Title: However Long the Night
Featuring: Troy Matthews
Date: 2-14-15
Location: The French Quarter

“...David?  David?

I snapped back to consciousness; she was staring across from the table at me, worry etched on her brow as she ate a forkful of plantains.

“Huhwhathuhwha--?” I hadn’t quite come back completely.  She turned her head a little, almost as if she were looking at me with one eye.

“You’ve hardly touched your food,” she said.  She was right.  I’d taken maybe two spoonfuls of the pungent eggplant curry I’d ordered.  We were at Bennachin, an African restaurant in the French Quarter, and one of the few vegetarian restaurants in New Orleans that had room for a couple of riff-raff wrestlers without reservations on Valentine’s Day.  Can you believe that there are so many vegetarians in a port city?  Goddamn hipsters.

Yeah, sorry, I’m really not that good at talking about myself, because I just end up rambling like an idiot.

Oh, yeah.  I’m known throughout the wrestling industry as Troy Matthews most nights.  But tonight, with my girlfriend celebrating not only Valentine’s Day, but also her birthday, I’m just David Troy, Jr., some idiot who dyes his hair different colors like a mood ring.  Tonight, it’s platinum blonde, because going around the French Q looking like some dishevelled punk rocker didn’t sound like a good idea.

“Are you OK?” Saori asked, knowing full well that I wasn’t.  I promised myself I wasn’t going to let myself get distracted on her day, but earlier today she’d been lamenting her own age, which reminded me that I’m turning 35 this October.  Thirty-five years old, a professional wrestler, and not even a successful one at that.  Sure, the Skybreakers were supposed to be a platform for a bunch of us in limbo, but that… hasn’t been working.

We finished our meal and headed back out on the Quarter, my head was too heavy with the questions swimming inside.  Call it quits?  Give Eddie a call?  Look for another company and start over fresh?

Saori held my hand tightly, but I knew I wasn’t going to find my answers in her, not tonight.

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