from: Rosie Callasantos <RosetheCally@gmail.com>
reply-to: Rosie Callasantos <RosetheCally@gmail.com>
to: Randall Knox <KnoxPulse@gmail.com>
date: Feb 24, 2022, 12:21 PM
subject: The Real Thing
Hey babycakes, I went looking in my sent mail, the last time I actually E-Mailed you was on October 30, 2007 about my birthday party, the one we did at Neromantic. It’s so weird, I feel like we should be communicating with inkwells and feathers if I’m not sending a text.
Mommy is feeling okay, seems like she’s more embarrassed than anything else. Doctor woman said there was a tiny fracture on her kneecap that would have been minor as heck anywhere else but the kneecap is serious and stuff. She said that in a boatload of technical terms, but I got my translator out. I should be back in plenty of time for ReViVal so that’s not something on my brains, I just wanted to be here when the nurse person got here so I could make sure they weren’t shady.
I don’t like this whole not sleeping next to you thing. I’m horribly spoiled with your presence and Lucifer is hardly a substitute since he sheds and likes to make biscuits on my back. To be fair, I don’t know if you would shed if you grew your hair out.
Mommy is being a terrible patient as you can imagine, she keeps getting up to do things herself when she should be letting her bones knit. Silly sausage, she needs to rest! But it’s not really fair for me to criticize her when I’m just like her, huh?
It’s cold here still. I really didn’t pack well but there are fuzzy socks and winter hats in the closet here. I might pick up a shift or three at the bar while I’m here, it all depends on how well Mommy does and whether or not they actually need me.
I love you, and I’ll see you soon. Don’t go joining any cults while I’m in Brooklyn.
Kisses and misses,
Testing, testing, one three five.
We really haven’t spoken directly all that much, the least I can do is make sure y’all can hear me. And you might laugh at my instruction to RK that he doesn’t go and join a cult while I’m away, but let’s be honest here: the number of cults operating in and around professional wrestling would surprise you.
Welllll… maybe it wouldn’t. But it surprised me, and I’m involved in the silly little thing.
And I worry about RK’s state of mind in moments like this, not because I’m so wonderful and he’s clearly lost without me – but because we always seem to do better when we’re together. I’m good at dragging that underdeveloped sense of humor out of him, and he keeps me focused on what I actually have to do with my days.
Randall Knox is better for me than ritalin was as a kid, and less side effects.
I was sort-of-not-really-but-yeah lying about going in for a shift at my job. I guess technically speaking I’m still the bar manager, but there’s no way I’m taking the train from Park Slope to the Bronx just to serve drinks. On a good day that’s almost an hour, one way, and it’s not like I can crash in the loft afterwards these days, not when Mommy needs me here.
Not right now, though. She’s with her physical therapist, so I’m taking the chance to get some fresh air and sunshine, a decision I immediately regretted when the wind picked up. Still, Prospect Park is always a nice little walk. And it’s a good reminder when I go on a walkabout and nobody looks twice in my direction that everything out west in Las Vegas – and everything down in New Orleans, for that matter – is imaginary and needs to be in the proper perspective.
I might put on the battle mech of Calico Rose, warrior-poet, for the TV cameras, but at the end of the day I’m just Rosalyn Callasantos, I put on my purple converse one foot at a time like everyone else. That’s why people like Julian Bathory worry me, cause being at the head of a cult is a recipe for self-importance.
Be the main character in your own story, you silly sausage, but don’t expect to be more than a walk-on in anyone else’s, amirite?
Hey hey, I said to this kid looking anxious in the park. Everything okay?
‘Kid.’ Sure. He looked about twenty or so, but as an according to Hoyle Old Millennial, I’m allowed.
“Oh, hi,” he says back. “Yeah. I was supposed to do a series of portraits for a class project but my model didn’t show up.”
It was right then that I noticed the pretty fancy camera bag over his shoulder.
