In The Frame

View previous topic View next topic Go down

In The Frame

Post  slashburd on Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:10 pm

“So you take a guy like me; y'know solid and dependable – that was always me. Never let a promoter down cos it'd be like letting myself down. I went to shitty village halls, county halls even bingo halls and did my thing. I had the looks almost 'bout as much as any of the guys and I made the fans happy before, during and after the show if you get what I mean. Nowadays the business doesn't roll like that. I'm not young and I'm not as pretty as I'd need to be. I can throw down with anyone and make 'em look good but that's not enough. All I do is the convention circuit and the few odd dates here and there with the right guys for the right pay. I still gotta eat, right? Sure I make a few bucks as a trainer and I hope one day me and some of the guys will chip in and get our own school. No point till we get back to a business where the fans care more for your hip toss than your hip dents though. Man, they were the days.”

The camera was a constant companion. Always on hand to record the thoughts of the day or absorb the awkwardness of a one sided late night conversation. Under hotel lights it had a habit of picking up every detail of his face but somehow the lines on the screen screamed more of experience than age. It was a sad day when the batteries ran out earlier than his heart had finished talking but thankfully that wasn't too often.

DDP sat on the edge of the couch and stared into the lens, wondering if people were as interested in listening as he was in speaking. Sure, the view numbers on his videos were good but there were a few people he hoped were watching more than others. Reaching forward gingerly he turned the camera off at the top, the ache in his bad shoulder getting worse as the night time wore on.

He turned his head and stared out of the window, the twinkling lights of another bland cityscape staring back at him out of the darkness. Out there was the one person he hoped was listening. It didn't matter if that person wasn't hung on every word or didn't watch it all. Just once every now and again he'd make a reference and hope that his words would find their target. 'Solid and reliable' described them both but the as yet unspoken 'still wondering after all these years' only applied to one of them.

slashburd

Posts : 34
Join date : 2011-06-23

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: In The Frame

Post  Thorsmaven on Fri Jun 24, 2011 8:15 pm

Jeff sat back in his office chair. He twirled a pencil around his finger tips as he glanced over to the AAA belt carefully draped over it. It felt good to wear gold again, he had forgotten how alive it made him feel. He brought the belt in to show the boys in the back while he worked on the story lines for the next couple of house shows.

The blood that ran through him was the blood of a promoter, true and true. When they approached him about setting up shows and combining AAA with TNA, he was all over it. That and well... he needed a break. He looked bleary eyed at the papers sprawled over his desk, the letters swirling in and out of focus. "Ugh." He muttered and pushed them away, turning on his laptop to relax.

He flipped through his favorites, pulling up DDP's youtube channel. He stumbled upon it a few weeks ago, only find himself hooked. Everything he said, and the way he said it- it brought Jeff back to a time he could only recall in the setting of a dark bar, his hand curled around a pint. Watching his videos tonight in his office stirred up similar feelings. He remembered those days, performing where you could, doing what you needed, scraping together some way to eat.

Jeff's fingers itched. He looked at his cell phone perched at the end of his desk. He could call... But would he want to hear from him? It had been awhile. He stretched out his fingers, idly twiddling his thumbs and fingers, until they finally came to rest in the shape of Page's infamous diamond cutter hand gesture. Jeff smirked a little. "Okay, okay." He muttered and grabbed his phone calling up the last number he had for DDP.

Thorsmaven

Posts : 50
Join date : 2011-06-10

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: In The Frame

Post  slashburd on Sun Jun 26, 2011 8:48 pm

It was only when he woke with a start that DDP even realised that he'd fallen asleep. The tour of promoting for his fitness regime deal coupled with the conventions was starting to take it out of him. After recently taking some downtime to get surgery that had been delayed way too often the days were getting long even by his his veteran standards. Painkillers had never been his thing, recreationally or otherwise, but they had been a blessing lately just to help him get through the night.

It was almost a minute before he realised that his phone was ringing, albeint dully, and he scrabbled around the sofa looking for it as fast as his sleep addled state would allow. He slid his hand under the cushions and then over the paperwork which was piled up beside him but there was no sign of his phone. He leapt up, getting angrier with himself and the jangling ringtone by the second. He was expecting a call from Europe about a potential booking and didn't want to miss it.

"Where the fu-... Joseph, will you get a hold of your damn self. Where's the damn noise coming from?"

Admonishing himself with his Sunday name was a last resort in times of panic. It reminded him of the tellings off he was all too used to receiving in his wayward childhood. His mother had hated the name Page and had selected the more biblical sounding middle name that she chose to call him right up until she died.

