Mortality is everything to an old man.
When you’re knocking fifties’ door down, you can’t help but wonder when the old ticker is going to call it a day - punch out and never come back, you know what I mean? It’s terrible - that thought. We aren’t machines - and us labeled geriatrics can feel every God damn wound, every God damn bruise, every God damn indicator that we’re nothing but flesh and bone.
I’m not here to maintain some ungodly resistance. Jesus, I’m too tired for that nonsense. I’d rather go to bed - for, like, thirteen hours, wake up, and get a stuffed biscuit from Anthony’s Deli. I have enough money to sit on my ass and indulge in Cheers and MASH marathons on Netflix, barely moving a muscle unless I want to yank the old rusted chain - because that’s what life is all about when you’ve reached the other side.
And we all reach the other side.
Earth? It’s for ambitious, twenty-something overzealous pricks - metrosexual mutants that can rebound from a 48-hour party bender and then work out for five-hours. You ask of me - or anyone who’s psychological compass is pointed in a similar direction - to do something like that, and I’ll ask you for a bullet to the head.
These Glass Ceiling cocksuckers - who has time for this? How do all of you have time for this? And in the end, what does it do for you? Who do you become as a unit after beating on a guy, who could easily be your father, when it’s all said and done? I’ve talked about legacy - building on it - because that’s what life, as part of the youthful side of this great nation of ours is about, but do any of you roidbots understand that you’re doing nothing but breaking down your legacy’s walls?
You know, I remember when I ventured out to create the Highwaymen. It was this - I don’t know, this alliance that was there to take on the antagonists. They were the force that defied the opposition, for the sake of keeping the space we all occupy a beautiful, wonderful, peaceful thing.
It quickly dissolved.
And it wasn’t because I disliked the other guys. Not at all. It was because I realized what begins to happen to an individual’s legacy when he’s holding the hands of others that are just as much on their own journey as you are. It deteriorates its natural value; think of all of the bands, all-boy or all-girl groups out there that eventually divided in order to make sure their personal agendas were in tact - and then look at the level of success some of these individuals had.
Lionel Ritchie, Beyonce, Justin Timberwhatever, Stevie Nicks - your personal agenda means everything, and it was a necessary to dissolve Highwaymen for the sake of preserving what myself, and the other men that were part of this network, had in their own unique chambers.
The Glass Ceiling doesn’t get that - do they? They’re young and I’ll admit, I did some stupid ass shit when I was young. In fact, I ruined myself on more than one occasion when I was a kid. There’s progress to fame and money - and it can be a beautiful thing - but there’s such a sharp blade at the opposite end, and it can cut you deep. Ducey Goosey, Jar-Jar Binks, and Fruity aren’t there yet, I guess. There’s no stopping them from hitting the wall though. It’s like a fucking steam train at full speed with a brick wall a mere 500-feet away; that bitch is going to bash into that wall, and there’s nothing - absolutely nothing - that’s going to stop it.
As sad as it is, guys, you’re going to collide with a wall that’s far bigger than you, man, and it’s not going to feel good.
No, that isn’t some gimmicky metaphor that references back to me. Lord knows that I’m not going to be the one that stops you. Shit, I’d be an idiot to put myself in that position again. I’ve had enough hospital visits, enough doctors telling me to cut the shit, to know that I’ve reached the end of my rope.
But that wasn’t at the hands of you jackasses. If anyone gets credit for sending me on my demise, it was the first man that truly challenged me - and my life in general - when I came back to this vindictive virus of a world. You won’t get credit for my demise, just like I won’t get credit for yours - but one day? One day, you assholes are going to thank me for the warning signs - the fucking flashing indicators that implored you to either take an alternate route or completely turn around.
I gave you a chance to see the forest for the trees, boys.
If you choose not to listen, then that’s entirely on you. As far as I go, I’ve still got vengeance on my mind. Not victory - vengeance. You may wonder what the difference is, and I’ll tell you. The former is for the sake of adding something else to my shelf. I don’t know need that - shit, I don’t want that. I just want an opportunity to hurt a few more people, you know? When you get to a point in your life, it’s not about the fucking victories, man. It’s about how much blood you can spill - how many God damn bones you can break.
You ever have that moment while you’re driving where you start talking to yourself:
I wish it was legal - for just one day - for me to mow into these dumb bastards with my Cadillac.
GTA-Style - no true regret - just mow them down like overgrown, irritating blades of grass. My brain is at this place now. And you know, seeing as how I can’t do that, I’m at least blessed with the fact that I am of the profession of executing pain with penetrating punctuation. I don’t have any long-lasting ties to the obliteration either, man. That’s the beautiful thing. I can go in there and blast someone into space with my fists and have absolutely zero empathy towards what I’ve done - because it’s what I’m supposed to do, right?
