The sun rises at 6:54 on Monday, January 6, 2019. It's a balmy 40° F out and Jace is shirtless and staring directly into the sun, which is rising over the Panera Bread. The camera pans around to catch his eyes, protected by a pair of Warby Parker Larsen sunglasses (in Rhubarb Matte with Polished Gold).
JACE: I suppose you're wondering why I gathered you here today.
JACE: The Churrascaria directly behind me opens at 11. So I've got the parking lot all to myself. I've got a lot to do in the next four hours.
Jace drops into a Shawn Michaels-style half split, and flexes despondently.
JACE: I've been bad. I've been lazy. Not lazy in action, I'm as shredded as ever.
His deltoids twitch remorsefully
JACE: Lazy in spirit. Lazy in character.
He arches backwards into a bridge.
JACE: I have no fighting spirit. Correction. Had.
His hips swivel, and suddently he's in pushup-position, knuckles on the asphalt. He grinds out a dozen over the next few lines.
JACE: I have an enemy now. And his name is Tarzan. It is destiny now, it is a fact that in order to be the man... I'll have to beat...
Jace springs to his feet
JACE: To accomplish this, I will need to continue my disciplined workouts.
JACE: To accomplish this, I will need to continue eating 500 calories BENEATH my basal metabolic rate! I WILL attain 3% bodyfat!
JACE: To accomplish this, I will need an actual finisher.
The camera pans out. And there's Buddy Showtime, leaning against the bumper of a panel truck. He's clearly been there the whole time.
BUDDY: I thought you'd called me here for a reason.
JACE: How is this not a reason?
BUDDY: Seriously. Kentucky Tarzan. I thought we took care of him in the ring.
JACE: By cheating.
BUDDY: That's what I said.
JACE: But that's not how it goes.
BUDDY: OK, humor me. How was it supposed to go.
Jace reaches down into the pocket of his discarded hoodie and pulls out a black permanent marker. He walks over to the side of the van, which we can now see has the ghosts of the words "GALA Y F TNES" still visible on its side in the dawn light.
JACE: Let me break it down for you. 1. Decency is Violated . Which leads to 2. A Challenge For Justice when the Injured Party Demands Satisfaction leading to 3. An Escalating Series of Conflicts where both men challenge each other, straining their bodies to the breaking points as glory is manifested thereby! The magic happens in the squared circle! And he's IGNORING me!
As he breaks it down, Jace . The final diagram reads "1. OUTRAGE ->2. CHALLENGE ->3. ESCALATION = POWER AND GLORY -> REPEAT OR REPLACE!
BUDDY: Kid, I used to think you were smart.
JACE: Look, I've run the numbers. You can see the diagram yourself. There is literally no other man in the FWF that it makes sense for me to face in the ring!
BUDDY: You lost to the Raging Dead. Aren't you pissed?
JACE: And that's in the past!
BUDDY: You make a run for the title!
JACE: That's in the future!
BUDDY: Awful sure of yourself, ain'cha, kid?
JACE: It's not like I couldn't make easier money in a straight job.
BUDDY: So what, move back to Allentown, reopen Galaxy Fitness?
JACE: First of all, fuck Allentown.
BUDDY: What's wrong with...
JACE: Second of all, even you know I'd probably set up in Milan.
BUDDY: For the models?
JACE: For the rich women driven half-mad by the presence of models. Think of it Buddy, women who have enough money that nobody can deny them anything. Women who have everything they could ever want. Except for the bodies of women whose very career is to be attractive. And here I come, telling them that my American Expertise can let them have even that.
BUDDY: And then you screw them?
JACE: Out of every cent of their alimony. Perfection is not cheap.
BUDDY: So you've got this all laid out. Why aren't you there now, all Bongiorno, Signora. Wait, do you even speak Italian?
JACE: Nah, but my Portuguese is getting mad decent so I can get by.
BUDDY: But again .
JACE: Because I'm a wrestler, Buddy. Despite your having trained me. This is my life. More importantly, this is my art. And my art demands that I take that big gold belt, but only when it's my time. Right now, my art demands I prove myself. Buddy, Mr. Showtime, when you look at me, what's the one word you hear in your head.
Buddy knows better than to say it, but you can see it in his eyes.
JACE: That's goddamn right, it's Authenticity. I am the realest son of a bitch in this whole fake city. And there is only one competitor, only one man that threatens this status.
BUDDY: And he rhymes with "Unlucky Starman?"
JACE: Exactly! That asshole is so damn chill, it's like he doesn't know I exist! And I have a win over him!
BUDDY: So you called me out here at ass o' clock, drew all over my van, and whined about a feud that only half of the participants even believe are happening?
JACE: So what's your advice?
BUDDY: Trust the process.
Jace studies the diagram he drew on the side of the van for a good fifteen seconds and then grabs his hoodie.
JACE: You're a genius.
BUDDY: How so.
JACE: I wrote the process. I just need to trust myself.
Jace jogs off in the rough direction of the UNLV campus.
BUDDY: There's gotta be an angle here...
"I am not that dragon and you are not that warrior."
- Wondrous Mental Dragon