On Razor Ramon Entering The Ring For The First Time & The Last Time – Brian Oliu


If something happens to this, something is going to happen to you, he said, and he meant it: gold necklaces wet from the dunking of a head under water before walking amidst the crowd, the sound of a car either screeching to a stop or beginning to accelerate into something faster—the pacing of coming or going as mysterious as anything in this world where all will eventually be revealed. Of course, we know how the film ends, but we forget it to make ourselves feel more luxurious: say hello to the bad guy is not the line, but it is now—our unlikely hero’s last stand as the smoke rises from nowhere, red carpet and red walls as bodies cascade down staircases like a dropped coin. The way he remembers it must be different: no watching of black and white screens turning to lines of snow, a body face down in a blue pool while blood swims to the surface of a world that no one owns.

We see him walking through a market in a place where he claims he lives—a place more glamorous and spirited than an island of pines, a place where he is allowed to take anything he wants with a swipe of his gold fingered-hand. He bites through the skin of a plum and chews: once, twice. He spits the pulp in our direction—not out of dislike for the fruit, but for emphasis: that this is something that he can do and he will do. How impressive it is, to see someone this bad, with this much disdain—to take something of value and make it worthless simply because it is in our heart to do so, to love and to leave, to be graceful and yet spin in circles, mumbling into the plywood.

If we are to speak of ends cut short, here’s something: while waiting for the bus, I would double girls over and flip them up over my head—shoulder blades resting on the back of my head, arms outstretched like a crucifix, like I am carrying the Lord in the form of a hundred pound teenager: one of the poor ones, the ones with the jeans with words and symbols written on the thighs, pictures I wish I could trace with even just a finger—yet this is where all things are lost at that age: with delicateness, with deliberateness. We are all going to fall some day—the most we can hope for is that we fall forward into something beautiful, something lavender.

Of course, I never fall: she slides down my back and lands on her feet until she asks me to do it again—never a fear of falling, never a fear of death by diamonds, never a fear of sending anyone neck first on the concrete for I am gentle: I am not a bad guy and she will never say good morning or good night or any of those things because there is no time for salutations. She will die on her own without my assistance: the death dropping from within, the first time I saw pale raised lines where the skin has died, as if someone had erased pigment with a broken pencil, as if we are left with nothing but the ghost of someone chanting your name from the tops of ladders.

This counts, and we are shocked: a misstep, a crooked flight, and a disappearance—none of this was supposed to happen. No one deserves this final image of rage, no one deserves a body bloated as if it were found washed ashore on the river, shaking with nothing, the rattling of cuts. I think of you, flat on the ground before your eyes roll back, and I am sorry—you with your thin bones, your thin hair, and my fat fingers, you impossible to pick up from the ground, you flush with the cement, you, sharper than the day you were lifted, chin to the sky.