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Apr 2013 12

by Laurelin

Throughout my life I have prided myself in being an individual. I know most people think that of themselves and it is true. There are also those who change with their surroundings, chameleons in the light of day who will adapt and like what you like for the sake of being agreeable. These people have a mind of their own, buried somewhere beneath the need to fit in. I tend to scoff at these people, because even with their blending they stand out simply for being… lost. I see myself in these people sometimes, and it makes me want to cry.

In high school Zack rode BMX bikes and my girlfriends and I decided that we wanted to do that too. I saved up $200 and bought a Gary Fischer bike, and we would ride with the boys after school. I wasn’t good at it, but it made him happy and I wanted that. I fell and bruised my tailbone going down a half pipe once, mainly because I had no business even attempting that shit. Zack rode bikes down half pipes, not me.

After him it was John. John loved house and trance music. I didn’t really get it in the beginning, but when he held my hand and kissed me for the first time at Crobar in New York City at a Tiesto show I was hooked. I listened to everything I could get my hands on, and even after he was long gone I still craved that beat, breathing in the music like it was a drug. I’ve got Tiesto lyrics painted in ink and needles on my left ankle, so I never forget that the music was beautiful, the best thing to come out of what John and I had.

John also wore a lot of black. He had spiked black bracelets on his right wrist and black jelly bracelets on his left. He had metal 10-gauged earrings that clinked together when I touched his face, and for years after him I wore the same bracelets. To this day my 10 gauged metal earrings clink when anyone touches my face.

JC and Ryan both played the drums and they were gone I took a few drums lessons. I wore a skirt to my first one and my teacher laughed and laughed. We made it work and as the weeks went on, I realized I couldn’t hold a steady beat to save my life.

Then there was Dave…he loved professional wrestling. We watched Monday Night Raw every week and I would sit with his roommate’s girlfriend staring blankly at the TV, not quite understanding what was going on. As time went on, I started figuring it out. I started recognizing people week to week, learning their entrance music and being able to say, “I like that guy! He does flips.” Dave struggled to get me to like it, and by the end I would admit to only tolerating it mildly.

However, that mild tolerating came in handy when I met a guy who actually does that stuff — I wound up being able to catch a live pro wrestling event while visiting some friends from college in Washington DC and I was hooked. The crowd, the bright lights, I was just captivated. When Dave found out what I was getting into he couldn’t hide his annoyance: “I tried to get you into this for years and you wouldn’t have it: you meet one guy who DOES it and you change your tune?”

In my defense, it’s a lot cooler up close and way more fun when you can cheer for someone you know is a good dude who loves his job.

I also wasn’t aware of how much athleticism is involved, and as someone who is constantly looking for ways to make working out interesting, this fascinated me. This was a whole world I had never even really been open to, but all of a sudden it was all consuming. A local women’s wrestling group took me in almost immediately, saying they had had their eye on me through a friend of a friend for a while and I could just start coming to practice. After my first one, I was hooked.

A few months later I was approached by a local independent men’s wrestling group who wanted to start having women wrestle for them; I was familiar with them and immediately said yes. I start training at their pro-wrestling facility next week. I couldn’t be any more excited, but I can’t help but look back and wonder whose life it belongs to. If you were to have asked me last year if I’d consider taking up wrestling, I would have laughed and called you crazy. Now I’m wearing shiny gold spandex, body slamming and dropping microphones. And I’m not bad at it!

I guess I’ve always been a little wild, a little boy crazy. When these boys leave I have parts of them with me even if I don’t mean to and that’s a hard thing to admit. I wonder if they carry any pieces of me with them. And I wonder if they ever feel lost…

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