Private: Hoyt Williams
“Mama says God won’t give you too much to bear
Might be true in Arkansas, but I’m a long, long way from there
And that whole world is an old and faded picture in my mind
Am I the last of my kind?
Am I the last of my kind?
Am I the last of my kind?
Am I the last of my kind?”
–Jason Isbell “Last of My Kind”
A half-eaten bag of cool ranch Doritos lay next to the unfolded pair jeans sitting in the middle of the room next to the bed. The TV on top of the dresser is showing a rerun of ‘Mork and Mindy’ and is being watched by no one. Hoyt lays facedown in the mattress seemingly dead to the world.
Tired. That’s all he’s been feeling lately, and life has lost most of its fun. Repetition has lost its comfort and has become tiresome. Music is loud, movies are dull, and pleasure is non-existent. Hell knows no fury like that of absolute indifference to everything.
The alarm on Hoyt’s I-phone rings a shiver down his spine as he rolls over and hits the snooze button. Life’s become one snooze after another and it’s never quite long enough. A few more minutes of nothing to do before waking up with nothing to do.
Hoyt’s lost in a dream where he is the star water skiing squirrel in Tommy Bartlett’s Water Ski & Jumping Boat Thrill Show in the Wisconsin Dells. The stands are packed with men and women dressed in the vacation gear of all Midwesterners in the 1980’s. Hoyt gives a peck to his squirrel wife with the grey puffy tail as his children chow down on an assortment of nuts.
A big band starts playing a cover of Dizzy Gillespie’s ‘Groovin High” as an announcer introduces the world-famous water-skiing squirrel. Hoyt uses his paws to grip the handlebars tight, a remote-controlled toy boat gains speed and Hoyt takes off skiing across Lake Delton. A mini ramp is ahead, and Hoyt hits it and lands a perfect jump. The quint crowd goes midwestern wild.
Hoyt waves to the crowd but loses his grip on life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and most of all the handlebars. He faceplants into the water diving deep into its cold wetness. Out of control he spots a tiny submarine with a little hole. Using his little paws, he swims to the cavity and enters.
Mickey Mouse: Hiiiiiii friend who are you?
Squirrel Williams: I’m the world-famous water-skiing squirrel Hoyt Williams. Who are you?
Mickey Mouse: Who am I? I’m Mother Fucking Mickey Mouse! Everyone knows me bitch.
Squirrel Williams: Of course, you are! I love all your movies. Where am I?
Mickey Mouse: On a yellow submarine. We’re billionaire rodents on a voyeuristic extravaganza to the bottom of the ocean to see the wreck of Steamboat Willie. Oh Boy!
Scrooge McDuck, Jerry, Chilly Willie, Pinky, and the Brain are crammed in on the small ship.
Squirrel Williams: The country singer?
Mickey Mouse: No dip shit, that was Boxcar Willie. Steamboat Willie was a man of great fortune who hit an iceberg killing Kate Winslet and Leo DiCaprio. It was near the death of the 90’s, right before common sense got diagnosed with a terminal illness.
Squirrel Williams: Why do you want to visit a burial ground?
Mickey Mouse: Because we’re super rich and bored. Only so many fancy restaurants you can order saganaki from.
Squirrel Williams: Have you tried the Nuts on Clark?
Mickey Mouse: I’m more of a cheese guy.
Squirrel Williams: But who’s that?
Big eyes are looking in through the tiny window.
Jerry: Oh, shit, it’s Tom.
Mickey Mouse: Tom is here? Jerry, I knew inviting you was a bad idea.
Jerry shrugs, and blinks adorably. The cat wearing scuba gear bats the small submarine with his big cat paw. The vessel starts spinning out of control.
Squirrel Williams: What’s happening?
Mickey Mouse: A fucking CAT-astrophe!!
A TRUMPET PLAYS WOOMP WOOMP
Squirrel Williams: Woomp Woomp?
Mickey Mouse: More like beep beep.
The road runner is swimming by but stops to wave before taking off.
Squirrel Williams: Beep Beep?
‘BEEP BEEP BEEP.
Hoyt rolls over and turns off the alarm hitting the snooze button before slamming his head back into the pillow and feeling unrested. He opens his calendar and realizes he needs to call in to do a radio interview to promote Tropical Turmoil in just a few minutes. He sits up on the edge of the bed and rubs his eye.
Don Williams: Lord I hope this day is good.
The savior eyes his pants struggling to make the effort to walk over to them to slip them on. One leg at a time he gets to them and one leg at a time he puts them on. He yawns loud startling his cat Methuselah who is curled up in a ball sleeping on a pile of clean sheets next to the air conditioner.
Hoyt Williams: Good morning, Meth.
The cat is not having a good morning and ignores the false words from the false prophet. Hoyt exits his bedroom and walks to the kitchen where he grabs a cold slice of leftover Home Run Inn frozen pizza that he made the night before. Scavenging for more food, Hoyt opens the fridge while chewing on his slice. Healthy uninspiring food greets him causing him to slam the fridge shut. The cat saunters into the room and begins demanding breakfast.
