decided that she just learned a little magic and was doing what teenagers do.  Lying about everything. 

I thought – it’s easy to assume the worst about young people.  You remember all the awful stuff people did to you when you were that age and you think “yeah, teenagers are monsters”.  And then if you add in power, real power on top of that?  Utterly despicable you assume.  But that’s not fair.  They’re just trying to learn how to be people.  They’re not violent sociopaths. 

Deciding that made me feel better.

I think I was right the first time. 

She came to pick me up in a 2019 Range Rover.  She said it was her boyfriend’s.  I said something about the wrestling show and she said this was a different boyfriend.  She said she has lots of boyfriends.  She took me to a little bar and grill and asked me how many people I had killed.  I thought she was just trying to shock me, same as before. 

But she knew.  I don’t know how she knew but she knew.  She talked about how great it was that I had found her.  She had never killed anyone before but I could teach her.

A few years ago when things were really bad for me, I stole this little thing called an awl punch.  I had been attacked a couple times and wanted a weapon to make myself feel better.  One day when I got to the apartment building I was squatting in, a guy was waiting for me.  He grabbed me from behind and got me around the throat.  I had the awl punch in my pocket and I got it out.  I stabbed him three times in the side of the neck.

He fell down holding his neck and looked at me with the strangest look.  Like he couldn’t believe what had happened.  I ran and never went back there.  I don’t know what happened to him but he probably bled to death.  You get stabbed in the neck and you’re not near a hospital, you’re probably going to die right?  When I think about it sometimes it doesn’t even seem real.  Other times it seems like the most real thing that has ever happened to me. 

She didn’t know details but she knew somehow.  She knew what I did.  She thought that I killed people to do magic.  I told her that I didn’t but she just laughed.  She said that she knew I was playing it safe until I knew if she was serious.  She was going to show me how serious she was. 

I don’t remember what I said exactly, but I said something questioning her magical abilities.  She moved her hand and a waitress collapsed and shattered a tray of plates and glasses.  She was knocked off her feet like she had been tackled by a linebacker.  It was so easy for her.  I couldn’t have done anything like that in a million years. 

She told me to meet her tomorrow night.  I agreed.  I didn’t know what else to do.

Can’t sleep

I can’t sleep.  After I got back here I sat on the bed for a long time doing nothing.  I got on my phone and started going down an internet hole on Christa Pike.  After a while I couldn’t get the image of her mug shot out of my head.  She was halfway smiling in the picture.  How she’s related to the girl I met, I don’t know.

If anything she said is even true.  I keep turning the entire conversation over in my mind.  I think she was lying about a lot of things.  Maybe she was lying about almost everything.  But she knew I was coming and she knew what happened.  So she’s the real thing when it comes to magic at least. 

There are a hundred things racing through my mind, but the one that I can’t get past is how she could be so much more powerful than me.  Just from a book she found?  With no one teaching her?  How is that possible?  The only thing that makes sense is that she’s not careful, doesn’t care what might happen when a spell goes wrong.  Maybe she’s just doing it by trial and error and has been lucky by not killing herself in the process so far. 

Part of me wants to just drive away and forget about all of this.  Part of me is mad at myself for being afraid of a fucking teenager.  I’ve never wanted to talk to Royale more than I do tonight.  He said that the ability to use magic is terrible burden.  That the purpose of learning magic is to protect people.  I didn’t know what he was talking about.  Demons?  Monsters?  He definitely stopped people from using magic to do bad things.  But how?  What did he do?

I wanted to talk to him so badly I did something I’ve never done before.  I prayed.  I don’t even really know to what or why.  I just did.  I begged whatever might be listening to let me talk to Royale for just a minute.  But that’s not how life works. 

Tl;dr

The AEPW show was fine.  Benny the evil referee was snug with me but it’s nothing I can’t handle.  I’ve been hurt worse for less.  I got to win, which was a nice change of pace.  What can I say about the MMA fight with Alyonka “Fist” Belaya?  I got paid.  I wasn’t planning on trying to make it a contest anyway but once I saw her there was no way in hell anyway.  She had fifty pounds on me at least. 

I looked online to see how MMA weight classes work, I guess I’d be a super welterweight but that’s the heaviest for women so there’s no limit from there?  If anyone knows about women’s MMA, explain it to me.  We danced around a little, she got me in a hold and I tapped.  The crowd started chanting “bullshit” and “fix”.  The end of my MMA “career” I assume.  It would only be a fix if the person who was supposed to win took a dive.  Why would anyone ask the person who was going to lose anyway to take a dive?  It was definitely bullshit, they were right about that.

I had about two grand in my pocket, more money than I’ve ever had at one time before in my life incidentally.  I had no shows upcoming.  It was time to head back to the site of the Bloody Mary incident.  First stop was the Welcome Inn & Suites.  I asked for the same room where I sat bleeding and dry heaving.  I don’t know why.  The guy working there remembered me.  He asked if I was going to make trouble again.  I asked him what he was going to do if I said yes.

After getting my accommodations squared away, I returned to the hallowed halls of the Berwyn Eagles Club.  Looked like there was a wedding reception going on there.  I didn’t really have a plan for investigating what had happened.  Walk about and see if I could sense something.  Try a version of my finding spell maybe.  It turned out I didn’t need a plan.

As I sat in my ’96 Caprice Classic wagon wondering what to do next, a girl popped out of a 2018 Lexus GS in the parking lot.  I’m not good at describing people.  I want to say she looked like that girl from Superstore but maybe I just think that because she’s Asian.  I don’t know how to phrase it, she didn’t look older than she was but she looked better?  I’m not explaining it well.  She’s one of those 17-year-olds that pervs who aren’t full pedos are counting down the days until her 18th birthday. 

The first thing she said to me was “Took you long enough”.  I’m not great in social situations but not because I get rattled.  This girl rattled me.  I felt off balance the entire time I was talking to her.  She’s the one who fucked up my spell.  I think whatever she did has been fucking up my magic since then.  Her boyfriend had dragged her to the show and I think she just did it because she was bored.

She took me to a Thai restaurant to talk.  One the way I asked her if her parents gave her the car.  She told me that a car dealership guy had given it to her because she used magic on him.  And had sex with him once.  The open way she talked about sex threw me off more than the way she talked freely about magic.

She told me that she had learned magic from some books she found that belonged to Christa Pike or her boyfriend.  If I had known who Christa Pike was at the time, I don’t know what I would have done in that moment.

I think this girl is seriously fucked up.  Not in an obvious way.  I watched that show about the girl that did the Slenderman stabbings and she totally seems like a psycho.  You can tell.  This girl wasn’t like that.  She seemed normal enough sometimes.

She obviously wanted to show off.  She shoved her phone in my face and I asked her why she was showing me porn.  She laughed and said that it was her mom and a teacher that was hassling her.  She said that she used magic to make them have sex and she recorded it and put it online.

I think she was lying about a lot of things she said she did, but if even half the shit she said was true, she’s a far more powerful magic user than I am.  I felt numb walking away from that restaurant.  She took me back to my car and told me to meet her tomorrow. 

I think something very bad is going to happen.