“You busy for the next ten minutes or so?” he asks me.
I… guess not? I did double check my time – bout a half hour until I needed to go home. What do we need to do?
“Nothing crazy,” he assures me. “I need to use natural light to show contrast between scenery and a live model. Park’s a good place for it, huh?”
It is, I had to admit, suddenly aware of my hat hair and wind-flushed cheeks. Well, as long as your grade isn’t dependent on the quality of your model.
See, this is real. People helping out people makes everything in the world better.
I bet you don’t see that in the Julian Bathory Boy Band Extravaganza.
from: Randall Knox <KnoxPulse@gmail.com>
reply-to: Randall Knox <KnoxPulse@gmail.com>
to: Rosie Callasantos <RosetheCally@gmail.com>
date: Feb 25, 2022, 9:30 AM
subject: re: The Real Thing
I think we can successfully assume I won’t be jumping into any cults while you’re gone. History bears out the fact that I’m not a joiner, and neither are you. Couldn’t even make a tag team work. But yeah, I get you, they’re good at working their way in between the weak spots.
Fortunately, my only weak spot is the empty spot next to me. I get it, though, and I know you know that but I’ve gotta repeat it again – you need to be there for your mom right now. Of course I want you back here for ReViVal, but do you, luv. If you can’t, you can’t.
I’m filling the days doing as much press and promo work as I can. It’s not nearly as much fun without you but I can usually hold my own and not bore the radio and dirt sheet crowd to death. The office loves me for this, as you can imagine. They’re letting us keep the suite for another cycle of shows, as long as there’s no more wild animal sightings.
Pretty sure the party left with you, though, so I highly doubt Ria will walk the ocelot back up here when it’s just me.
I don’t like you not being here, either, it reminds me of the time you took that table and were MIA for like six months. Come to think of it, was that the Windham Clan or the Hellfire Club? Either way, I’d call it a cult. And I don’t like how angry I was when you weren’t here. It’s not like the JUST Wrestling tour when it was way too hectic a schedule to actually enjoy the travel, that was your choice to skip that one. When you don’t have the choice, that’s the issue. But it’s more important that you’re there for your mom.
Even if, and I hate the thought of it, you end up having to miss ReViVal.
I’d like to think that’s the point though, yeah? We give, we take, we compromise. And I think that’s something that a lot of people in this sport can’t seem to get. The unsettling amount of cults of personality that spring up around it, or the angry loners who can’t seem to get along with anyone, or the Amazing Life Partners that seem to share a blood source?
You and me, we’re a team – but we’re also our own people. We don’t need no messiah, do we?
Hug mama for me, and tell Lucifer to behave.
“The point is that we’re past the point of the feel good nostalgias,” says the voice coming through my speakers. “The point is that there’s twenty four wrestlers out and only eight left. This is where PRIME has to be what it’s claimed so far – PRIME.”
Mommy’s watchin’ her stories right now. She’s got a flashlight and a noisemaker to get my attention if she needs anything, but mostly she likes to poke me in the back of the head with her cane. I got upset the first few times, but I realize it’s mainly my own fault for showing her that it’s got a perfect score success rate.
Me, I’m doing my yoga with a livestream call-in show in my ear. Call me an odd duck, but the faux-angry talking heads put me in a Zen mood and I can let my muscles relax and I get a good cadence in my breath.
With all the lung issues I have, taking a deep breath isn’t always guaranteed, so I’ll do what I need to to get ‘em. I don’t think it’s really come up yet but my lungs are the equivalent of someone that’s been chain smoking for forty years, despite the fact that I’m thirty five and have never had more than a handful of clove cigarettes in my entire life. But that’s a story for another day, this is about the livestream and I’m on a deadline.
“No way, this was totally fixed. Look at who’s left and tell me they aren’t railroading towards Brandon Youngblood against Cancer Jiles?”
“You’re saying the fix is in?”
“I’m saying the fix is in.”
