A Conflicting Design: Part 2 Jul 30, 2016 16:25:11 GMT -6
Post by Matt Slater on Jul 30, 2016 16:25:11 GMT -6
A Conflicting Design: Part 2
Continuing events from July 11th 2016 in Barrie, Ontario...
‘That’s some good beef - well good beef. Really tender. Really juicy.’
It was good beef, Matt quietly agreed, shovelling another portion of the succulent, marinated meat into his mouth. He chewed thoroughly, focusing on his plate as Falcon marvelled at the gorgeous dish from the opposite side of the table. Starving dogs never pleaded and yearned as much as his salivating guest, conveying pitiful eyes designed to harness guilt and achieve a compromise. He should have known it was futile, yet his stubbornness refused to falter.
This current setting starkly contrasted how Falcon had been since he hobbled his way into the house with a small, carelessly-dented suitcase. Since allowing Falcon to enter his private abode, Matt’s general activities and discussions with his former associate had gone swimmingly. For once Falcon respected his new surroundings, obeying rules and upholding whatever Matt declared.
Perhaps his time with Claire has matured his sensibilities, he postulated in the kitchen, watching Falcon curiously sift through the local newspaper on the red-leather couch. The rising steam from the saucepan failed to deter his vision; what he saw was a softened, complacent individual, altered by loving nurture and time. Although certain qualities still needed to be fixed - his assumptive way of thinking being one of them - it was refreshing to witness a man with a refined outlook, no longer demonstrating traits of a juvenile adolescent with an Ego Complex.
Once dinner was served, the atmosphere remained the same; until Falcon looked down at his plate. As soon as Matt caught his puzzled expression, he knew alterations were immediately put into motion. This entire day had been too good to be true; a pleasant change was going to be disrupted by an emotional reconcilement, bringing back the status quo he eagerly wanted to avoid.
All because of food. All because someone felt they deserved better than what they had generously been given.
Seconds of silent consumption elapsed. Then Falcon groaned despairingly. ‘Ya could have bloody saved me some, ya know.’
Disregarding this unattainable delicacy, Falcon picked up his fork and stared at the noodles he had been given to eat instead. His stomach grumbled; this would not fulfil his nutritional requirements, especially after the questionable airline food he had forced himself to swallow in order to battle his ravenous appetite.
In comparison, Matt relished the cuisine he had created. Bereft of compassion and sympathy, he coated his tongue without glancing at Falcon’s paltry dinner, knowing he had served his purpose to feed him when others would have neglected to do so.
It’s his own fault, he told himself. Why should you give away something you set aside for your own means? He should have no right to pinch this from your table. Pity is a weakness you need to govern. This is what you earned. This is what you will devour, yet savour. This is yours to cherish, not his. Maintain that principle, and your future will be fruitful.
Falcon groaned, still remaining apprehensive about the choice of food. ‘Ya know… hosts generally cater to their guests and make nice sacrifices.’
Sourness overwhelmed Matt to the point where the juicy taste on his tongue started to fade away. He dabbed his lips with a napkin and shrugged nonchalantly. ‘That’s true, but my guests generally don’t turn up unannounced and plan to be pampered and waitered after like I’m some kind of butler.’
‘But fuckin’ noodles?’ Falcon complained, twisting the source of his displeasure around his fork awkwardly. ‘You better have some damn good ice cream in that freezer, or you’re gettin’ a bad internet review, mate!’
‘I’m sure the internet and its assortment of self-proclaimed intellectuals will appreciate your extraordinary commentary on being fed noodles instead of prime beef.’ Taking his glass of water, Matt mockingly toasted Falcon before drinking the clear beverage. ‘Just look on YouTube. You’ll fit right in with those people.’
‘I can’t stand those people!’ Falcon growled and adjusted his silk tie. ‘One time I was in that comment section for two hours - two bloody hours - trying to tell some thick-headed dipstick why Football is better than American Football! He kept tellin’ me I was a pussy! Me! So I told him his mum didn’t think so the other night, and he--’
‘Please… spare me the details,’ Matt interrupted, feigning the emergence of a migraine. ‘You haven’t changed at all.’