The Accelerator is supposed to break down the walls, make the fans jump from their seats and puke out nothing but adrenaline - so, one could kind of say that I’m obligated to do this, right?
I digress, I’m tired.
The truth is, I don’t really want any of this.
I just want to be old and secluded. I just want to pick my feet up, rest for awhile, and maybe even watch some porn. Like, sloppy porn. And then afterwards, I want to be a kid again in my old, geriatric world. I want to make myself a big cup of chocolate milk, maybe microwave some popcorn, and fire up the old game system. Shit, maybe I’ll buy a new game system and by the time I’ve on the verge of respirator-life, I’ll have learned the damn thing.
It’s not about being the best me that I can be at this point. I’ve done that. I’ve surpassed all of you bullying fucks ten-fold - in success, in attitude, in groove, in style - in absolutely everything that you ever thought you were the Godfathers of.
It’s about being Harley.
Whatever the fuck that is now.
[Flash cut - Patriotic music. WLFN Brooklyn FM - The News of Empire State]
“Thanks for tuning in, friends. Bill Doormeyer here with you tonight, as always, with breaking news. Harley Hodge, the man formerly known as Angel - a local wrestling legend who began his career right here in Brooklyn, has made it clear to social media that he will be officially retiring after a final slew of obligations with his current promotional mainstay, the Championship Wrestling Federation. Hodge insisted that there will be no farewell tour and no media blitz based upon his announcement as Hodge stated, “I just want to drift off with the sunset”. There are still tickets available for The Accelerator’s final shows, so be sure to get them while you can. In the meantime - from the bottom of the heart of a longtime fan, Brooklyn and elsewhere will miss you, Harley.”
[Harley sits in his car as it idles on the side of a road, next to a typical brownstone in the Brooklyn borough. His hands grip against the steering wheel while he stares at the abandoned gym that he came to when he was just a boy - with nothing but a pipe dream tucked away of one day becoming a wrestling star. He’s worse for wear - with a bandage over his forehead and two black eyes - cuts and scrapes across his cheeks - but he shows a grin - a peaceful grin.]
[Then the passenger door opens. It’s Harley’s father - wearing a beige trench coat and a cabbie hat, breathing warm air into his hands. He is transparent however - like a ghost. This makes sense - since his father has passed. Many years ago. Harley isn’t surprised though - as if this has happened on more than one occasion. Harley doesn’t glance at him. Instead, he reaches for a newspaper in the backseat and hands it to him.]
“Cold as the witches’ balls out there.”
[His dad unfolds the newspaper. Harley furrows his eyebrows.]
“A witch has balls?”
[His dad raises his eyebrows.]
“You’d be surprised what you see up there, old boy. At least it isn’t cold like Brooklyn.”
“Well, I mean, it is November.”
“Yeah. Time flies, don’t it?”
[Harley’s dad folds the newspaper back up and throws it at his feet.] “Nothing ever exciting. Been gone for how many years now and nothing. I remember when they used to have you on the front of the Sports section at least twice a week. You remember that Harley?”
[Harley laughs.] “Oh yeah, I remember. Yep, especially that one time…”
“The time when they got me bent over….”
[Simultaneously, they say it together.]
“Full moon bareassed.”
[They both laugh.]
“I didn’t have a chance to pull my damn tights up before that asshole flashed the lense…”
[It made for some funny times at the dinner table though - especially after your momma went.]
“Yeah.” [Harley nods, folding his arms against his chest.] “I miss her. I miss her a lot.”
“Oh she misses you too, Harley. They still haven’t called her damn number. Poor girl is still stuck in Transition - years now. Heaven is just getting too full, old boy. As as she gets here though, she’ll pay you a visit. I’m certain of that. Until then, you keep a good head on your shoulders and put a cap to a career that you should be proud of. I don’t think I’ve said that enough to you, son, but I am mighty proud of you.”
[Tears begin to fall from Harley’s eyes, but he sniffles them back up.]
“I’ve always been proud of you too, Dad. All of this - all of the craziness of this life that I’ve lived - even going forward, dealing with some of these horrible bastards - it’s all for you guys.”
“So, you’re beating people up in memorium of us? You know, there’s other ways to handle your frustrations - like therapy.”
[Harley and his father laugh - and they laugh hard.]
“Oh, you know what I mean.”
[His dad responds.] “Yep, I do. Always will know what you mean, son. Always.”
“Well at least someone does…” [Harley turns to the passenger side and his father is gone. He looks down and nods.]
“Tell Mom I love her. We’re at the tailend here, Pops, but we’ve still got some unfinished business.”
[Harley puts the car in drive.]
“So let’s do this shit.”