"The bag. Where's my bag?"

Before he had a chance to find his rucksack the ringing stopped and he couldn't help but to sigh at his disorganised state. This was the reason he still had an agent lurking in the wings after all this time. When his bag was located behind the back of the sofa he retrieved his phone from the top compartment. Flipping it open he saw a number rather than a name which meant it wasn't Europe and it wasn't anyone he knew. Closing it again he decided that the caller would leave a voicemail or ring back if it was that important. Sleep was calling his name and he had run out of good reasons to resist it.

slashburd

Posts : 34
Join date : 2011-06-23

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: In The Frame

Post  Thorsmaven on Sun Jun 26, 2011 10:04 pm

Jeff drummed his fingers on the desk, waiting for the other line to be picked up. He was worried that maybe after all this time Joe might have gone and got another number and he was about to call some complete stranger. When no one picked up and the generic phone company recording came up prompting him to leave a message, he debated.

A few seconds ticked on by before finally, he spoke.

"Joe? It's Jeff Jarrett. Been thinkin' 'bout ya lately, watchin' your youtube videos. I figured I'd give ya a call, see what ya were up to these days. Bearin' in mind this is even your phone an' I'm not talkin' to some complete stranger that is. Anyway, if you're interested in maybe callin' me back one day, if you're in to speakin' with me again here's my number." He left his phone number for the other man and hung up the phone a little disappointed.

He was hoping to get to talk to him, and instead he was greeted solely with the prospect of more work. He sat his phone back on the desk, looking at the mounting paper work before deciding he'd be better off just heading to the hotel for the night.

Not too much later, he was situated in his hotel room, ready for the night. He turned down the covers on the cheap hotel bed, wiggling down into the warmth beneath the worn satin bedspread and scratchy sheets, his phone perched on the night table- always on just in case.

Thorsmaven

Posts : 50
Join date : 2011-06-10

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: In The Frame

Post  slashburd on Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:00 pm

When he woke in the morning all that he could feel was an ache, from the base of his back to the nape of his neck. A further late night recording session had been so draining that he had fallen asleep on the bed, fully clothed but with both legs hanging over the side. Even for someone as flexible as himself it would prove to be that five hours in that position was too much.

After slowly levering himself to his feet and using the bathroom he shuffled back over to the bed, grabbing his cellphone and the room service menu. Breakfast was soon ordered and his phone brought back to life. On the screen it showed a voicemail message and some new emails. Assuming that the time difference was proving a poor business ally again he selected his voicemail first, listening hard to be able to make out the thick German accent of the promoter whose voice he expected to hear.

By the time he finished listening to the message his stomach had a knot in it the size of a basketball. Nobody called him Joe anymore. Nobody had the personal privilege of knowing him well enough to use anything other than his stage name. Even the people he thought might be friends called him Page above all else. Hearing the gentle twang almost carressing the single syllable in the way it used to do made the short hairs on the back of his neck stand up.

For the longest time he had hoped against hope that Jeff was still sparing him a thought every now and again. He occasionally had the grandiose idea that the one that got away would sometimes swim the same tide as him but it had seemed a long shot at best. Three divorces from bitter wives, one acrimonious breakup from his only serious 'boyfriend' and then a string of one night stands was the form of his lovelife credentials. Faced with the prospect of ringing Jeff back and having to discuss any of those bad choices seemed like the worst thing possible.

Putting his phone aside DDP waited patiently for his room service and consumed it hastily once the trolley had been abandoned by the cheeky bellhop who he tipped well just to get him out of the room. As he wiped the last of the sticky syrup from the corner of his lips he grabbed his phone again and scrolled the missed calls menu. There in nothing more than a string of simple numbers was the net profit of not being so careful what he wished for. His finger hovered over the dial button for minutes, the screen dulling off but Jeff's name still visible through the murkily lit glass.

Swallowing hard and dryly he hit the dial button and waited, not sure what time it would be wherever Jeff was in the world but knowing that not to try would be not to know and he just couldn't bear that any longer.

slashburd

Posts : 34
Join date : 2011-06-23

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: In The Frame

Post  Thorsmaven on Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:25 pm

Jeff spent a long night, tossing and turning in the scratchy hotel blankets and cheap cover. The chill and rattle of the air conditioner was almost unbearable but there was no way to actually turn it off. Lord knows he had tried as best as he could, including throwing his shoe at it in frustration. By time the rays of the early dawn sunlight crept on in past the cheap vertical blinds, he was ready to be up.

