I stared at the page in front of me.
Simple. All of it was incredibly simple.
I shouldn’t say that. It’s uncomplicated, not necessarily simple. But I’ve gotten straight A’s since the first grade, and math came pretty easily to me. I take it that makes me one of about seven people currently studying math who gets it.
But I’m distracted. I’ve got AP algebra in front of me, and my brain is focused on Chicago and Ikan Jobtayoo, my opponent next week in my debut match for the Red Line.
Calculating the saturation of this company online against the likelihood of people outside of the Chicago Area who would care about a Chicago – based indie promotion, I would say one other person in this room, statistically, saw my on-screen debut last weekend.
If they did, and if they knew it was me, they’re not telling.
My parents, and everyone around me growing up, would always talk about the rush they get from performing in front of a crowd. They would always talk about how they are full of energy during their performance, and completely drained afterwards.
Shoot, my mom was onstage for nearly four hours last New Year’s and never stopped moving. Soon as we got home she slept for twelve hours.
I’ve wrestled three matches in my career, and I get it – though I guess my age has something to do with the fact that I didn’t crash immediately afterward.
Just being out there last week, I didn’t do anything and I still got the rush.
This is the life for me.
I only wish I could share it with the people closest to me.
“MJ,” said my best friend Jacy next to me, “Do you understand this at all?”
“Yeah,” I replied, “Fake it ‘till the bell rings, and we’ll go over it tonight.”
“Hey,” said my boyfriend Russell from behind me, “I thought we had a date tonight.”
Shit, I said to myself. This is how it starts. Eventually I’d end up like my aunt, over-caffeinated and overextended, and unlike her, unable to adjust.
“I thought you had practice after school,” I whispered to Russell, “and that I’d see you later.”
“Okay,” said Russell, and he quieted.
I think our relationship is nearly through. I see now what comedian Jim Norton was talking about when he did his Unmasked interview. Russell is a good guy, he’s on the football team, he’s popular, he takes his studies seriously and he’s been cool with me and very accepting of the fact that my parents are both global celebrities, but he also seems to have an expectation that I’ll be his little cheerleader hanging on his every word and letting him be the center of attention.
Homecoming is imminent, and I know he wants me to be there cheering him on.
Unfortunately, I’ve got a date with Ikan Jobtayoo, and that’s one I can’t break. Nothing that I’ve ever done has ever made me feel as alive as being inside the ring.
Russell is a good guy, but he wouldn’t get it.
Which means we have an expiration date.
So it goes.