That's the last time I'm getting high and driving through New Mexico. Went left, when I should've went right.. Byson threw me off track with that nonsense he was spewing. Ended up in a no go zone and the rest is classified. Good thing unc is well connected within the military. He pulled a few strings, called up a couple of 'friends’ and we were on our way.
The car ride was fairly quiet for the rest of the trip to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Byson thumbed through his phone, playing Angry Birds as I turned up the radio a bit, “Whistle Blowers” by Don Trip and Starlito jammed through the auxiliary cord, connected to my cellular device. I nod my head to the beat, really more or less trying to clear my head from the fuckery that had occurred a couple of hours ago. Aside from the tunes, the awkward silence was killing me.
“Y'wait ya whole life fo’ some shit like dat t'happen... and fo’ what? Some muthafuckas t'come along and basically say screw whateva rights you thought you had..”
Clearing his throat and turning the music up a bit more. Byson points towards the phones and then to his lips, mouthing the words..“Shut the fuck up…”
Reaching the exit, to get off in Albuquerque. Making our way through town, my GPS leads me to the Knights Inn Albuquerque East. The yellow bricked, two story hotel looked decent enough, especially for the cheap price.
For the record, I don't care how rich I get. If it's fo’ tha lo’, I'm on it fa sho.
Anyways, I pulled into one of the parking spaces near the office, placing the car in park. I get out to go rent two rooms for a couple of days while the crew was in town for the show. After I was done with that, I got back in the car and drove towards the rooms. Once again parking, I shut the vehicle off as me and Byson exit the vehicle. Grabbing the bags from the trunk, we head up the stairs that were placed in the center of the hotel, leading up to the second floor. Nearing my room, I give Byson his key as I go to enter my room.
“Link back up wit me in bout an hour, gotta clear my head fo’ a minute..”
“Alright bro..” Byson replied as he carried on towards his room.
Opening the door, I place my bag on the bed as I laid back on the bed myself. My mind was racing a million miles a minute. Truly astonished, intrigued by the things I learned in such a short span. Things that if I spoke about, I would either be treated like a martyr or a lunatic. Either way I guess it's best to keep some things to yourself. Especially if you don't want to be locked up and tortured as an enemy of the state.
The thought of getting my hands on Ryan was something that I'd rather focus on, especially with the tag match against him and Taxi coming up tomorrow.. I needed to be prepared..
Rising up, I reach for my bag and unzipped it, pulling out a two feet long, thick chain that I stare at in amazement.
“Damien… I thank it's time to unleash hell..”
With a shiny, toothy grin, I smile. Knowing that this was the start of a beautiful relationship.
After Main Event
Fresh off the helms of victory and I've never felt better. Well at least eighty-five percent, it really wasn't a good idea to place Damien inside of my kneepad. Bruised it a bit, but nothing to major. Pulling the pad down, I rub my knee a bit trying to ease the slight pain that shot through it as Byson slaps me on my shoulder.
“Yeahhh baby, that's what I'm talking about, show Ryan who he's messing with!”
With a smirk, I nod and continue to rub my leg. Byson excitedly exclaiming victory as if the job had been completed. I had to pump his brakes…
“It felt good.. at tha same time though, D-Ry gotta legacy in dis business. He ain't t'be taken lightly.. naw… not by a long shot.. But dat's for lata’, now it's time t’focus on Graves…”
“I hear you loud and clear my brother.. Get dressed, so we can get out of here before we end up being detained again.”
“Ya ain't said shit but a word bruh, I'm on it..”
With that I was off to hit the showers, ready to cleanse my body of tonight's match.
March 30, 2019
Colorado Springs, Colorado
I'm really debating on moving to Colorado.. I mean holy shit, it's the mecca of legalized marijuana.. How could a guy like me go wrong with relocating here?
Then again I'm really not a fan of cold weather. And holy fuck was it cold here.. Thirty-five degrees? Hell of a weather change from New Mexico to Colorado..
Byson and myself sat inside of the car in front of MiNDfUL Weed Shop, the car was still running as we tried to keep toasty in the heat.
“I'm really trying to figure out why I'm in this car with you.. It's fucking freezing out here!” Byson stated as he rubbed his hands together, trying to create some warmth.
“Ya could've stayed at the hotel bruh..” I replied nonchalantly, really focused on this walk to the front door of this establishment.
With a baffled look on his face, he stated. “And freeze my nuts off in the room? I'll pass.. besides, you really need to start spending more money for better rooms..”
“Ain't you tha one wit a mulit-million dollars corporation? Yo’ ass should be tha one footin’ tha bill!”
“I don't know what you're talking about..” He replied, feigning innocence.
“Dat's what I thought.. Now look, I'm bout t'run in here real quick, snatch me up somethin’ and boom.. I'm back befo’ ya kno’ it.”
“Hurry up, cause it's cold as hell out here.”
Acknowledging him, I exit the vehicle and race towards the door, opening it and scurrying inside.
“Hey! You're Duce Jones!”
I hear the man behind the counter yell as I stop in my tracks.
