Friday, Feb 19 – 1:21 AM
I fucking LOST
Take a breather
It’s not the end of the world
You’re just getting started
I’m freaking out
Don’t freak out
There’s nothing to freak out about
I’m about to drive home
What the FUCK
Have you drank anything?
Nightstand on the left
Saturday, Feb 19 – 3:42 AM
I don’t know where it comes from, but I know I’m not very good at hiding it.
I’m ALWAYS on edge, but sometimes I can get REALLY wound up. Nothing specific sets me off. I’ve never seen anyone for it, never talked to anybody about it, but it’s always just been…there, whatever “it” is.
And because of “it,” I literally have no idea what it means to live in the middle. I have zero concept of balance. I want to be involved with everything and I want to be the best at everything, and it always leads to the same outcomes:
- I succeed, and excel, and I climb the ladder. But then…
- …I get overwhelmed, I shut off completely, and have to dig myself out from the bottom.
- I lash out.
And that isn’t exactly a successful business model.
The middle scares the shit out of me. It never feels like enough. I’d rather have nothing than anything in the middle. I wonder how many people think like that.
But if I’m always shooting for the stars, how long before I inevitably crash to the ground?
Because, inevitably, I WILL crash to the ground.
Mom and Dad have never been helpful. Dad tells me I’ll be fine, and talking to Mom has never been an option. I wish it were. And Olivia…it just never goes well. We always start off getting along, but it will eventually get…
But then there’s Paul.
Thank god for Paul.
He met the sunrise that morning, leaning his forearms against the railing of his balcony. Tired, bloodshot eyes admired the golden backdrop to the Las Vegas Strip. The party was always going on in the City of Sin, but if there were “quiet” times to be had, it was at 6:30 in the morning as the sun came up.
The cell phone vibrating in his back pocket broke him out of his trance.
Video Calling on Messenger
He answered with a swipe, holding the phone out in front of him as Paul’s disheveled face flashed to the screen.
“Up with the early birds?” Hayes quipped.
“Fuck no,” Paul laughed, sliding out of view to reveal a living room full of bottles and passed out party-goers. “Haven’t slept yet.”
“You look like shit.”
“So do you. Slept at all?”
“Nah,” Hayes replied. He double tapped the screen to flip the camera, showing his brother the sunrise behind the city. “Figured I might as well greet the sun.”
“That doesn’t suck. Feeling better?”
“Yeah, I’m alright.”
“I take it you found those Xannies?”
“I did, Thanks bro. Saved me.”
“Gotta learn to chill out a little, Hayes. One loss isn’t gonna kill your career.”
“I know,” he conceded. “I was just hoping to go deeper in the tournament, you know? Definitely didn’t wanna lose to Bathory in the second round.”
“What comes next?”
“No idea. Not sure when I’ll be booked again. If ever.”
“Well THAT’S bullshit.”
“I wanted it, man” said Hayes with an exhale. “I wanted to be at the top, with the big names. I wanted to be in the same conversation with Youngblood and Nova.
“Hayes, that shit takes TIME. And you’ll get there, you know you will.”
“Maybe,” Hayes replied unenthusiastically. “When are you coming back out?”
“Soon, probably after the next show. I’ll let you know.”
Hayes gave him a nod.
“You’ll be fine. You’re gonna be great.”
He took a long breath through the nose, eyes wandering back to the ever-growing sunrise in the distance.
Friday, March 4 – 9:05 PM
You’ll never guess what I’m doing right now
It better involve a stage and a pole
I’m having drinks with Garbage Bag Johnny
Are they cool?
GBJ is just as weird in person
And Nova is…different than I expected
But he’s awesome, super nice
I’ll tell you about it later, but I almost got him arrested lol
Get a selfie with them!
WAY too stressful
Call you later
Best night ever
I’ve been anywhere but the middle since ReVival 3.
I was ready to hightail it back to Oregon after Bathory knocked me out. Mom and Dad would have LOVED that.
I can’t let them have it.
But as always, Paul was there to talk me off the ledge. Talk some sense into me. He’s done that since we were kids. When Olivia ran off in search of world domination, big brother stuck around to make sure little brother was okay.
I was moments from having a panic attack, and Paul didn’t let me.
