diary of a professional antagonist
Tag Archives: Mid-Life Crisis
I recently participated in a fight-to-the-death styled competition. With the rent looming and an ever increasing debt the only two things to my name that anyone really cared about, I figured I had nothing to lose. Besides, when that’s all you’ve got you’re in pretty decent shape to knock ten colors of shit out of anyone. Thing is I’ve never been much of a fighter. Sure, I’d been in a few scrapes and predatorily attacked some homeless men for kicks, but as I committed my John Hancock to the flimsy looking contract I realized that in a fight-to-the-death competition the opposition are likely well equipped for battle, and also have just as much to lose. Fuck it, I thought, you only live once and it’s good to try new things.
This post has been two weeks or so in the writing, simply because my hands are fucked beyond belief and half of the time the damage done to my brain sends signals to the wrong nerves, and so, for example, the desire to press the ‘A’ button can very easily result in my doctor getting a kick in the balls as he checks my chart. I’ve managed to land more shots and do more injury to the hospital staff since I was admitted than I did in the entire tournament, which had a particular bent to it that I wasn’t entirely aware of at the time of signing up.
I was brought to a house in the hills, blindfolded and led down a corridor with a selection of doors. I was then told that an opponent was behind each one and I would have to ‘do battle’ against three to be awarded the title ‘he who shall continue living his shitty life’ and get the $200 prize money. $200? Something was off. The poster outside the 7-11 had clearly stated a $50 entry fee and a winner takes all $1,000 grand prize. I queried this and was told that overheads, admin costs, charitable donations and the cleaning bill had to be factored in. The logic was sound on their part and I started to do the math on how far two hundred bucks was going to carry me.
Opponent one revealed the particular twist that this tournament boasted. I entered the room only to be faced with a chair made out of teak wood. The red L.E.D. of an old fashioned CCTV camera was blinking high up in one corner of the room and a voice blaring through a cacophony of feedback on the busted, old intercom said that in no more than two strikes was I to render the object before me useless or I would be beaten with it until a member of their staff called ‘the score settler’ had achieved the same result. I asked how that qualified this as a fight-to-the-death tournament. All the cunt on the intercom said back to me was that the printer had made a mistake and the wrong posters were put up – it was in actuality a fight-to-stay-alive tournament, which to me still sounded like the potential for death was there, except the odds were now totally loaded against me. Bad enough the prize money was down, it suddenly had become clear that I wasn’t even going to get a chance to beat the piss out of some stranger – I was the stranger.
The teak chair didn’t give at all, not even a creak out of it. I might as well have been trying to break water; not like a pregnant woman fit to burst, I mean literally ‘break’ water. Then some big, masked fucker trudged in, who I pegged as the score settler, and, panting, out of breath from my feeble effort, I watched as he picked up the chair and hit me so hard that I was momentarily transported to a tunnel of white light where all of my ancestors and dead relatives were standing looking at me, shaking their heads and chanting, “seriously, you stupid fuck?” Someone then turned out the white light and I was back scrambling about in my own blood and knew I was probably in trouble.
As you’ve correctly guessed by now, the other two rooms were no different and it seemed my desperation to cause harm to someone else, just so I could feel good about myself, had backfired and brought me considerable pain. Words cannot describe the pain and violence which followed, so I’ll spare you, and my struggling fingers, the attempt. All I’ll say is I don’t believe in karma or that ‘do unto others’ lark, but for some reason that’s all that was bouncing between the two neurons that were still operational as I came to. Through the blood in my ears I could hear what sounded like a bunch of frat boys watching repeat footage of my endurance test, at which point the penny dropped and the legitimacy of said tournament became clear. I probably should have seen it coming.