“Am I? Look at who’s left and who’s been eliminated. Youngblood gets a pair of gimmee matches, a classic fight with the Anglo Luchador and then he stands up for PRIME against Messiah International on one side–”
Oh, heck no. I somehow manage to get to the ‘about’ page without losing audio and scan for a telephone number.
“–cer Jiles gets himself a talented rookie in the quarterfinals, and then it doesn’t matter if Anna Daniels or Teddy Palmer win, he’s got an Everest to climb to ‘prove’ he’s a worthy opponent for Youngblood.”
“You really believe that, do ya Brock?”
“I’ve got someone on the line who might have a difference of opinion. Do we have Cally on the line?”
Oh, we do, gentlepersons, I said. And I think you’re woefully mistaken over the Power of the Cult.
“Wait, who is this?”
Rose. Cally. Calico Rose. Exceptional fist bumper.
There’s a moment of stunned silence. Or silence, anyways. Not sure how stunned.
“Ladies and gentlemen, this show has reached its peak to date – on the line is Calico Rose, manager of Impulse the Marathon Man, top eight in the Almasy Invitational for PRIME Wrestling’s Universal Title. Cally, how are you?”
Keepin’ it classy, I said. And when I’m not I’m keepin’ it weird. Actually I’m taking a few days in Brooklyn to visit my mom, but I’ll be back for ReViVal. And you need to take a refresher course in professional wrestling, my good sir.
“No, no – I think I’m right on this–”
Sidenote – why does that keep getting a laugh? But I press on.
The only thing you’ve got exactly right is that Anna Daniels and Teddy Palmer are going to be a ridonkulously ridiculous fight. I don’t see how you can sit there with your right hand up and your left hand on a stack’a Bazooka Joes and say any one’a these fine feathered friends can’t make it to the finals. Brandon Youngblood might be the number one seed but so was Nova. Cancer Jiles might have a pretty darn significant name but so does the Anglo Luchador. And what in tarnation makes you think Julian Bathory can beat RK?
“Did you really say ‘tarnation’?”
You’re darn’ tootin’ I did.
“With Violence Jack in his corner–”
Oh, blah, blah, blaaaaaaaaah, I said, stretching it out as much as possible. Let me amend my previous statement, gentlepersons: if Julian Bathory needs Violence Jack to help him win, then he, in fact, does not deserve his spot in the quarterfinals. Like, seriously – at this point you should be able to wipe your own nose.
“Bold words from Calico Rose! We need to take a quick break, Cally will you be able to stay with us?”
Would love to, but I’ve got some family affairs to Buffy up. Happy to call back some time, though!
“Please do, we’d love to have you.”
One thing, though?
What the heck is your show called again?
from: Rosie Callasantos <RosetheCally@gmail.com>
reply-to: Rosie Callasantos <RosetheCally@gmail.com>
to: Randall Knox <KnoxPulse@gmail.com>
date: Feb 27, 2022, 11:13 PM
subject: Re: The Real Thing
So… I did a thing. There was this livestream called the Three Count Wave that I had on in the background, and the hosts were talking about the Almasy Invitational and had no idea what they were talking about so I had to call in and set them straight.
Get this – their names are Ross and Gary. Remember that old show from when we were very little people? I wonder when Mister Leonard will show up with the Dirty Joke of the Day. Anyways, their previous episodes have had like thirty views, and this one is currently at over six thousand, and I told them I would call back sometime and now I kinda feel like I have to.
Anyways, they were saying how Julian Bathory and his Messiah Complex gave him an advantage over you in the quarterfinals and I was all, nope, it doesn’t work like that. First of all, talent-wise I kinda think everyone is on the same level right now, even if y’all are standing on different street corners. But beyond that, I really feel like we’ve got the advantage over Julian and his dance crew, and it’s Violence Jack.
Did you read those links I texted you?
Go do it now.
I can wait all day, wrestleman.