“I knew it was you man, bring your ass on in and buy some grade A pot!”
Slowly making my way towards the guy, I finally come to the counter, shaking his outstretched hand.
“Uhhh.. nice t'meet ya?”
The guy could have been in his late twenties, maybe early thirties.. who knows, I'm not good at guessing ages. But he was sporting an all black CWF t-shirt, so it was obvs..
Isn't that the saying these days?
It was obvs that he was a fan of the product. His eyes were tighter than an Asian and the place reeked of a heavenly scent that I wish I could get stuck up my nose.
“I’d never in a million years would've believe that I would actually be meeting you. However we do have a high abundance of wrestlers who buy pot from here whenever they're in town.”
“Is dat right?”
“Damn skippy.. Hey, check this out..”
Pointing towards the wall, he shows me what appears to be a vigil of signatures from wrestlers, even with a few celebrities sprinkled in.
“Pretty neat right? You mind adding your John Hancock? The guys never believe me when I tell em whenever I meet someone..
“Well usually, I don't like signin’ thangs, but dat looks as if it's gonna withstand tha test of time. Hell yeah I'll sign dat muthafucka..”
Eagerly he grabs the scroll like vigil, placing it on the counter. Grabbing a pen from out of the cup that was sitting on the counter, he hands it to me as I scribble my signature in an open spot I found. I hand him the pen back as I'm now prepared to do business.
“You ready for your match against Graves? That Twitter battle between the two of you guys was really heating up.”
Guess he's got other plans.
“Got no otha’ choice.. Dis business is cut throat, so ya always gotta be on yo’ game.”
“I hear ya man, and the Graves kid, he's been looking impressive since his debut. You guys kinda favor.. are the two of you related?”
“Naw.. Byson's the only brother I got..”
“That has to suck.. Where is he anyway? I would think for sure he would be standing right here beside you.”
“He's chose t’stay and wait inside of tha car.”
“Well maybe next time, but yeah, you and that Johnny Graves could almost pass for doppelgangers..”
“T'fuck is a doppelganga’, dat shit sound like a bad S.T.D.”
“Do you not know anything about mythos?”
I shake my head in the negative.
“Naw… y'mean Twilight?”
“You poor man, you don't know what you're missing. There's these two brothers, but they're vampires and they both fall in love with the same girl. However she's human, but the plot twist of the story is that the vampire who turned them, actually looked like the other girl. They could've passed for twins if they weren't born centuries apart.”
My mind lost in the whirlwind of his enthusiasm, I had to be straight forward.
“Can I buy some weed or naw?”
“Oh shit, my bad bro. Got caught up in fandom mode..”
“Whateva’ dat is..”
“Oh it's when y…”
Finally fed up with the lectures, I hold my hand up.
“Don't…. mane.. just don't.. All I wanna do is get high. That's all…”
Still stoned as ever the guy nods his head in response.
“So you know what you're looking for?”
“I'm sorry but we don't sell aliens.”
“It's a strand of weed, it's literally advertised and labeled right there my guy.. Y'kno’ what? Fuck it.. Gimme whateva’ that fuck it was dat yo’ ass smoked befo’ I got here. Cause if it got you feelin’ like dis.. I need it in my life.”
“Now see that's where the danger lies..”
“At dis point, I really don't care.. I want a half of dat and a half of the AD and I'm good to go..”
“That's what I'm trying to say Duce, it was a mixture of different strands rolled up in a fat doobie..” He states, giving me that pothead smile.
“Well check dis out.. how bout you mix all those up until they weigh fourteen grams..”
“Will do.. Give me a second.”
He's off to set me straight, suddenly the door swings open as a cold and irritated Byson stands there shivering.
“The fuck is taking you so long man. I'm going to be meeting the Encino Man in a minute!”
“T'fuck is an Encino Man?”
“Oh my God! Byson! You have to come sign my vigil..”
Out of curiosity, Byson turns towards me.
“What is he talking about?”
“Just sign tha thang so we can get outta here.” I whispered to Byson out the corner of my mouth.
Observingly nodding, Byson makes his way over towards the counter and signs the vigil as I pay for my ‘medication’. Finally done, we both go to make our exit. Him leaving me with some final words.
“Whatever you do, make sure you don't smoke that before your match!”
Giving him a thumbs up, Byson and myself exit the shop and hurriedly get back to the car, as I start it up and head back for my hotel. Hoping to smoke a few blunts before I was off to do my promo.
Later that evening.
When that guy told me not to smoke none of this weed before a match was starting to become a clearer point as I stood in front of an Evolution backdrop. Everyone looked set to go, but me on the other hand was stoned out of my fucking mind.
This shit was serious, producers, staff and other workers were starting to become hazy 2 dimensional pixel figures of themselves. It was quite amusing, especially when they're trying to get you to the right cue so things could go off without a hitch.
I'd be lying if I said I was the perfect person to work with at that moment. I wasn't though, I had an insane urge to find humor in things that weren't funny.
