Description: The ring of today, the clamor for true contests of strength and skill, independent of fantasies, cultures, and certainties... a man stands on the precipice of what it means to carry an impossible standard into a world where such cannot be sustained.
The air is thick with sweat. I cannot breathe! Since when did such a place come to forsake oxygen in favor of the sweat of warriors? I speak of these things in mind, as it were my first meeting with them.
That cannot be any further from the truth! My very life exists within the heavy air of sweat, dirtied linen, and the aches of a body pushed to its limits! I would say this very place I rest now, is the same as any other...
But, that would also not be true.
Before, I sat with others within these hallowed halls. To the outside, a place to dress, refresh, wash... a place where we sat together as friends. It is the only place we could bare ourselves as we are, free from the eyes of an audience and press who were led to understand and believe but simple stories of good and evil!
Now, I am alone. The ambience of this space is disquieting. The ambient hum of overworked air conditioning would be my only conversational partner, should I have felt need to bare my very soul to a machine with only one task, interest, and ambition. A humorous thought, born of desperation!
Upon this wooden bench that predates my first breath on this world, before a small metal locker that hangs open, I sit in wait. Upon my head, the red feathered mask of a champion from a bygone era. The Griffon Mask...
The "Invincible Mask," as the entrance theme was named. Time after time, the Griffon Mask rose to the occasion to thwart the evils of the ring. No dirty tricks, no illegal weapons, no measure of might could overcome this hero of the wrestling ring!
Such was the form heroism and hope took! It would be me, the mere man Tizoc, who would don this mask and take on the responsibility in heart and soul to carry the hopes to the less fortunate children of the world that fairness, justice, and prosperity was within reach before their very eyes! A responsibility I've never shirked, and yet...
"There you are!"
I did not notice his arrival! This harried man dressed far too uncomfortably in his proper suit for this very locker room. Was I that lost in thought, that I would lose all sense of time?
"What are you even doing here?! You're on in thirty! Take your place!"
It would not do to be late. Grasping my red cloak from the nearby rack it had been relegated to, I wrapped it around myself as I hurried onto the place where all of my kind should have been lying in wait to be called. A faux pas, in times before!
I would regret missing the majority of the words they would have said for the Griffon Mask. With how close I came to missing the cue, I would have believed the introduction to instead be an eulogy were it not for those words that came the very moment I was presentable for the scrutiny of all...
"THE GRIFFFFFOOOOOOOONNNN.... MAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSK!!"
The lights shone upon me through the entrance. The shrill noise of screaming pyrotechnics to either side of me ensured I did not think of looking anywhere else but forward. The familiar music came to life.
For a moment, I was overcome with joy that I was able to negotiate the license for this sacred entrance music from my old federation on the cheap! I could not have gone ahead under any other arrangement. I would never have been able to purchase the rights to the music on my own, for my earnings rarely went towards myself. Such an inconvenience is a pittance compared to those the Griffon Mask's earnings bring sustenance!
As nostalgia caressed my ears, so too did my eyes delight in another comfort of familiarity! I need not look any further than straight ahead! The ring is my calling! Beyond the lights, the screaming of music... though they are but specks, within them I could see the fires of those who knew! Those who, for once, would show me the willful ignorance of a time long gone as I journeyed forth.
The name of the music that embodies me is called "The Invincible Mask," but those who would be familiar with the name and the face attached... they know of the shame brought on by that intruder! The intruder whose grace of movement flowed into rigid, unrelenting cruelty before once again turning to an untouchable softness! Even were I to know what he would do, I could not have ever laid a finger upon him!
The very thought makes me tense under this red cloak like a child spooked by lightning! They only see the stoic, unmoving determination of The Griffon Mask upon my head. My thoughts and memories dance as a new, unfamiliar face makes their way into the ring. I do not know who they are! I do know what they are... a fighter! The limber physique of an agile, strike-based warrior. He moves into the ring with an impatience I have never seen...
I know not what my opponent shall do. Yet, the Griffon Mask takes on evil with all their courage, carrying upon their very shoulders the true understanding of "right" and "wrong!" Such was the understanding of the ring I knew! A ring that this one before me does not! With the call to battle, I throw aside my cloak! It is my hopes that none have noticed that I had gained some weight between then and now. My physical wellness cannot be called into question upon my debut into this familiar, yet foreign contest I have thrown my lot within!
Those eyes of his! They dare not look away. They seem expectant that I move first! They do not mock, they do not silently laugh the way my partners in the ring before have before me! I do not see the eyes of a man who believes themselves wicked, nor of a man who sees it fit to be at ease!
Though he cannot see through the Griffon Mask, I do not believe my eyes would be different to his own! He, too, is plagued by an uncertainty! I am but a foreigner upon the soil of true combat! The way he moves in to strike me now... he chooses, instead, to entrust his own strength, rather than in those of his partner in the ri--
No. We are truly opponents! The way those knees strike into my abdomen are a testament to this fact. His agility is remarkable! Our arms have wrapped about one another. It is not certain as to who has the upper hand as we look one another in the eyes! My breath runs short, as I find it challenging to take in air as we grapple...!
Left to my own fate, without a script before me! Never have I felt so unprepared, even with all the routines and techniques I have practiced every day... is this fear? Am I so truly afraid that he is starting to overpower my strength from the very first seconds of the match?
I closed my eyes. I wouldn't see the next two knee strikes land against me. He would not see me grimace under the watchful gaze of the Griffon Mask. He would not see me turn away by shutting him out of sight! I silently pray that he does not see into my mind, when I can think of the only comfort I have...
The children that did not yet forget me! The children that have not condemned me for being proven less than invincible! It is now that I wrap the thoughts of their cheers and dreams around me much like a young child themselves would a blanket for comfort! Towering over so many other men, and yet I, Tizoc, feel so small and vulnerable within this new calling!
To live up to what the Griffon Mask represents, in a world of no guarantees, of heartbreak and pain uninvited and unwelcome...! The Griffon Mask must yet be proof of the goodness of man being able to triumph over evil!!
That is why this opponent's body feels so light, as I lift them above myself! The rest is as natural, throwing myself backwards to introduce them into the mat. The mat has far more give than I am used to... my feet do not find themselves as easy as they once have. It matters not! The Griffon Mask does not hesitate!
Hurling my body forth upon my prone opponent, another sting comes from my ribs! A rude awakening - the well-practiced Griffon Tower and my patented Griffall body splash was a combination done of respect to the very script. There was no script to be found here... only winners, and losers here!
Losing some ground to catch my balance, my opponent, too, is less than lively standing back up from the Griffon Tower. We would exchange blows anew in time, but it is this moment that would be burned into my eyes for an eternity.
Before, I stepped into the ring to inspire and entertain for the sake of the improverished and hopeless!
Today and henceforth, I have stepped into the ring to injure and conquer, no matter my noble ends!
Is this the path to righteousness that the Griffon Mask stands for? With no other alternative other than retirement, I cannot back down...
It is the cheers from the young children in the audience, however innocent they are to my very plight, that allow me to hurl myself through my opponent's next kick, my right arm reared back and ready to deliver my Poseidon Wave - a name I cry with fervor...!
The next chapter of the Griffon Mask saga has begun! It will take more than mounting trauma to my ribcage to close the book on the "Invincible Mask!"
As long as this mask is my witness!
Log created on 14:17:44 09/18/2016 by Tizoc, and last modified on 00:51:33 09/21/2016.