He took a shower, the hot water taking the chill off him. Jeff was never one for cooler temperatures. After a quick rub down of a towel through his short blonde hair and a change into a pair of jeans and a tee shirt he went back out into the room to flop down into the hotel chair.

He picked up his cell phone, tweeting a few quotes to his watchers, dropping a few lines in Spanish, and left an antagonizing message about Kurt Angle. Sometimes the mornings were pretty okay. He took his phone, paging through a few websites with a yawn.

All the sudden a new number popped up on the front screen. He wrinkled his brow at it, trying to remember the odd number before it dawned on him. He hit answer and swallowed slightly before speaking. "...Hello, this is Jeff."

Thorsmaven

Posts : 50
Join date : 2011-06-10

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: In The Frame

Post  slashburd on Fri Jul 01, 2011 6:36 pm

The second the call connected DDP didn't know whether or not he'd made the right decision to call at all. He heard the quiet voice with it's usual calm tone, feeling almost as if it wrapped around him like a favourite soft sweater that he hadn't worn in years. No words came to mind and as he racked his brain for something to say he heard Jeff's voice over the crackly line utter the word "Hello?" a couple of times.

"H-hey there Jeff. It's DD-it's Joe. You called and left me a message and I was... well, I was just returning your call. I'm a man of good manners as you know and I just wanted to call, say hi and y'know...."

The words trailed off into nothingness, the silence not out of awkwardness so much as contemplation. Over time so much had been left unsaid between them and the opening seconds of their reacquaintance didn't seem quite the time to remedy that. He managed to hold back the tidal wave of words that threatened to leap forth, each one of them leading him towards confessing that the dirty secret he had all those years ago was still his secret now. DDP decided to steer the conversation away from the obvious and dangerous and back into more palatable territory.

"So, how've you been Jeff?"

slashburd

Posts : 34
Join date : 2011-06-23

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: In The Frame

Post  Thorsmaven on Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:01 pm

"Hey Joe- I'm fine, thank ya! God, I wasn't sure who the heck was callin' me. I really gotta program your name in here." He said as he let the amount of awkward pauses wash over him. DDP was the kind of guy who always had a lot to say but now? He frowned a little, wondering if he was alright.

"I did, I've been watching your videos online. They brought back a lot of memories and it made me think of the old days. You, me, WCW. You, me, TNA." He trailed off drawing a small design in the sheets with the tip of his fingers. "I was going to leave a comment online, but... that felt impersonal. Really... they made me think. I miss you, Joe. I miss the old times, I miss you making me laugh. I was hoping maybe... er, if you were into the idea still, that we could meet up again? Catch up on what's going on." He suggested, drumming his fingers on the back of the phone.

"I... well... I know it's been awhile. I'm probably rambling but, I do want to see you. I'm in Memphis right now, I was finishing up some things for the office. I have some time before I go back to Mexico."

Thorsmaven

Posts : 50
Join date : 2011-06-10

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: In The Frame

Post  slashburd on Sat Jul 02, 2011 10:47 am

The mere fact that Jeff seemed keen to meet was enough to send DDP's pulse racing. So often he had thought about what would happen if they got back in touch, not really daring to dream that there could be room in Jeff's life for him as more than an acquaintance. Jeff was a roots-down guy who liked to have a home to go to. He had a modestly sized house in the sticks that his housekeeper had more rights to call home than he did. All the doubts of old came knocking at they spoke but he fought to shove them aside and not pass up the opportunity.

"I'm not... I'd love that Jeff. Been too long since we got our heads together and put the world to rights. Too damn long. Now I don't know if I'll be down your way before you go off to be champ and raise some hell down in Mexico again. Don't worry, I still keep my eye on how great you're doing!" There came a pause when DDP realised just how that might have sounded. He hastily changed the subject back. "Just you hold on there Jeff, I'm gonna check my diary. Gimme a sec, okay?"

Without giving Jeff the chance to answer he put the call on hold on his phone, taking a moment to breathe deeply and try to get himself back to ground level. Over and over he repeated to himself that it was only Jeff and that he should be playing it cool. For all he knew his friend of old wanted a gossip, a beer and a burrito and nothing more.

Reaching out towards the coffee table DDP grabbed his organiser and started to flip the pages until he got to the week ahead. He was busy all week but the one day that stood out to him was Thursday. He wasn't quite in Memphis but in Jackson, Tennessee where another infomercial appointment awaited. That was nothing more than a hop, skip and jump from where Jeff was. Picking up the phone again he keyed the call back to life, forgetting to clear his throat before putting it back to his face and probably deafening Jeff in the process.

