Saturday, January 21, 2012

Wrestling with My Past...

And one night you are on the 5th floor of a 10 story building on the busy Kokusai Street in downtown Naha, Japan standing 20 feet from the squared circle of a wrestling ring, sweating drinking a Cherry Chu-Hi. Wondering, how in the hell did I get here? And who is this Habu Man you speak of?

First, let me explain, I am a fan. 7:05pm Sunday, channel TBS, you could catch me on any given Sunday night from 1981-1985 watching the WWF on the tube with my Dad. We would dine on my favorite meal of fish sticks and apple dumplings (cooked in the convention oven) while we would get lost in the pivotal relationships of good guys: Ted Dibiase and the Junk Yard Dog, versus the fire haired Fabulous Freebirds and their fearless toe head Ric Flair. I would watch with baited breath, because back in the 1980's you know it was real ya'll. Gordon Solie was king and the piledriver could send someone to the hospital. Really, the H-O-S-P-I-T-A-L.

Over the last 30 years (yikes) my love of wrestling may have waned but here I am again in 2012, Okinawa Japan, 7:05pm on a Saturday night, enjoying flying drop kicks and slingshot catapults. I am standing in the sixth row (the last row) of the Okinawa Pro Wrestling stadium screaming in Japanese, for Habu Man (who I get the feeling has been watching lost Freebird tapes) as he whips his opponent with the snake tail that shoots from the top of his mask and hangs down to his knees. Mongoose man's chest is bright red from the markings of the Habu's tail and all I keep thinking to myself is, first what do these guys look like under their masks (are they even Japanese?, I swear I heard someone speaking in with an Aussie accent). And how long will it take for Habu Man to get the three count, because he is definitely NOT going to lose his MWF Nacho Libre belt tonight, we could not be so lucky. My knowledge of matter how many back flips the Mongoose Man served up, that belt was going back to Habu Man--whatever he looked like under his mask.

Life is crazy, you never know where it is going to take you. Things just don't happen, if you want something marvelous you've got to make something marvelous. My marvelous was not only reliving a part of my past but embracing my future and its randomness. Before I left the arena I walked up to Habu Man (someone had brought him an Orion Beer) as he rested I cheered him with my Chu-Hi,

Seriously, Why Can't I?

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