Moments like these….
[Uptown Dallas, roof bar]
The first day of spring, and it feels like it in Dallas. A light chill from the wind, but not unbearable. This is Texas after all, and the light chill is still sixty-five degrees. I slide my windbreaker off and slide it across the shoulders of Marissa, who is shivering. She wraps it around her tightly and gives me a peck on the cheek in thanks. I give her a warm smile as we then continue across the rooftop to the bar. We order brandy’s for her to take the chill off, for me, well, it’s what she likes, so I can go with that. I still have a slight limp from the knee injury, but it’s coming along.
Marrisa: Still hurt a lot?
Jimmy Allen: A bit, but nothing to worry about.
Marrisa: I beg to differ, there’s a lot to worry about.
I smile at her vehemence about the injury, and I agree it is a worrisome injury. This has happened before and it takes a while to heal up completely.
Jimmy Allen: Not going to argue that point at all. It’s as much a part of this business as suplexes. Everyone works hurt, this will take time to heal, but it will heal.
She frowns at my matter of fact tone and nonchalant attitude about it. I give her my best “Bane” smile and she rolls her eyes at me. We both end up laughing. She’s about to take a drink when a thought occurs to her and she simply asks….
Marrisa: So, have you thought about alternative treatments? It’s not anything against U.S. Doctors but sometimes someone knows more than they do.
Jimmy Allen: I’ve considered it, yes. I don’t even know who I would talk to.
She shakes her head and sighs heavily.
Marrisa: Really Jimmy? All that time in Japan taught you nothing?
I stop in mid retort, just as I’m raising my hand up to extend my index finger to make a point. I smile and facepalm instead.
Jimmy Allen: That’s fair. You’re right of course, I do know who to talk to.
Jimmy and Marrisa(in unison): Doc Chen.
[Plano, Texas - The offices of Dr. Chen]
There’s sterile and then there is Japanese sterile. The offices were in pristine condition. Doctor Martin Chen; a man well known in this part of Texas for his radical approaches to illnesses and injury. Marrisa and I sit in the examination room waiting on the doctor to arrive. A tap comes at the door before the doc arrives. I notice he has the x-rays provided by my previous doctor in hand. I begin to stand and he motions for me to stay seated.
Dr. Chen: Well, there’s no need for all of that.
He shakes my hand as he makes his way to the small stool and takes a seat.
Dr. Chen: You’re a lucky man Mr. Allen.
He stands and places the x-rays on the projector.
Dr. Chen: This is what we call the “Red Area of the Meniscus”, when you have a tear there, you can heal without surgery. If it were in the “White Zone”, we’d be having a much different conversation.
A sigh of relief washes over me. Hearing this makes me realize that I’d been treating it correctly then. Cold compression and rest. Well mostly anyway, I’d been using ice bags but I was still moving around a lot.
Dr. Chen: Knowing what you do for a living, I know you are not and will not take a break from activities. Have you quit taking that poison they were giving you for pain?
Jimmy Allen: Yes sir, I don’t like what pain medications do to people.
I hand him the pill bottle and he takes it, setting it on his desk, he frowns.
Dr. Chen: Highly addictive.
I know first hand how addictive they can be. I watched my father battle that demon, without Dr. Chen, he’d likely be dead.
Jimmy Allen: I remember.
He nods and then smiles.
Dr. Chen: Ah, yes that was a long time ago. Anyway, keep doing what you’ve been doing, treating it with ice and getting as much rest as possible. The damage is not extensive, much less than we originally thought. Normally it would take 6 to 8 weeks for it to completely heal. You should be good to go in about four weeks.
That was good news indeed, now I just had to focus on it not getting more damaged than it was until it could heal.
Marrisa: Dr. Chen, is there any other treatment that could speed up the healing?
Doctor Chen studies her for a moment and smiles politely.
Dr. Chen: No, no there is not. You think I got Mr. Miagi hidden away here somewhere? Foolish girl.
Well, the fallout was large, was it not? Three angry souls over a title they didn’t win. I completely empathize with them. The way that went down was unfortunate. I am and always will be an opportunist. Did I use the chaos and confusion to my advantage? You’re damn right I did. Just as any of them would have in my place. As all of them have in their pasts. That’s how most titles are won in this company. There is a very old saying, “Controversy breeds cash”. It is more appropriate to our industry than it is to most. Through the adversity, you grow, or you get left behind.
Silas, you and I have some unfinished business, don’t we? I think this was the first match we’ve had where someone didn’t stick their nose in my business and cost me a match. So the one time, someone doesn’t hit me with something to give you a victory, you have an issue with that? I get it, you feel robbed, but downplaying my achievement is far from fair. Your grievance should be with the dipshit that caused you to get pinned. You want to put an asterisk by name in the CWF history books. Know what? Not gonna happen, because that’s not how the business works. All the CWF history books will say is that Jimmy Allen defeated Silas Artoria, Scourge, and Q for the Paramount Title. I wish you no ill will Silas, but it’s not as if I conspired with that jackass to get the belt.
When you are this damn good, you don’t have to bend the rules to your will. You put the work in, you strive to be better than everyone else every day. The rest falls into place. And yes, it really is as simple as that. You can call me a blowhard, a braggart, egomaniacal, whatever helps you sleep at night. At the end of the day, you know just as I know. If you bore witness to it, it’s not bragging. You boys can blame the “special” referee all you want to, and yes he’s shady as fuck. At the end of that match, I was the one to claim the victory and walk away with the belt. That’s all that matters to me. It’s all that should matter to you.
So, my first match back and I get the big man known as Scourge. The self-proclaimed right hand of justice. Funny. I’ve seen not one thing from you that indicates that you are here to serve justice to anyone. If you were, you would be talking to people like Autumn Raven. She suffered at the hands of Silas for years. You want to prove your mettle, you want to show the bosses that you deserve a shot at this title. In my opinion, you do. If it were up to me, this would be for the title. You are without a doubt one of the most agile big men I’ve ever been in the ring with. It won’t be enough big fella. Not by a long shot.
Your biggest obstacle when you face me is yourself. You’re one of those people, they reach for the brass ring, time and again. They never can reach it though. They just can’t seem to get out of their own way. When you come for me big boy, you better be focused. Oh, that’s right, we’ve seen what happens when you get target fixation. You become so focused, you get tunnel vision. At that point, you seem to lose track of what’s going on around you. You get lost in the moment, forgetting the task at hand. And then you lose.
It’s moments like these that will help you to gauge your own character and the character of others. How do you handle adversity? Can you bounce back from having your moment ruined by someone else? Can you reach for and grab the brass ring without tipping too far forward and doing a nose plant? Catching a break around here can be like trying to catch a falling star. Have you ever tried to catch a falling star Scourge? How about a falling Lone Star? See ya soon big man, it’s gonna be fun!