Year of Wine and Roses: Reflection Sept 11, 2022 13:59:46 GMT -5 CJ Phoenix and Gerard Angelo like this
Post by Dionysus on Sept 11, 2022 13:59:46 GMT -5
|"Your past checkers you as a man of self-sacrifice, with the need to be able to best control the circumstances so that others can survive while you suffer."|
I had no choice. I had to walk out of that session early.
"You genuinely care, but you cannot control."
Maybe Elbrook hit too close to home. Maybe that was supposed to be my revelation in all this.
Those words lingered in my head when I left.
They still linger days after.
I called ahead to cancel the next week's appointment. I needed time to process. Surprisingly, Elbrook was accommodating to the request. It was a perfect time to make a mental note; given my schedule, he would certainly have to make a few cancellations now and again. He told me that often times self-reflection would be necessary after a difficult session, that it was all part of the healing process. Part of me wanted to believe him.
My morning ritual went by undistrubed, losing myself in my thoughts as I strolled alongside Bde Maka Ska. It was a quiet morning, the occasional jogger and cyclist passing me by on my stroll. I had found a private area by the shore surrounded by trees, a lone picnic bench dominating the clearing. It was here that I would take a seat, draw out a cigarette and light up, still deep in the recesses of my mind.
He didn't say it in so many words, but what I took from that session is that I practice in self-sabotage. That I'm the one who is holding myself back. That no matter what I did, it would not stop those around me from living their own lives; it was out of my control.
Are you worried that what I have said is wrong?
There was a truth in those words. He was not wrong, per se; my uncle shouldering his debts onto me was the cause of my troubles for a long time. That, combined with the medical debt, made my life hell for years. That said, had I stopped to think, maybe I wouldn't have gone to Al Divine. Maybe that debt would have been more manageable. Maybe I wouldn't have felt the need to become a protector in the Brotherhood. Maybe I wouldn't have been hurt the way Downfall had hurt me.
I could feel the heat radiating off my face. Putting a palm on my forehead, I could feel the beads of sweat trying to cool me off...and failing. I stood up from the bench, stretching as I did so, and turned toward the lake. I walked up to the shoreline, the waves gently splashing against the pebbles and sand. My hands cooled in an instant as I bent over to wash my face. The cold water, albeit lake water, cleansing me felt fantastic. I shook my hands as I let the water drip off of my face, a few clinging droplets hanging on in my beard. I looked back in the water, seeing myself in the reflection as the ripples settled. Looking back at me was a man who should show strength. But all I could see was a man in crisis.
The reflection smiled back.
Just for a moment, I amused myself. There, I helped myself, I thought, a light chuckle escaping my lips. Maybe Elbrook will get off my case now.
The gentle waves returned, causing the reflection to distort. Though I could still see me, I also saw one of my earliest memories. It was me, sitting in my father's lap, my uncle next to me. There was a little television in front of us, and through the static, we watched old wrestling matches. My uncle, being the analyst that he was, took notes during the match. But not my father. His face was obscured in the reflection. Had it been so long that I couldn't even remember what he looked like? But I could see him pointing at the screen, cheering for the good guys and booing for the bad guys. I remember this moment; he was teaching me about what he would do. I remember booing at him when his time on screen came up. It got a laugh out of my father and uncle. He held me up and did strong man poses with my arms.
Then he embraced me, told me how much he loved me, and that he would always be there when I needed him.
That was the day before he left for Japan. And two years before he left our lives completely.
To this day, I still didn't know if he was alive. All I knew was that my mother received checks from the company he ended up working with...so I guess he's still out there. Or maybe he's gone, and the payments were part of his final instructions.
The waves changed the reflection again. This time it was my uncle being slammed against a squad car. I was outside, standing between him and my mother. He had stopped by to try and get money from us again, and tried assaulting us when he realized he wasn't going to get his way. I had to hold him back while she phoned the police. I kept him off our porch, at least until the police arrived. I didn't really like the feel of the bat in my hands, but I wasn't going to let him walk all over us again. My uncle kept stumbling, but whether it was because he was hurt or because he was drunk, I wouldn't know nor care to know. By the time they arrived, my uncle had grabbed the bat in my hands and tried wrenching it from my grip. He didn't even see the officer as he tackled him from the side.
He cursed me out that day. He promised revenge. Somehow, he managed to get it, even from his jail cell.
The waves crashed over the reflection once more, this time to a field, empty all except for a small structure. I remembered this place; when Lester had passed, I built a shrine to his memory. I had carved a crude thyrsus on an old wooden broom pole and stuck it in the middle of the shrine. I also found some green cord and strung them along the posts I had set, making it look like vines surrounding the thyrsus. No one ever said I wasn't a practiced worshipper. I was kneeling in front of the shrine...and a silhouette appeared. A man, dressed in fine purple velvet, holding a goblet in one hand and a decanter in the other. He looked over me as I stood, seeing him fully for the first time. My vision of the god itself. No doubt it was a hallucination, a trick of the mind during a period of grief, but to me it felt like a true holy presence was before me.
