They say you never forget your first; truer words have never been spoken. My first time was with Tony and it was bliss. I remember him putting on the glove – unlike most people, he was fearless; he always wore just one – while staring at me with intent. It was like I had never done it before, you know; it was like I was a different person coming to life within myself. The best feeling has to be the power it brings when you feel the other person giving in to you, getting overwhelmed by your very essence. It doesn’t matter that you’re fighting to hold on long enough for the other person to give in, or that every fiber of your being is going for the great surrender; all that matters is that you’re both there in that moment, breathing hard, grappling, struggling, pushing each other to the end, until one person succumbs.
Unlike all the other people I had done it with, Tony was different. It was like he knew my body better than I knew it myself, so he took the time to teach me how to use it for maximum effect, to cause maximum damage. It was the best training session I had ever gotten from anyone in the business. He warned me, even before I was ready to take the gloves and get to work, he warned me about all the other people. “Others might not be as gentle with you.” He said as he pounded me into the ground, albeit delicately. “Use your body, not your words.” He would say, as I struggled beneath him, using every curse word I could think of. Those were the most important six words I had ever heard in my life; those words gave me the courage and dedication to survive in this business, they also gave me the ability to attain the level of applied aggression that makes me the best at my job.
As a matter of fact, up until three months ago, I was sure I was going to be in this field forever. But now, I have found love greater than this business, and I have to leave my old life for the new one to work out just fine. One night, last week, I called Tony and told him I was quitting and his disappointment made me sad. It was like he had expected anyone to quit the game, anyone but me. I explained that the person I love wanted me to stop, because it was too dangerous; I could die or be maimed forever, but he couldn’t understand why I had to leave one lover for another; he had never been in love himself. We discussed at length that night, him trying to convince me to stick with him and me giving him reasons why we had to stop.
What we were doing was destroying any chance either of us had to find love, and it had to stop. I just got lucky this one time, and I wanted him to have that chance too. He finally relented, and we agreed to have one last tussle in the ring for old time’s sake and for a bet. If I win, he is my best man at the wedding, and if I lose; he’s still my best man.
So now, we are both standing here in the huge wrestling ring, staring at each other like we did the very first time. He puts on the glove and gestures for me to step forward; I adjust my gloves and stalk towards him.
“I’m sorry.” I say as I raise my fists “You’ll always be the best wrestler I kn…” He doesn’t allow me to finish. Instead, he punches me right in the middle of my face and shouts “Fists over words, you bastard!” then he proceeds to pummel me to death.
I smile as he positions himself to throw the killer punch; I will need painkillers after this. I close my eyes as I welcome the pain and sink to the floor.
They say you never forget your first; truer words have never been spoken.