“Duce can we get this going?” Clay Smith, one of the producers ask as I make googly eyes with Catherine Sawyer, one of the costume designers.
“Aye Cathyyy! I'm gonna need some new gear when I put dis scrub in his place. Aye shawty, you thank you could upgrade dis piece of shit facemask? I thank I'm starting t'like dis shit.. Matta’ fact..”
I unhook the straps of my mask, tossing it to Cathy who catches it like a pro.
“Here… I appreciate you in every way possible.. You the best. Because you're smart and you're loyal. Who the best?”
I point towards Catherine, forcing her cheeks to grow red from embarrassment.
“You the best, Cat.. you the best..”
“There, there DJ Khaled..” Byson states as he walks into view, shaking his head at me as I slowly begin to bob to a mysterious beat in my head. “My apologies ladies and gentlemen, Duce is a bit…” Looks at me as I continue dancing, now doing the Shoot. “Under the weather… boy I tell ya about the temperatures dropping. It's merely ridiculous. But that man..”
The camera now points at me as I'm now dancing, doing what's known as Memphis Jookin’. Out of my peripheral view, I notice Byson face palm.
“That man might not seem like it right now, but when Tuesday Night hits and those cameras are rolling… The lights will be shining bright! And Duce is gonna be on the loose. And it's going to be magnificent and you Mister Graves will be…”
My bro Byson was on a roll but I guess the fact that I was stuffing my face and talking to Tony about new ideas for catering.
“See what ya do is spread tha peanut butta’ on tha honey bun right, then ya warm dat up fo’ bout a minute in tha oven right then boom! Y'take dem some bitches out, then sprinkle crumbled up chocolate chip cookies on top of dem muthafuckas… Fye!”
“Fye?” Tony questioned with a questionable look in his eyes.
“My bad.. They were fire… meanin’ they good as hell.”
“Yo Duce.. can you chill for a moment while I talk about Johnny Graves!” Byson shouts in my direction.
I'm appalled, the nerve of this..
“Graves!?” I state in disgust, stepping back and placing my hand on my chest.“Gravvveeesss!?!?!? Tha man who's bout t'write a check his ass can't cash? Tha man who feels he's some big shot cause he gotta few 'W's’? Tha fuckin’ asshole who gets censored in his own fuckin’ promos? Graves!? Fuck outta here…”
“That all may be true, but currently you should probably be taking this serious.”
“He kno’ what's up. Dat's why he talk dat big game, cause he kno’ dat he's steppin’ in tha rang wit somebody's dat's official. Not t'down any of ya otha’ opponents, cause anythang can happen on any given night. But Johnny Boy be clear! Ya got tha right one.. I got in dis business t'be one'a tha best t'eva grace dat squared circle. Dat shit bout win streaks don't mean a damn thang. It's what ya do afta’ losin’ dat determines ya worth. Do ya sit round and bitch bout it or do ya take tha necessary steps t'make sho ya betta’ tha next time ya go in front of those folks who spent dat money..
It's called elevation homie.. cause no matta’ how many times ya scream I lost a World Championship match.. It doesn't make one bit of difference cause I'm right where I belong. Takin’ dis shit t'tha next level. Ya got me by a couple years so we come from tha same era. Tha same generation.. tha difference between us though is dat I kno’ I gotta work fo’ my spot. Dis shit don't come easy.. Eight matches afta’ my debut I was undefeated and CWF World Champion.. Got one defense unda’ my belt and lost it tha next time out… though it was dubious circumstances.. I took dat shit in stride bruh, kept training, kept studying, kept doin’ what I had t'do t'make sho my spot was solidified. Tha name Duce rang bells bruh!”
“I see your ‘medication’ has really started to amped up.”
“Naw bruh.. J.G. tha one grindin’ my gears. Joke? Tha only joke is you smellin’ ya own nuts thanking dat ya gonna be World Champ someday. Sho you got tha drive and tha heart but dat attitude gonna bite ya in tha ass. Real talk, ya should've listened t'ya Pops, cause I damn sho did.. and dat's tha difference, ya thank because y'got tha skill, tha talent and all around athleticism, thangs should be handed to ya on a silver platter. Tha endorsement deals should be rollin’ in..” I look towards Simon Cambridge, the head of Sponsor Relations. “I gotta get wit ya bout some shit, by the way.. But Graves, tha bottom line is dis.. tha Twitter war is ova’ and done wit and it's time t'step tha fuck up in tha rang and put our money where our mouth is. Evolution 47 is gonna be yo’ rude awakening.. yo’ eye openin’ experience cause it's not always bout wins and losses. It's bout what yo legacy ends up bein’ and whether or not you can make all dis worth somethin’. Dat's what I plan on doin’ and til I'm in a ‘grave’, tha name Duce Jones is gonna be on tha tip of everybody's tongue and I hope it taste like shit in they mouth…”
With that I start to Milly Rock with an intense look in my eyes. My focus never leaving the lense with each swipe of a hand. Byson with a slight grin on his face, looks towards the camera man, giving him the cue.