‘Well you have.’ All of a sudden, the tone of his voice had become more blunt and concentrated. Their meals and the moral ambiguity of the internet no longer mattered. Another topic of discussion had hastily emerged, bringing old thoughts back to prominence from Falcon’s hyperactive mind. ‘I warned you mate. I told you what would happen if you attempted to help Cera. I told you that this shit would--’
‘You of all people to say this?’ A light-hearted chuckle accompanied Matt’s amused expression. ‘You’re right, you’re perfectly innocent. Wrestling never changed you at all…’
‘This isn’t about fuckin’ wrestlin’! This is about you being a selfish, stubborn twat!’
Matt dramatically paused, conveying the sight of enlightenment. ‘Oh, I’m sorry. Was I not supposed to be selfish? You’ll have to excuse me because I forgot how the business worked. I thought I was supposed to attain personal success, but it’s clear to me now. I’m supposed to let other people win! My-my how wrong I’ve been…’
‘Don’t fuckin’ patronize me.’ Falcon’s fork landed on the table with a thud. ‘You know exactly what I’m talkin’ about.’
Matt’s amusement lingered for a moment, until it became obsolete. His stern features forced Falcon to pay attention, staring into the eyes of a strangely-designed man; conflicted yet compliant.
‘After what happened with Cera and VoW… I woke up and understood the truth. Optimism faded, and realistic expectations took over. I finally realized what I should have known all along. We’re all the same.’
Once again Matt eliminated the dryness of his tongue with water.
‘It doesn’t matter who has a mental illness and who doesn’t. It doesn’t matter who gives to charity and who doesn’t. It doesn’t matter who kills out of anger… or necessity. Each of us possess the same instinctual qualities, the same attributes our ancestors developed in order to survive. We are the product of the aggressive, cunning humans that remained, while the weak, pacifistic humans perished. Wars, purges, raids, peace treaties… there is a reason for everything… a reason why one day, we appreciate life… and then another, we believe it’s a giant pile of shit caused by incompetent fools who only care about themselves. In reality, we all care about ourselves, our benefits and our desires. It’s why life is as it is. It’s why life is as it is. We’re all cogs in a machine that refuses to change its system. That’s what life is… good and bad. A balance perfected by time and natural selection.’
Falcon rubbed his chin. ‘That… doesn’t really answer my question mate.’
‘I don’t remember you asking a question.’
‘I will,’ Matt complied, settling down to finish the remainder of his lukewarm beef.
‘Will you just bloody listen to what I have to say?’ The eagerness of Falcon’s words were too enticing to ignore. Balancing his knife and fork on the edge of his plate, Matt clasped his hands together and acknowledged his obnoxious guest. Falcon’s glare lingered, channelling seriousness from a face reddened by exasperation. Yet one second later the glare weakened, becoming positive and dignified. ‘I’m proud of ya, mate.’
Bewilderment consumed Matt, formulating questions about why he was suddenly being supported and encouraged. He turned to the outside world, hoping to make sense of this reality he was thrust into without warning.
‘Ya’ve redeemed yaself with what ya’ve been doin’ lately.’ Clapping his hands, Falcon briefly applauded the fellow Mancunian. ‘Standin’ your ground against Iser? Makin’ Moretti shut his fat gob? Goin’ to war even if it meant gettin’ suspended? Ya’ve finally grown a set! I never thought this day would come, but mate… I’m so happy!’
'I thought you said this wasn't about wrestling?' Matt should have known better than to believe Falcon could maintain a consistent thought. After all, this was a man who routinely changed his thoughts and statements mid-sentence, completely disregarding his previous messages and confusing everyone around him. He hasn't changed in the slightest.
'Well most of it is, but even now ya're doin' what you want when ya want. That's how ya should be.'
‘I’m only doing what needs to be done.’ What was simply a method of retribution was taken as a logical statement by his proudly-enamoured associate.
‘And it’s worked! Ya got into Iser’s head and exposed what he was hidin’!’
‘And then I lost against him at Fate of the Gods…’ Clearing the cooled meals from the table, Matt walked to the kitchen with a bitter frown. Despite being felled by what was supposed to have been an illegal move, the realization he still failed to kick-out had angered him. More strength needed to be attained. Valiance and determination would not be enough to obliterate the one mark left staining his record and his legacy.
