The young man with the flowing red locks tells the crowd to shut up, because he's trying to wrestle. It's not a great attempt, but it establishes his heel-ness, and in truth, this group, still "trainees," perform some of the more impressive athletic moves of the show. Three heels fight three heroes, one of them a female and obviously popular with this crowd. She wears a superhero/beach volleyball looking outfit. Her man and kids are in the audience, cheering along. She hugs them at intermission.
A week ago Saturday, I was attending Smash Wrestling with a friend who'd come up from Detroit. I won the tickets in a charity auction, and I know one of the wrestlers. He's a librarian the rest of the time, but he plays a Canadian small town Redneck here, and he's a hit with the crowd. His American opponent, more polished than the first-rounders, tells us Canadian hicks to be quiet, with dismissive references to national stereotypes. The crowd loves it. He's the second-best villain of the night, after the self-centered Bad White Rapper wrestler.
At one point, someone asks an "official" for a rules clarification. We crack up, trying to figure out what the rules of this would be, if it actually were a legitimate athletic competition. What regulations govern continuing the fight outside the ring? Leaping from atop ropes to crush opponents' throats?
Some things don't translate well to close-up. It's painfully clear the punches are stage-punches. People occasionally get caught in the ropes when they should not be caught at all, or hover when they could attack, because they have to wait until everyone's in place for whatever acrobatic shenanigans they've planned. I don't have "The Fight Network," but I hope we got in some of the crowd footage. It was fun.
Two days later I was waking with chills and sweats.
I'm impressed by this respiratory infection. It's gone that extra mile to make me miserable with a myriad of symptoms, headache one night and tinnitus the next. I'm mostly better, but I've had to slog on through work, missing only part of Friday. I'm too busy, and I cannot take a break until next week. As it is, I had to miss the latest tribute to the late Roy McDonald, held in the park, in the rain.
My wife made it. They've held a few these last months, and a few more remain, all in places Roy frequented.
The frequent waking caused by my illness means I recall more dreams, though they usually fade by morning:
George Bernard Shaw lives in suburbia with a harried 1950s housewife, who hustles to get her house clean. To be fair, it's fallen into a shocking state of disrepair. He watches her through the cracks in the attic floor as he tries to figure out what to do with his collection of mail-order novelties. He doesn't want them discovered, but the world encroaches. There's a persistent grad student about. She's doing a thesis on "variant text and speech" in Shaw's works. She's hard to shake. And then there's the mysterious figure next door who appears only in silhouette, by whom Shaw does not want to be seen at all.
Wake up. Since I'm consuming a ridiculous amount of fluids, I have to use the washroom. Return to bed.
I'm heading down the road on a kind of semi-enclosed motorcycle that disguises both my real identity and my alternate one as a masked vigilante. I hit 70 before I see the police ahead, and have to decide what to do.
In one reality, I slow down in time.
In the other, I cruise past them. They give chase, but I press a button, which makes impossibly long (and, apparently, wooden) wings appear from the sides. I take flight and escape.
I land at a house (apparently not tracked. The dream police are idiots). The occupants include a mother of two and her eldest daughter's best friend. There may be others. Mom, who looks a little like Holly Hunter, uses the chaos of her house and cultural stereotypes of single mothers to conceal the fact that she's actually the genius head of some vast superhero-guiding organization. She's evidently about to assign me my next mission.
I had hoped to turn something into Brevity Quest every other day, but my job and my illness have slowed me down. No matter. I must remember this is an artificial fight. We set the goals and invent the rules, and the outcome is incidental, so long as we've been entertained and entertaining.