"Sorry 'bout that Jeff. Now I got business to attend to but as it happens I'm down your way on Thursday next week. Got to see some TV folks in Jackson about the YRG thing. Any good for you?"

slashburd

Posts : 34
Join date : 2011-06-23

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: In The Frame

Post  Thorsmaven on Wed Jul 06, 2011 6:54 pm

"You're damn right, Joe! It's been forever. There's so much to catch up on, ya might want to clear your calender." He joked. "Alright Joe, take your time- I ain't goin' anywhere." Once he was put on hold he went about collecting his things and packing them back up into his suitcase- zipping it up so he was ready to leave the hotel.

He threw on his boots, and by that time Joe was on the other line again. "Thursday? Sure! That sounds great. ...Hey, why don't ya'll jus' come an' stay with me? I'll make dinner- if ya haven't been home for awhile, nothin' beats a home cooked meal. Then if ya get tired of my ass there's a bar down the street I'm sure we can get a couple a good drinks together there. Oh- bring somethin' to swim in. I don't know if ya'll remember my place but I have that great pool... Hang on, I'll text ya my address so ya can mapquest me." He put Joe on hold, firing him off a text with his address. He lived right on the lake in Hendersonville- and hell. If James Storm could find it, Joe was more than capable of finding his way there.

"Alright, back. I jus' sent it. Gosh Joe- I'm really lookin' forward to this! Ya know me, I love to entertain people, an' it's really been awhile that I had anyone over. The whole AAA expansion eats up a lot of my time."

Thorsmaven

Posts : 50
Join date : 2011-06-10

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: In The Frame

Post  slashburd on Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:35 am

DDP found himself in one of those strange moments while he was waiting for Jeff to send him the address, one where he was convinced that the conversation wasn't really happening. Overnight the one thing he wanted had dropped in his lap and so making arrangments to actually get together seemed surreal. What rocked him the most was the lack of a rejection. He had often imagined Jeff telling him to get to hell, that the years of silence between them was a breach of a solid friendship that there was no way back from. Instead he was welcomed back with open arms and he let himself believe that Jeff was genuinely pleased to be back in touch. That in itself was worth it's weight in gold.

"I'm not a strong swimmer Jeff but I'll be sure to bring my Speedo." He paused to allow his throaty laugh to escape, the mere thought of himself putting a Speedo on being enough material for a stand up show in his mind. "I can remember your place, it's pretty great. You still got the dogs or did they go by the wayside with the travel? Man, I don't envy you doing that Mexico thing. I got a deal years back to go to Puerto Rico and it near damned killed me. Sure, getting shot was a risk but never seeing my own bed, my girl at the time, my friends. Wasn't a way to live at all back then, let alone now we're old timers. Well, I guess I'm one anyway."

Realising he was starting to ramble DDP stopped himself and took a deep breath, initially waiting for Jeff to fill the short silence that came after the tidal wave of words. He just had so much to say and so much he wanted to hear. Jeff was right in that a few beers would grease the wheels a little so that the tales and stories came easier. Checking his watch he realised just what the time was and that his afternoon appointment was growing ever closer.

"So I better let a busy guy like you get on with his day. I got a ton to do myself including a half hour of stretching so I can get my left leg half way up my back for the desperate houswives at the guest class I'm doing today. Can't wait for Thursday man, don't know the last time I looked forward to a two hour drive so much!"

slashburd

Posts : 34
Join date : 2011-06-23

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: In The Frame

Post  Thorsmaven on Tue Jul 19, 2011 12:08 am

"Well, after Emma, my lab died- I didn't bother getting any new animals. It ain't fair to them, I'm not home for im'. As much as I love animals in all, but without Jill, I don't... I don't have anyone to look after him." At one point Jeff had several animals, cats, dogs, a pig, chickens, and a few horses. But it was just too much for one man who was never home. He sighed slowly. "I miss im', but it really jus' ain't fair to them."

He listened to DDP continue, and nodded. He had to get home anyway. "Sure Joe! I'm lookin' forward to it too, ya know? It'll be great. ...I'm sorry we let so much time get between us but... ya'll know how the business is. But we'll have plentya time to catch up on things." He smiled. "See ya Thursday, Joe. An' bring that Speedo!" He teased. "Talk to ya later."