‘But kickin’ out of his DDT at one?! Fuckin’ hell mate, not even English or Constance could have done that! Not to mention you’re still walkin’ after that Piledriver! Your neck is stronger than most people think, mate!’ That was an easy assumption to make from an outside perspective, when in actuality Matt’s neck and shoulders were aggravatingly tense and bothersome. The effects of the Piledriver were sure to remain for an undetermined amount of time, but still Matt upheld his sworn ambitions. He needed to defeat Seth Iser once and for all. Failure again would have life-altering consequences, bringing with it the nightmare of mediocrity and the punishing thought that he could never triumph over his nemesis. ‘But… there is a concern people are gettin’ conflicted about ya.’
‘Let them make their judgements and criticisms about me.’ Condemnation no longer afflicted him. Whatever the public had to say about his personal affairs and his family issues, passive comments would follow. He confided in the old saying “they who are without sin, cast the first stone”. Of course he had been sinful and therefore hypocritical to use such a phrase, but it was human nature to appease internal urges and remedy them with a comprehensive purpose.
Friendships and relationships were no longer a hindrance either; at least in the sense of tirelessly making sure they lasted. Utilizing his former traits had cut away the majority of his morbidity and removed his intentions to be beloved and influential. All he cared about was preserving his wrestling career and achieving goals which had so far eluded him, not making it a strict duty to care about others until they were questionably sickened by his intrusive presence.
Only a few people warranted his undivided attention nowadays. Everyone else merely existed as acquaintances and familiar faces. Yet there were conflicting emotions within himself that endlessly battled for priority. His conscience could not allow him to be fully submerged in a ruthless lifestyle of malevolence and apathy. It clamoured for honor and respect, whereas his resurrected darkness yearned for self-gratification in a myriad of ways, none deemed too asinine or reprehensible by the modern standards of society.
When Matt allowed Falcon to settle with him for the night, his conscience unanimously won. His selfish core aimed to remove the deficit and balance the equation by exploiting his instinctual urges, achieving victory when Matt kept the marinated beef for himself. In the grand scheme of things, these were two miniscule, unimportant matters, yet the mental battleground remained the same.
Once his decisions concerned people and solid objectives, the battles were much more ferocious. As a matter of fact, one battle had been raging for quite some time, and it regarded an arrangement he had yet to choose. As Falcon voiced a laundry list of reasons why people should celebrate Matt’s ascendancy from “A boring, insufferable Knight” to “A bad ass Brit”, Matt concentrated on this aforementioned battle for supremacy, generating another debate that relied on his morality and health.
Suddenly, his phone lightly buzzed and vibrated inside his jean pocket, interrupting the debate and manifesting new questions. Falcon unknowingly rambled as Matt brought out his phone and checked the notification, resulting from a conversation on Twitter that piqued his interest. After reading the details, Matt paused and stared at the kitchen counter for a while.
‘What’s up, mate?’ came Falcon’s response, having finished his sentiments and informal insults. He glanced at the phone and subsequently reached for it, but Matt moved it away from his grasp.
‘Zahara has been hospitalized.’ Zahara was one of the few people Matt trusted and cared about, a woman brewing potential greatness who respected him and his abilities inside the ring. He lost to a surprise roll-up from the Magical Maiden during their one and only encounter, but he was not completely dishevelled by the shocking upset. Amicable respect bloomed alongside his natural disappointment, something he quickly shared with her in front of the capacity crowd. He did the exact same thing with Constance Chapin when the current Xcel Champion defeated him, but other problems were interfering with his mental stability at that time, resulting in a hasty handshake and departure. ‘I need to see how she is.’
‘Do you have to? Isn’t this the type of thing that ruined ya in the first place?’
‘This is different,’ Matt assured him, crossing the ground floor to the stairway. Without an internal battle, his conscience triumphed by forfeit. ‘I know I can trust her. Besides, I have other matters to attend to with someone else who’ll be visiting her.’
‘Sounds like ya’ve been fillin’ up your schedule.’ Chuckling, Falcon smoothed his suit over and loosened his shoulders. ‘But don’t let them get to ya. We don't need a relapse and crisis of conscience again.’
How ironic those words sound now. ‘I know exactly what I’m doing.’ For once, his intentions were abundantly clear, although he knew further matters would attempt to change his plans and move him in another direction. ‘Selfish? Tell this to those who remain conflicted about me. I'm only human.’
Whether he was being held accountable for sustaining the chaos of life or not, he was not completely heartless and insensitive. As long as his conscience remained, there would always be a balance.
At least for now.