- Spoiler: show
- The scene fades to a newly renovated office with cherry wood furniture, trimmed with the finest fabrics, and decorated in an array of Earth tones. Behind the desk sits...him. Terry Butcher, also known as Wholenothalevel, a man both hated and respected in this industry. What industry is this you ask? Wrestling. What America likes to call Sports Entertainment, and what I call 'my life'.
It's obvious that this industry is important to me, after losing my wife and all the boozing and chain-smoking I've done since, it's easy to see it. HE knows it too...knows that I would never step foot in this office unless I was desperate. We used to be friends once, associates, I trusted him....he turned his back on me, and I'll never forgive him. But today, I need him. More specifically, I need his...
Wholenothalevel stands up from behind his desk; his tailored chocolate brown suit nearly blends him into the room. He adjusts his tie before he speaks again.
Level: Money. I have plenty of that....but why would I give it to a bottom-feeding son of a bitch like you?
I don't respond, I merely look across the desk and up at him. He towers over me, 6'7, 6'8, but I'm not afraid of him. 99% of me wants to stand up and dive across this table and whip his ass. But that 1% is strong enough to hold me firm to this chair.
Level: Are you going to answer me?
I lean back and smile before speaking.
"Because you love this business just as much as I do".
I nearly get a smile out of the big man; he slowly runs his left thumb and index finger across his bottom lip as if to wipe the smile away.
Level: You've got a point there Kodeine, but this serious business we're talking about here. I don't just throw money at things I loved. If that were the case, I would still be married to Cat Fierce, and she would be an overweight housewife spending every dollar I've earned on Prada and Michael Kors.
That's right my name is Kodeine, and I'm a wrestler.
Kodeine: She's a wrestler too. We all are, although you're a big shot superstar, an executive with your own television network, and numerous other business ventures.
Level: Lucrative business ventures...
Kodeine: In your heart, you're a wrestler, always have been, always will be. We're built differently, there's something that motivates us, drives us to be the best we can be. It's that inner force, that life blood that encourages us to get in that ring and put our health at risk for the sake of a good show. What do we call that....?
Kodeine: Exactly. This fed had a niche, and damn if it wasn't lucrative at one time, but the legal issues, mistakes of the previous owner...
Level: And your alcoholism....
Kodeine: All led to its downfall. Especially my alcoholism. But I'm clean now, I've been attending my AA meetings regularly, and I've made some significant improvements. Look Lev.....I know you're a busy man and I don't want to waste your time...you knew why I was coming here, if you're just going to piss on me from up high, why did you even let me schedule this meeting with you?
Level: Because the answer is YES
I nod slowly, trying to hide my smile. And I wait for it...
Level: There are a couple of changes I would like to make.
Level reaches in his desk drawer and pulls out a manila envelope with a number of documents in it.
Level: The first is a list of the wrestlers that are banned from AMBITION competition.
Kodeine: Damn...most of the MPW guys on here. The tag champs. And most of the guys from the tag team tournament too?
Level: Yeah, would have been a great storyline if your drunken ass hadn't fucked it up. You and...
Level: He's out too, at least as a booker. If he's like to stay in as his son's manager, I won't keep him from that, besides...it will make good TV.
Kodeine: Hmm...I was thinking we wouldn't bring the son back...
Level: THE KID equals dollars. On the next page you'll see a list of people you will hire.
Kodeine: Heavy Devy?
Level: I've convinced the governor to let him be involved in an adult corrections program. He'll appear on shows and return to prison afterwards, he will have armed police officers with him, but you'll need to assign someone from your staff to oversee that.
You'll also see an unfamiliar name on the list.
Kodeine: Who is WAR?
Level: Yeah, he's a student of Z-Train and I, recent graduate from the Z-School. Take care of my boys, and I'll take care of you.
Kodeine: No problem....anything else?
Level: Pick 8 of the newbies and do a tournament, let the world see what we have to offer.
I get up from my chair and do the last thing I ever wanted or expected to do, and that's shake his hand. I nod once more and turn to leave the office, before I get out the door he belts out.
Level: All champions stay the same! Well besides you know who. Oh and trust me...I will be keeping a CLOSE eye on my investment. Don't screw this up.
I walk out and close the door behind me, as soon as the door is firmly shut I reach into my left coat pocket, pull out a flask, and take a big gulp.
I look up at the inscription on the wall in hall outside of Level's office:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat. - Theodore Roosevelt
"I hope I'm ready for this"
The Story Behind the Story (Editors Notes)
- Spoiler: show
- A nice vacation has changed some of my thoughts about closing AMBITION. A close confidant changed the rest. She said that I can't spend my whole life working, and that without an outlet for fun, I'll work myself to death.
When she's right, she's right. So here it is again. I've also taken some strides in my personal growth by requesting information about a PhD program and joining a local civic group/volunteer organization.
Hopefully my company agrees to pay for the PhD
Either way, proper balance of work/play will be necessary to achieve both my personal goals and keep AMBITION going.
"I hope I'm ready for this"