And then I got to meet Nova. And Johnny. And I didn’t care about ReVival 3 anymore. Two of the biggest names in PRIME history, and Hayes Grayson Hanlon from West Linn, Oregon got to call them friends for a night. I can’t explain that kind of high.
Then I got booked for ReVival 5, and the world felt heavy again.
I knew Paul would be there to keep me grounded. But there’s the problem with that.
Because If I want to reach the stars…
…I can’t be grounded.
“So it’s you, GBJ, Dusk, and…Feifferman? Fufferman?”
“Pfefferman,” Hayes corrected, sipping a coffee while they strolled down the Vegas Strip. Paul hid his tired, stubbly face behind a pair of dark sunglasses, nursing his own cup of joe.
“Right, and this is part of the Five Star Scramble?”
“Yup. Winner goes on to Culture Shock for a big cluster-fuck of a match for the Five Star Title.”
“Bro!” Paul tapped his brother’s shoulder with the back of his hand. “That’s huge!”
Hayes replied with a nod.
“You’re stressing again,” Paul declared.
“This is big, Paul,” said Hayes, sharply. “If I don’t win this one, I’m fucked. No match at Culture Shock, and it’s straight to the bottom of the card.”
“Dude, how can you possibly know that?”
Hayes didn’t respond, taking another swig from his paper cup instead.
“Let’s work it out,” Paul continued as they worked their way through gaggles of tourists and gamblers, the bright lights of Vegas still somehow forcing their way through in the early afternoon. “This math teacher guy is a new face, and has no real edge on you. And Dusk is about to get his AARP card. Man, he’s older than I remember…”
“Pfefferman’s no slouch,” said Hayes. “and Dusk has been wrestling longer than I’ve been alive…but yeah, I can take em’.”
“So it’s Johnny that’s in your head.”
“Do you remember how good he was?” Hayes asked quickly, pulling his own gold-lensed aviators from his face. “He was all over the place back in the day, but he was great. And I like the guy, he’s good shit.”
“Oh, so one night and a couple beers and now you’re best friends?”
Hayes rolled his eyes.
“Look, be pumped for the opportunity,” Paul diverted. “In fact, I say we celebrate…”
Paul tilted his head toward a building on their right. Hayes turned, his gaze lingering on the gold leaf lettering reading “Spearmint Rhino Gentleman’s Club.”
“Oh c’mon!” Paul protested. “Watcha need? A little somethin’ somethin’?” he said, thumbing his nose.
“Paul, it’s 2:30 in the afternoon.”
“It’s Vegas! Who gives a shit?”
“I do,” snapped Hayes. “I’m not in the right headspace for coke and strippers.”
“Let’s go,” insisted Paul, putting an arm around his brother’s shoulders. “You’ll feel better with a big pair of tits in your face…”
“Dude! Fuck OFF!”
Hayes shoved his brother away, the outburst enough to draw concern from a few onlookers. Paul stayed on his feet, startled at the eruption.
“Seriously, Hayes? What’s your issue?”
The push had forced Paul’s coffee to the ground. Paul fixed his white t-shirt, crouching to collect the mess.
Hayes blinked twice, then inhaled sharply through the nose, wiping his mustache while returning his sunglasses to the bridge of his nose.
He was headed back to the MGM Grand before Paul could stand back up.
Friday, March 4 – 9:05 PM
Yeah man we’re fine
Just not feeling it today
Sorry about that
Nah man it’s my bad
Where ya going?
Think I’ll just hit the gym for a bit
I’ll catch up with you later
Love ya bro
Love ya too
The back squat.
When the weight is trying to crush you into the ground, you stand the fuck up.
Pull under the barbell, push your traps against it. Strong grip, squeeze your shoulder blades together. Keep the tension.
Two steps back, shoulder width stance, even pressure through your feet.
Eyes dead ahead, pull the bar down across your shoulders. Keep the tension.
Big breath into the belly. Hold the pressure.
Hips back first, then down. Knees track over the toes. Keep the tension.
Get low. Not too low. Hips just below knees. Hold the pressure.
Drive. Push the floor away. Keep your chest up. KEEP THE TENSION.
DRIVE. Squeeze your ass. Pull your hips through. HOLD THE PRESSURE.
KEEP THE TENSION.
HOLD THE PRESSURE.
Two steps in, set the bar down. Step back.
Free the tension.
Release the pressure.