Sunday, March 7, 2010

An Important Reminder on Heroes

(Thank you for the image)

"This is what you call a one shot deal and I don't come back for any late show, honey. No I have not practiced the jump, because there is no use practicing something you cannot miss, and if I miss the jump in a test run that means I'm dead and I will not ever get to do it for real, so this is what you call a fucking one shot deal. This helmet is to protect me from my own momentum; this costume is to protect you from the realness of what is happening here. I am calling on death, and she comes growling and snapping into the arena opens her jaws up wide on both sides of my landing ramp, gasoline, throttle, thumbs up, open her up, let the arrow fly, and tear into the fabric of an instant. Where you can live an entire lifetime in the stardusted flashbulb infinity of a launch into impossible space that climbs to the top of its arc and beats the sky back another inch. Only to crumble and collapse, only to fall and return to the earth with no illusions of immortality and pay the cost of dreaming." – B. Dolan “The Skycycle Blues”

Sometimes an individual moment of defeat stretches past the few moments of its climax. A single fight, the fifteen potential minutes wrapped in the cage under the crowd chanting your name, praying for magic. They howl and shout, begging for that old left hand to find pay dirt. To find that miracle, that glimmer of hope, that surge in your heart that means so much more than the violence inflicted.

Only it never comes. The hero, the legend, the simple man, gets dragged to the mat. The choke sinks, and like our champion on the ground, the air starts to leave the crowd. The uproar falls away to the sound of tapping and announcers pretending they are pleased with the performance.

I sit in the comfort of my home, watching a man pour his soul into the microphone. His tears ebb slowly, as the fighter tells us that he can’t hurt us like this any longer. He apologizes to us, even though his heartbreak is shown on his battered face. The fans, who venture nothing, and suffer only by sharing the dying dream of this man, cheer mournfully.

In victory, even his opponent gives into emotion. He struck the deathblow to his idol’s career, and no one could really blame him for it. Mixed Martial Arts isn’t a place for mercy or compassion.

Jens Pulver, you are still a hero to me. Your life has been one of constant struggle. Each day you have faced adversity in multiples beyond what I could endure. I hope someday we can see you get your hand raised in victory one last time. To see that warrior spirit flourish, and for that evil left hand to find dominion in the ring. Good luck.

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