So anyways, this thing is a Violence Jack brain baby, which means that no matter how much Julian believes in it, he’s fighting this hard for someone else’s vision, and I really believe that puts us ahead.
These places promise you the world and then they just keep taking and taking, promising more and delivering less. Mr Violence, it seems like he’s looked for some other proteges before he settled on Elizabeth’s little brother. I wonder what happened to the rejected ones?
Julian better take notes, cause he’s fit’na be added to the pile after this one, I’m sure.
Anyways, Mommy and the physical therapist look like they’re in a decent groove, and your mom has volunteered to check in on her as often as she needs to while you and me take care of the bidness back in Vegas. Which I will be returning to tomorrow.
I love you!
I seriously do hate flying. Henry Rollins had the right idea, if man was meant to fly we would’ve been born with a boarding pass in hand. But I do like it when we land and the seatbelt sign turns off.
It’s different when I fly with RK – we sit together, and I can curl up and go to sleep. When I’m on my own I just don’t know what to do with myself, and I end up listening to podcasts and reading a book, or listening to a book and reading sheet music, or listening to music and reading the Skymall catalog. You get what I mean. And I don’t really like talking to the people around me so I’ve got my headphones on no matter what.
An airplane is different from a park, because there’s nowhere to hide on an airplane. And if you don’t believe me, ask the guy sitting next to the bathroom.
But I like the part where I can stand up and get my carry-on out of the overhead and strap it on, because that means I’m that much closer to RK. Once I’m through the line to get off, that is.
No first class here. It’s a waste of money to just get to the same place anyways, and I always feel weird on the times we get upgraded just because. It’s like, look at my Evil Queen tank top and yoga pants and flip flops and purple hair, and tell me what about me actually shouts ‘sophistication’? Exactly.
Besides, I always felt like people liked me and RK because we were the real deal, you know? We’re not playing the role of a pair of working class stiffs because we are a pair of working class stiffs. The people who come to the shows, or buy the merch, or watch TV or discuss and dissect online – they can spot phonies a mile away, I always thought.
It’s why I always laughed whenever someone would accuse RK of being too vanilla. First of all, Mary, you’ve got a weird definition of ‘vanilla.’ Second, if everyone is an over the top caricature to get noticed, then nobody’s an over the top caricature and nobody’s noticed. There’s some words to be said for authenticity.
Whoo, off the plane and the New Yorker kicks in, and I’m duckin’ and weavin’ through the people like I’m on the subway and the MTA just changed the schedule again without telling us. The sooner I can get my bags and get a cab, the sooner I’m back where I belong.
I never got the secret societies or the cults or the Self Help Gurus in professional wrestling. It’s like, how do those things intermarry? I feel like it’s that old school meme about the mafia bosses who opened a pizzeria to launder their money but they made so much money on pizza they gave up the old game and went straight.
Like, if your cult is powerful enough to have a dot-Com, do you really need to take a Bobby Dean slap to pay the power bill? And if you do, don’t call it a cult – call it a hobby.
Definitely don’t call it a Messiah, because that messiah can’t even save you fifteen percent on your car insurance.
I guess, if you really need a messiah and you’re looking at someone that promises you everything, you’ve got a heck of a lot more problems than that messiah can reasonable fix. You’d be… better… off…
I’m sorry, I stepped through security, expecting to see a sign for baggage claim, but instead I see RK right there, holding up a sign looking for A Whole Lotta Rosie.
Pardon me, sir – but I’m a whole lotta Rosie. Feel like taking me home?
He smiles and picks me up, and I kiss him like I haven’t seen him in a week, because I haven’t. And this is where I belong.
And this is why we’re always going to come out on top against a Messiah Complex. Because this partnership is something that doesn’t demand anything not freely given, and it doesn’t ask for anything but mutual trust. And there isn’t a single failed protégé in its wake to represent a failure of subliminal conditioning.
So even if we lose? We win.
OH almost forgot.