Hoyt Williams: Hungry?
The cat speaks her mind.
Hoyt breaks off a serving of premium cat food.
Hoyt Williams: Breakfast is served my queen.
The savior bows down as he places her food on the floor. She begins eating ignoring him completely. Hoyt grabs a Tony Rolo pictured coffee mug from the cupboard and places it under the Keurig nozzle. He puts a pod in the slot and presses down as the hiss of the brewing begins.
Hoyt sits in a wooden kitchen chair and watches the traffic outside of the window below. It’s a nice day in Chicago which is a rarity. To Hot, to cold and not much in between. Hoyt uses a remote and clicks on the morning news where the top story seems to still be about the death sub. A rare moment of empathy passes like gas. The phone rings.
Hoyt Williams: A blessed day to you!
Producer: Thank you! Umm is this, Hoyt Williams?
Hoyt Williams: The one and only.
Producer: Great we are in a commercial right now but would love to bring you on coming out of it. Waterloo Jones is the host.
The pontiffs’ eyes roll.
Hoyt Williams: Sounds wonderful.
The savior smells the cream he grabs from the fridge for foul odors. After passing the sniff test he pours in a lot of cream and pours an unreasonable amount into his freshly brewed coffee. Hoyt half listens as the DJ runs down the Tropical Turmoil card and the history between Nova and Hoyt.
Waterloo Jones: You beat Nova for the 5-star title, and he took it back from you well over a decade ago. How does it feel to finally get a rematch.
Hoyt Williams: Good morning, Waterloo, may your soul be saved. Just a point of correction. Nova won a three-way match, but he did not pin me. Facts matter.
Waterloo Jones: Facts do matter, and the fact is you and Nova have a crucifixion match! Are you worried about such a violent endeavor?
Hoyt Williams: Fear is something a savior never feels. This match was created by the Romans and its true it led to the loss of the first God’s title when “Proper” Pontius Pilate power bombed Christ in a vicious street fight and crucified him for the win. But I’m not Jesus and Nova isn’t the Romans. I’m the longest reigning champion in the history of PRIME. I have never lost God’s title and in the turbulence at Tropical Turmoil I will reign supreme. It’s a New Testament.
Waterloo Jones: What do you think of Nova personally?
The savior takes a sip of coffee.
Hoyt Williams: The man is a walking false advertisement. Nova is Latin for New. This guy is a relic. He knows it and I know it. Washed up like the ocean sand that falls through the hourglass of our lives. I mean, shouldn’t he change his name to Dust. Well, he was already around. Dusk was dust. So, Nova? Maybe Methuselah.
The cat meows.
Hoyt Williams: Not you.
Waterloo Jones: Me?
Hoyt Williams: Not you either. I have a cat named Methuselah and methuselah also happens to be the oldest star in the universe. This is all very confusing. I’m just trying to have a cup of coffee here.
Waterloo Jones: I see.
Hoyt Williams: But do you?
Waterloo Jones: I think so. Anyway. How much longer do you have in your career?
The savior looks over at his suitcase which is for some reason in the kitchen.
Hoyt Williams: A savior is eternal. I will always be around. Unlike Nova I have taken care of myself and my appearance. My body is a temple and has been treated as such. I could go forever. But I’m tired.
Another sip of coffee and another long stare at the suitcase.
Hoyt Williams: The travel, the diet, the material, it’s all a workout. Waterloo here’s an exclusive for you and your listeners. This is my last match. The joy is gone for me. The work is now work. The fans have been great, the company has been great, my opponents have been great. Me, not so much. I’m not great. I’m tired. My skill isn’t what it used to be, and I don’t have the desire needed to get back to that level.
Waterloo Jones: Are you saying you’re retiring? You just came back!
Hoyt Williams: I know, I know, but I’m just being real. I can’t do it anymore. I’m either all in or half assing it and that’s not fair to anyone. So, the smart thing to do is just ascend to the heavens. You know part of the best part of Jesus was how short the story was.
Waterloo Jones: But you want to bring God’s title with you?
Hoyt Williams: I do. I like Nova. He’s a good guy. Not smart, but a nice man. Sure, he has a temper and still smokes in Hoyt’s year of 2023 but he’s a swell fella. But he’s got no use for God’s title. I want to win it and put it in the hotdog stand I’m opening. It’s really a key draw to the whole Hoyt dog stand’s décor.
Waterloo Jones: Hot Dog stand?
Hoyt Williams: “Hoyt Dog’s” we’re going to have turtle races too.
Waterloo Jones: Turtle Races?
Hoyt Williams: Hotdogs sell great at sporting events. It’s a long story but I got plans.
Waterloo Jones: What’s the world coming to?
Hoyt Williams: An end, an abrupt way to soon end.
The fire alarm goes off.
Waterloo Jones: We’re on fire!!! K-FLY 869.
The savior wakes up again, a bit disorientated, as his alarm is going off. He hits snooze again. The cat is licking a cool ranch Dorito that she pulled out of the half-eaten bag.
Hoyt Williams: What just happened?
The cat yawns.