After feeling made its unwelcome return in the form of agonizing pain I was forced to look on the bright side and told myself, so what if those bastards laughed and chugged beers and so what if they go on to upload that shit to the internet and make a bunch of money off it? That doesn’t count for shit long term because I know that I showed those fuckers what a real man was made of, and I know that I was the only man who could hold his head up high as he dragged himself out of there with $200 of their hard earned cash in his back pocket. Remember, having paid fifty bucks to enter I left there having quadrupled my money! I guess there are some men you just can’t keep down, and now I’m one of them, even if I’m pissing blood and look like a fucking microwaved jellyfish. Renewed and replenished with this new confidence, and a justified sense of manliness, I’m hell bent on returning for revenge some day, but for now I’ve a colostomy bag that needs emptying.
So, at the moment, I’m going through what people keep telling me is a mid-life crisis. Apparently trying to have a good time when you’re a man of a certain age means you’re totally fucked in the head – I wasn’t aware of this. Admittedly my behavior has been a tad off. I’ve been hanging in bars I used to frequent during my college days, I found an ex-favorite pair of jeans and an old-school beanie I had forgotten and I’ve been grooming my stubble into a neat little design – add my Oxford cut coat to the mix and I think I look pretty damn good. So did the little honey I took out last week, well, that is until the generation gap made itself known.
I met her in a downtown cafe after the lunch bunch had rushed back to their nine-to-fives. The only two people in the place. Me, sporting the aforementioned, sipping on a type of coffee I never heard of before, reading Don Quixote. She, tank top, jeans so tight they must have been sold with a body laminator, and high heels, damn. I was desperately willing my gearstick to stay in neutral as I stole the occasional glance but my tongue was paralyzed, until she spoke…
“Hey, there. What’cha readin’?”
“Oh, hi. Don Quixote. ‘Read it?”
“No. ‘On my wishlist.”
“Here. Have mine. I’m re-reading – ‘my favorite book.”
“Oh, I couldn’t.”
“You can. You must. I insist.”
“Thanks! So, what kind of a guy gets to sit in coffee shops reading his favorite books mid-afternoon on a Monday?”
“A writer. ‘Name’s Chukkas.”
Carla, with a K. Chukkas? I like that. What do you write, Chukkas?”
“Oh, cool. Anything I’d know?”
“Not unless you tune into the high numbers.”
“Still, that’s awesome. I’m a philosophy major.”
“Deep thinker, eh? A lady worth getting to know.”
“Pff, I don’t know about that.”
“I can tell, I sit here a lot, character profiling, and you’re the first person in a long while I didn’t feel the need to invent a life for. You look like you’ve got things to say, like making a wider contribution is a fundamental right, a purpose, and not just something you hope for in your life.”
“Jeez! Thanks, man.’Glad I talked to you today.”
“Anyway, my book has a new keeper, my Chi-whatever-the-fuck-it-is is cold and I’ve a deadline to meet.”
“Aw, really? Just like that you’re leaving?”
“Gotta, but we should catch a movie or something sometime.”
“Yeah, that’d be cool.”
“OK, then, here’s my card.”
“Uhm, one sec, let me just scribble down my number.”
“Cool. Thanks. I’ll call you.”
“Sure. See you, Chukkas.”
I couldn’t fucking believe how well it’d gone, corny line aside I didn’t want to bury myself in a hole in perpetual descent to the center of the earth. She was smoking hot and I bailed before I had to, but also before a stream of bullshit exposing me as a sperm loaded dirty-bomb counted down and unloaded in her ears. I figured that there were at least fifteen years between us, that was me being most generous to myself, the reality was probably closer to eighteen but fuck it, this warranted the first purchase of boxers since two years ago and my dick was more excited than a T-Rex on sighting a nice, big, fat, blind, three legged buffalo on an open range.
