Dysfunctional; something that is flawed and doesn't operate correctly, or someone that deviates from the normal and accepted social behaviour.
That was me, Ben Alex James, also known as Benny the Bruiser.
"Keep on going Benny, keep going until he can't get up" I hear my trainer Jones yelling from my right side. I'm tired, we're both tired but only one of us is going to win. I don't get a chance to give Jones a dirty look, I hate him coaxing me from the ropes, he knows perfectly well I'm going to do what I do best without his input. But even he's excited knowing victory is near I suppose. In a split second I see a fist coming towards me, I bend quickly, he just misses another punch to my jaw, then while I'm bent over I ram my head into his guts. I've been accused of not having much in this head of mine, this thick, empty head sitting on my powerful shoulders, I suppose ramming it in to this guy works but. Winded, but still fighting he lays his large body over mine, managing to wrap his equally large arms around my torso. Contrary to apparently me not having a brain I know he's thinking his weight will buckle my legs, forcing me to fall stomach first to the floor, his grip is tight, I know he's hanging on for an easy victory. Not going to happen. Instead of falling forward, and I might add with every inch of strength I have left, I stand, straight and tall, lifting not only my exhausted body but the man clinging on to me also. I stand up listening to the crowd chanting my name, I lift my arms in the air, look no hands, this is how strong I've become. I'll give the crowd something to cheer about, something to adore for a few seconds. Why not? Just check out this body of mine. I've been told my body is that of a masterpiece, well in the eyes of someone who likes the look of muscle, sweat and shine which is the majority of this audience, well I definitely fit the picture. Besides in the first row to my right I've spotted my exact style of woman, big busty blondes, tits out, lips pouting, tight little short dresses, probably all wet just thinking about what this man could do for each one of them. They're all sitting on the edge of seats waiting to see undefeated Benny the Bruiser, win one more time.
Then later when I'm done here, I'm not fussy, any one of them, even two of them, shit I could handle all of them, will make me feel just a little bit better. That and a shit-load of alcohol. That unfortunately is the only guaranteed event I have in my life, muscle bound title winner, numerous plastic barbie-doll looking women tucked either side of me, drinking, sex, repeat. That's me. My dysfunctional fucked-up life, is what my sister calls it.
So here I am, with a man nearly the same size of myself clinging to my back, his legs flaying above my head, bending and kicking to try and off balance me, his head, well his head's down between my legs. He could easily take a chunk out of me with his teeth, but I know this man behind this fighting scene, a true gentleman, but today just not as good as me. I play with the audience a little bit more, seriously I don't need time to think about what I need to do next and the way his trying to unlink himself from him I guess he's worked it out also. Yep there is only one thing to do, and unfortunately when I fall back crushing this man, it won't be a pretty sight, well not for him anyway, but the crowd well of course the crowd will go crazy. Show time! I say 'sorry' to the man clung to my back, tapping him on the thigh as a sort of farewell victory slap. I stand in the middle of the ring, the crowd screaming in anticipation, then in slow motion, I fall back, free-falling knowing perfectly well my landing is going to be a soft one.
So here I am awkwardly facing up, the lights shining down blinding me. I'm acutely aware of the breathe being forced out of the man below me, the air has rushed past the inside of my legs, along with a sort of moan, a bit like it was his last sound. I've no doubt broken quite a few of his ribs, and actually hope that's all, my aim is not to kill just maim. Then time stands still, there is no movement, no sound.
'Is he dead' I hear being whispered.
'What's happened?' I hear someone else say.
'Stay on him until the end' I hear being chanted.
I turn my head looking at the row of blonde bimbo's, all of their eyes glued to us, anxiously waiting to see if it's a dead man in front of them. A rush of anxiety causes thru me. Without even caring about 'the showman' side of things that I had just displayed I dive off him, almost like he's poisoning my skin, realising this is the only time the whole night I look unsure of myself. There's no way I'm going to continue crushing the life out of this man, I know my limits, killing him is not an option but the crowd jeer me on to stay on him until the end, squeezing the life from him, stake my claim, no way, I'm not killing my opponent, I've beaten him, fuck...isn't that enough for you blood thirsty bastards.
I can see the referee counting down, slamming the floor, lifting my hand in victory but I'm not switch on, I'm in a daze. The crowd roar, no silence for the man laying on the floor, just loudness for me, the winner. This man I've just beaten fighting fair and square in this ring, both of us knowing the consequences lays motionless. That could've been me. I want to leave, but everyone is rushing into the ring, slapping me on my back in congratulations, touching me, but he still lies there surrounded by these leeches. Jones looks up at me, his hand gripping my arm tightly, is he trying to stabilise me? Is this his way of telling me it will be ok? Or is he trying to keep me in the limelight? He knows what I'm thinking, so without saying a word, without telling him, just letting my snarl say the words I'm thinking, I shake him off me, dismissing him, totally ignoring his anger to make me stay, to bath in the limelight, and I go to the dying man's side. I kneel down the other side of his unconscious sweaty body. What can I do? I whisper.
His distraught trainer looks down at him sadly, hopelessly, then back up to me, un-shed tears well in his eyes, the emotions in the small pocket of air between us indescribable. I can tell they have a close bond, he cares about this man, he feels for the man lying between us. I've never felt this. I'm embarrassed about being here in their moment so I look around, looking for help, anything. Maybe I should just pick him up and carry him out of here. I prepare to use the last of my energy to carry this man to safety but before I get the chance I'm stopped by gentle hand resting on my shoulder. I look up, back into the sad eyes of the man opposite me. His outstretched arm crossing over the body of the dead man below us.
"You won fair and square son, you didn't do anything wrong, do you understand me Ben?" he says looking deeply into my eyes.