He bestowed his blessing on me.
And somehow, I have managed to squander it.
My boy, what makes you think you have squandered my blessing?
I heard the voice and turned behind me.
In the clearing.
Was no one.
Save for myself.
Panicked, I scanned the lake. There was no one close enough. I looked down again. The silhouette was no longer facing my reflection. It was facing me.
You are but a man. You feel the weight of the world on your shoulders, and yet it moves on despite your sacrifices. Your doctor was right; you are self-defeating due to your need to help others. So let me ask you this, my dear disciple; what have you done for yourself lately?
It wasn't real. It wasn't actually Dionysus. It was only words in my head. That was the rational thought, right? And yet, the words made so much sense. All I could think to do was answer.
I have done nothing.
It took but a moment to think of what I needed to do. The answer came to me. I looked at my reflection, seeing a devilish grin on my face. I looked back at the silhouette and answered:
The tale of Midas is a weird one, when you think about it. And before anyone, including Kemp, even asks, no I'm not talking about the time you went to the mechanic. No, King Midas; you know, the one who took in one of Dionysus's friends and, as a result, gave him the gift that everything he touched turned to gold? But that's just vague, isn't it? Every breath would mean the air molecules would turn into gold and suffocate him. Every bite of food would turn into gold nuggets, essentially starving himself. Now I know what you're thinking, "Well any idiot would know that he meant anything he touched with his hands, Dionysus," but that's precisely my point. We can say that everything he touched turned to gold, but that doesn't mean there aren't other repercussions of that choice. His daughter turning to gold, for example. Although not part of the original myth, it was the catalyst for him to realize the error of his wish and wanted to be washed clean of his curse. See, its weird not because of how he handled the use of his wish, but because he lacked the wisdom of what to do with that wish. So naturally, he plays it off like he would anything else; amused with his position until the realization of his actions comes too late.
Enter Kyle Kemp.
Oh yes, it isn't like we were getting away from this one without one of these grand comparisons. The man who has done it all; Tag, Trios, Midcard, All-in, World Title. You're Midas, friend. And most of this done in relatively quick succession to boot! It is definitely impressive, and yet since then, you seem to have lost your touch for the gold. Since your return, you've managed to fail at each opportunity granted to you. And when you lose, you lose big. There is expectation on your shoulders. The man who brought success to The Following...loses it all to his partner at Evolution IV. You cashed in and won the world title off your former partner? Fantastic! Too bad you were also first eliminated at Turmoil. How's that ankle doing, by the way? Oh, and All-In this year? Not only did your former compatriots cost you your second opportunity, the woman who won it was the same one who dismissed you so quickly one year before.
Ironic, isn't it? You can win them, but you also seem to lose out in the most spectacular ways. Any division you touch turns to gold, that is without dispute. But much like Midas, you aren't aware of the consequences that touch gives you. You bite the apple and it suddenly becomes inedible. And that's when you choke. That's when you realize that maybe, just maybe, you weren't truly ready for this. That your golden opportunities are now long past, and others are jockeying to fill the narrow gap you have left in your wake. A gap I intend to fill.
I give the fight of my life in every match I go into. To say that beating me isn't an accomplishment, when an entire division looked at me in fear and dominance, a division you helped to fracture? That's just plain ridiculous. It is a slap in the face to everyone who has stood against me, including yourself. And you set yourself up for it; see, now if I win, it is a great upset. The guy who can't capitalize when everything is on the line beating Midas? Instant money for me, and instant regret from you. And if you win, well, its a nothing match for you, right? You just get another win and go on your merry way, floundering near the top as you try and steady the ship.
You assume that this is the expected result.
And I am here to both show and tell you that this is the wrong line of thinking.
Every match is important. Every win has significance. Every loss is a lesson. These are the lessons you still need to learn. Unlike you, I haven't been able to turn my own opportunities into gold. It is merely a matter of when, not if. Those defeats have never deterred me from my goal. For we are still in the year of wine and roses, the year that I turn things around, the year I show the world what Dionysus can truly accomplish. That hunger grows, my need to fight strengthens. I will emerge through the grapevines with gold around my waist, standing tall at the top of this company, while you look up wondering when the guy who chokes all the time passed you by.
Then the realization will sink in.
You washed your hands of the golden touch long ago.
Now you are the one that will choke.
On your words.
On your hubris.
And on your continued slide down the hierarchy.