This night last week was one week later. I had to hold off long enough to pretend that I actually had a deadline to meet and that once that was done with, a date with her was top priority and the best reward I could ask for after all my hard work. In truth I’d spent the week trying to build up some stamina, practicing on porn, congratulating myself to the point of mania then icing my balls close to the point of frostbite. She looked so screamingly hot, wedges, skin groping skirt and top, body tighter than a sniper rifle – I was sweating so much I was afraid she’d look down and think I’d pissed myself. I chose some boring looking, art house, Eurotrash shit in hope that it’d impress her and score me a few intellectual points and basically allow her to see me as a good guy – a good guy whose penis was worth getting to know.
Aside from an old, scowling couple who HAD to sit in the same row a few seats away we had the cinema to ourselves. About half way through the movie I couldn’t take the sight of those crossed legs and the rhythmic movement of her upper body any longer and did something to a twenty-something I hadn’t done for a long time – I made a move. The fact that she responded favorably made me wonder if I was really so deeply embedded in fantasy that in reality I was a drooling, slobbering cretin thrown in the corner of some hospital for the deranged and daft-as-fuck. Well, I thought, until I come to I’m going to see where this goes – please don’t be a dream, please don’t let me wake up when I’m this close to second base.
I didn’t, and as my balls swelled and begged for release I suggested we move back a few rows and make good use of the bright of the projector light and allow our actions all but vanish in the darkness below. She gave it a thought then agreed, on one condition – I had to wear a rubber. Fuck. Back in my day people just went for it, but with all the god-damn shit you can catch just by looking at someone’s crotch these days she was insistent on it. Here’s where my sad, middle aged life began to reveal itself. I’d never used a rubber before and as I wandered out of the auditorium toward the restroom where she assured me I could find one, panic began to set in. The success or failure of this event would determine my confidence to engage with the youth of the nation for the rest of my life. All I could think was, if this doesn’t work out I’ll be stuck with loose-skinned clap traps, just like the one slouched next to that mean looking old fucker sitting two seats away from Karla for the rest of my life.
I have to admit, in the restroom I was actually embarrassed as my dollars disappeared into the vending machine. There was something humiliating about it, buying rubbers in a cinema toilet seemed like something a kid would do because they couldn’t muster the nerve to buy over the counter. It didn’t help when two fifteen year olds disturbed me and laughed at catching me in the act. In the dying light as I re-entered the auditorium I thought the expiry date looked past. I soon forgot when I noticed that the old couple were necking, now alone, and Karla was in the back row, barely visible beneath the glare of the projector light. I hopped in next to her and the party was officially kicking off.
It was getting hot. Crazy hot. I was dehydrating faster than any human ever had, steam was rising from me as I tried to put my stamina work into effect and savor the event, then came the time to embrace the modern world. The bastard rubber couldn’t have been drier and the forced removal of hair from my nether regions didn’t help my confidence. Karla was getting frustrated at the delay. In a flurry I finally managed it. Comfort wasn’t on the agenda and I felt that part of me was being strangled to the point of asphyxiation. Bad enough as I felt, disaster then presented itself.
I straightened up a little to make my approach and bridge that generation gap in the most spectacular way, then suddenly saw a flash of white light, stars, and heard a smack that echoed through the room followed by the sound of my own vocal chords emitting a scream that hadn’t been heard in my family since neanderthal times. The rubber had exploded and was now flayed and hanging from my cock, looking like a back fired acme gun that Wile E Coyote had attempted to shoot. As it split it gave my balls the ultimate lashing and long after Karla had abandoned the auditorium I hobbled down the aisle and knew that it was time to hang up the beanie and buy a pair of New Balance.
I’m happy to report that I’m slowly getting back to myself now. I tried calling Karla but the number has been disconnected. I wandered down to the coffee shop earlier, ordered a good old-fashioned, all American coffee and read the sports pages in hope that she might wander in – alas, no. Once the swelling goes down I figure I’ll hit up some of the bars that cater to men of my age and while I’m emptying the frustration of another humiliation into some aging body, which’ll probably be older and hopefully more desperate than me, I’ll think of Karla and imagine myself her Don Quixote, riding off into the sad sunset of my youth.