He hung up his phone, collecting his bags and his things to head out the door- he had to get his house ready for his house guest next week.

(Did you want to skip us to Thursday?)

Thorsmaven

Posts : 50
Join date : 2011-06-10

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: In The Frame

Post  slashburd on Sat Jul 23, 2011 7:47 am

(I sure would!)

The radio played away to itself in the background but DDP paid it no real notice. No amount of generic pop interspersed with bland country music would slow his heart rate. Time after time in life he was reminded that you should be careful what you wish for but he couldn't see the downside of his impending reunion with Jeff. Their phone call had given him so much reassurance that what they had was not completely lost but there had been a moment on the plane journey down when he had considered making his excuses. That moment came when he tackled the prospect of Jeff wanting to be nothing more than friends. Sure, he could deal with that if all they had were calls and emails but seeing the man before him might complicate that in his mind and heart.

In the back of the car was a bag packed with a towel and swimming gear, some usual toiletries and a gift wrapped carefully in paper inside a large black box. It was something he'd bought in Vegas the year before, something that reminded him of Jeff from years ago. They hadn't been cheap and had sat on their own shelf in a closet just waiting to be handed over. He had never been able to walk past a pair of cowboy boots in a shop window without thinking of Jeff and the day he bought them had been no different. The hotel shop was mainly plundered by tourists but when he saw the intricate leatherwork DDP hadn't been able to resist. He only hoped he had the right size and that his friend had the same taste as back in the day.

One final stretch of open road saw him driving the rental car into a nice area full of houses with intercom access and high security walls around them. He didn't remember it looking such an affluent area and that alone made him feel a bit self conscious about how he was dressed and where his own place was. Jeff was never in the business for the money, that much DDP knew and he was sure that had never changed. When he finally pulled up at the entrance to the right house he could see that Jeff's place was the least flash of all those on the row and breathed a sigh of relief. He rolled down the window and poked at the buttons on the intercom. When it crackled to life with a feminine 'Hello?' he wondered if he'd got the right place after all but replied nevertheless.

"Hey, I'm a... I'm here to see Mr Jeff Jarrett. It's Joe. I think he's expecting me."

slashburd

Posts : 34
Join date : 2011-06-23

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: In The Frame

Post  Thorsmaven on Sun Aug 14, 2011 5:23 pm

"Oh right! Hang on. I'll call for him." Karen said as she did just that. "JEFF! Someone named Joe's here! I'll buzz him in, and then I'm going to head off. See you at impact next week!" There was some shuffling around and then Jeff's voice came on over the intercom.

"Hey Joe- sorry 'bout that. That's Karen, she works with me at TNA- Kurt's ex wife. She wanted a hand with some self defense stuff.I told her to jus' keep a brick in her purse but apparently that ain't enough. Come on in!" The security gate opened up, allowing DDP access to his home. The gate remained open for quite a bit of time to accommodate Karen's exit as well. Jeff just finished tidying up after Karen's departure, enough to give an air of lived in feeling to the house despite all the massive dust Jeff had to clean off of everything to get it that way.

He never had the time to clean, nor did he want a cleaning staff there when he wasn't home which was 90% of the time. He tossed the last dust rag in the garbage can as he opened the door to wave to DDP as he drove up to the place. He jogged down the steps to the drive way to greet him properly. Karen was just leaving, and did so with a honk and a wave. She drove around Jeff's new guest and through the gate.

Thorsmaven

Posts : 50
Join date : 2011-06-10

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: In The Frame

Post  slashburd on Sat Aug 20, 2011 7:05 am

As he put the car into park DDP couldn't help but stare forward, watching in wonder as Jeff descended the steps. The blonde hair looked as good as it ever did, the longer strands kinked at the ends and bouncing in an almost glamorous way. One thing that had always impressed him about Jeff was the effortless way in which he always looked good and finally seeing the man in the flesh after so long confirmed that he still looked amazing.

Patting himself down quickly he made sure that he had everything handy and then opened the door, getting out just as Jeff got to the front of the car. As he shut the door he took a deep breath and turned around, making sure there was a smile on his face and that the dampness that had formed at the corner of his eyes was difficult to detect.

"Jeff, my man! How goes it? Long, long time no see...."

Instinctively he held his hand out for a handshake, not brave enough to go for a hug in case that wasn't the done thing any more. He kept his eyes on Jeff's face all the while and waited for those awkward few seconds for Jeff to take his hand.

slashburd

Posts : 34
Join date : 2011-06-23

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: In The Frame

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum