The room is mostly dark, slightly lit only by a dim lamp on a nightstand. On a partially elevated cot near the wall lies Jeffrey Roberts, his uncharacteristically neat hair pulled back into a bobbed style, held in place with a pin. Roberts is in formal wear, full tux and tails, on his back with his eyes closed.
Chopin Nocturne Op.9 No.2 is playing from an unseen speaker.
“Your homophobic roots are showing, Ken Cloverleaf.”
“How appropriate though, yes? Sexuality is merely an adrenaline rush by another name, and in our context adrenaline is merely my drug of choice. You like the boner line? If you were a female I might quote Freud here considering your fascination, but instead I think it a fitting metaphor for the truth -- that you are afraid.”
“I don’t mind. Mindless drivel perpetrating to be insult is your primary language, Ken, and the thinly veiled truth is far too uncomfortable for you to admit."
"Everything about you, however, screams at having nothing to say, and every mannerism, every twitch and expression tells me all I need to know. It’s as though we were children on the playground, and while you call me a poo-poo head and neener-neener-neener yourself to death, I stare at you, studying, observing, looking through you to your soul.”
“You talk about assault and imprisonment, and it cheapens the enjoyment of what we could create together. The laws of man have ensnared me before, Kenneth, and yet there are many a slip between a cup and a lip. Somehow despite my violent past, I’m still here and able to compete. How do you suppose that is?”
“As it turns out there is a sizable amount of leeway given to injuries inflicted during the course of a professional wrestling match. It seems that as our sport is inherently violent, we are expected to maim each other, you and I. If there just happens to be something sharp around ringside, and I use it, well… I guess we’ll just chalk that up to one of the perils of the business.”
“On the other hand…..”
Roberts’ head sways a bit to the music as he speaks…
“It seems to me that you’ve forgotten something very very important. I happen to be a very…. VERY good wrestler in my own right. It’s not just a matter of chairs and thumbtacks, my friend. I keep coming back to this because, all in all, it’s the one thing in my life that I’ve excelled at. I’ve succeeded DESPITE my little….. eccentricities, not BECAUSE of them. They are neither weakness nor strength. They simply ARE.”
“In fact, since you’re putting your brightly colored eggs in the basket of being the best wrestler in this contest, I’d like to remind you of A1E’s Sudden Death, which happened around Easter of 2009. And, I’d like to point out that someone defeated someone else cleanly in the middle of the ring. Someone hit a jumping DDT, followed it up with a running Liger Bomb, then hit the Shooting Star Guillotine for a very… very clean three count and won the other man’s championship. Who was it that won that match, Ken? Was it the Easter Bunny? Why, the Shooting Star Guillotine. THAT’S MY MOVE ISN’T IT?!”
“See, a guy like me, a guy who takes pills to remain focused on reality, a guy like that, he…. Well, he can be forgetful. So remind me, please….. Who defeated Ken Cloverleaf for his championship that night, KENNETH?”
“Greatest professional wrestler to ever grace the squared circle….. pinned cleanly, left so frustrated that he turned his attention to brutalizing the referee for daring count his shoulders to the mat."
"If I had a shred of decency in me, I’d have stopped such foolishness and not allowed you to hurt that poor man, but if the truth be told, I was more disappointed you didn’t hurt him even more. I was hoping for something, and once again, you disappointed me. And so it is, as always, that I am left shrugging my shoulders, looking for fulfillment elsewhere.”
“Making my mark with you is the easy part, Ken. Hurting you is like riding a bicycle. All of this is second nature, and the truth is, it’s a lot easier for you to stand there and say you can’t take it, than it is to actually take it. I’ve heard people like you say things like that before, but no less do they squeal like children when I have them locked up in a submission, grinding a nail in their forehead. No less do they clutch their throats and gasp for air when I drop my knee across their windpipes."
"Tearing tendons and shredding muscles is speaking my language, Ken. I’m fluent. Have you completed your immersion in the process? Or are you just a dabbler? Conversational violence is left, aptly, to conversation. And that’s all we’re doing here right now. By now, I would think you’d know better than this, but I guess you’re a slow learner.”
“Your heart isn’t in this, Cloverleaf. You know it. I know it. Everyone knows it. If this is all you have in you to bring, I’ll crush you into a thin red paste and be on my way. Eventually I’ll find someone worth creating my symphony for, eventually I’ll find my peace, eventually…. my madness will find its solace. Apparently, though…. not with you. No. Not you. With you it’s just armlocks and hiptosses, ending in another unsatisfying win.”
“Back to the playground, Ken Cloverleaf. Apparently, that’s all you are.”
Roberts makes no other gesture… just keeps his eyes closed and continues to listen to the music….