I look back down at my opponent who skin is now pale, the sweat that splattered all around us completely dried up. He looks peaceful, calm. His eyes are closed, I try and remember the last time I looked at him when we were fighting. I can't remember what colour they were.
"Do you understand Ben" I hear a little louder while my shoulder gets squeezed a little harder. I look back into the man's eyes that's talking to me and just nod 'yes'. But I don't truly understand.
Then in the corner of my eye standing below the stage I can see a small women just standing there staring at us. Tears, lots of tears running down her beautiful distraught face. I look back at the man on the floor in front of me, the one she's crying over. I fall back on to my butt, holding my face, tears flow from me, tears I never thought existed in this fucked up person. It should've been me.
My head feels like it's about to explode. I struggle to see where I'm walking, I know there's stairs, and I'm tripping up most of them. My eyes are blurred with salty tears that won't stop appearing, now running out of both my eyes and my nose. The noisy crowd won't move for me, they're all facing the opposite of the way I'm going, all of them gawking at the dead guy in the ring. The dead guy being my brother.
'What a shame' I hear as I struggle to squeeze my way thru.
'It was a fair fight' another one says. I want to turn around and punch the man in the face.
'What a shame, apparently he was a really nice bloke' I hear someone say. I actually make eye contact with them, they give me a sad smile.
In the end to get thru I forget about manners, pushing, shoving, swearing my way towards the exit doors. Go, stay, scream, kick and punch something, fall in a heap on the floor? Surely some one knows what to do with me, what in the fuck do I do with me? I barge further away from the hysterics going on behind me. For one second I thought I heard someone yelling my name. Did Adam suddenly get up, did the miracle I prayed for seeing him lying there dead still happen. I look back over the sea of shoulders, between the heads, back down to the ring in the centre of the stadium but everyone's head is down. I can see Adam's opponent's sweaty large body sitting beside my brothers lifeless body, I curse him, I curse this whole situation. Never again will I step foot into a place like this. Never ever again.
I never understood how punching, kicking, throwing another person around on a small stage is consider a fair sport. I mean hitting a tennis ball back and forth, missing it, that's fair enough. Not hitting a small white ball into a little tiny whole miles away, that's fair. Not swimming as fast as the person in the next lane and losing, well you had a shitty day, that's ok. But is this a sport? I know they train for it, I know they're matched in weight, I know it takes skill and fitness, probably a little bit of cunningness, most times they have a bit of respect for each other, I know in the end it's whose better on the night. I know, I know, I know. But death, that's not fair. Another lot of tears burst from my face. I don't even bother wiping them away, they won't stop for days, weeks, months, years even. And knowing all this is not going to make him come back to life is it?
I finally reach the exit doors, slamming it open, turn and start running down the carpeted hall. I can see a couple of paramedics rushing towards me, I should stop and tell them it's too late, I want to yell at the them that they're about ten minutes too late. But what would be the use, instead I just keep running. Out of the large windows to my left I can see the ambulance parked out front, the doors wide open anticipating my brothers bent and broken body, ready and willing to try and put it back together, soon they will find out they will be unable to help him, but still it sits there waiting in the pouring rain. I know I should stay also, be by his side, maybe I should go and stand in the pouring rain to wait for him, but I can't, I need to go. I start running again, not stopping to push open the glass doors making them swing so hard a security guard yells at me to slow down but of course I ignore him.
The stupid thing is I knew this was going to happen. I had awful dreams days before every fight. Adam would just laugh it off. All these years, every time I would let him know. And every time he would laugh then fight. I begged him to give it up. His head-aches had been getting worst. I tried using every single thing I could to get him to stop fighting, but he kept going. I even stooped so low to guilt trip him to stop, begging him that we only had each other. It was wrong I know, there was a lot of people who loved us but truly he was my only immediate family. But he would head off to fight another fight, with or without my support. I should've given up fighting him, I should've supported him, I knew he was good at this sport, I knew it, he knew it, and when he won the title last year so did the rest of world.
"You've been the best, now let some else have a turn besides you need to rest that brain inside that head of yours" I use to say to him.
"Why don't you help Jimmy train some of the younger boys, your gifted, now past on your knowledge" I would suggest to him.
"What else can I do if I don't do this?" he would say to me.
"Pfft...teach, train, motivate, personal train, even start a healthy cooking range, anything but just stop getting punched in the head" I begged him.
I stop running, soaked, a stitch in my side screaming up my body, my tears mixed with raindrops before I realise I've ended up in the nearest park, at the large fountain situated in the centre, away from the bustle of the city, away from stupid people, just me and a few wet sodden pigeons to keep me company. And here is where I end up sobbing out loud, then cursing and screaming up at the sky, at whoever wants to hear me, 'IT'S NOT FAIR'. Then falling to the dirty ground exhausted, wet and shivering. Now I want to wind back the clock an hour and be beside Adam. I cry again. Now it's too late.
When I finally decide to head home, not knowing what I'll face, it's dark. The rain has stopped but everything is still saturated, including me. My hair is falling all around my face, I imagine I look like some sort of zombie emerging out from the gutters in the dark of the night. I press the code to get into my building, I've already started to take off my wet clothes before I get to my front door. I don't care, I don't care who see's me, what anyone thinks of me, I just don't care. I pull out my phone from my back pocket that has been switched off, its partially wet but warm. I should turn it on to see if it's still working but decide against it. I creep up the hallway noticing just how quiet the place is. It's usually full of music, it usually smells of some delicious food simmering on the stove, but not tonight. I fall back against the wall, slide down on to the cold polished floor. It's still all a daze. What do I do next? Adam looked after me, he organised our life. What will I do now, I can't help it but cry a little bit more.