Midget Wrestling, Upcoming Cage Warrior Combat at Kingston’s Filling Station, Carl Edwards Meets Forrest Griffin, Jamming out to Brad Mehldau, Gripping the Curb Where The Sidewalk EndsJuly 3rd, 2012 by Joshua Scott Beranis
Yes we’ll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we’ll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.
You got no time for the messenger,
Got no regard for the things that you don’t understand,
You got no fear of the underdog,
That’s why you will not survive.
I hold nothing against little people, but I’m sure that even they would admit a profound difference in the purpose of holding an “Extreme Midget Wrestling Federation” show in the parking lot behind Kingston’s own “The Filling Station”, and Cage Warrior Combat holding a Mixed Martial Arts event in the same lot ( this coming July 28th). It does not take away from my delight at the delinquency and rougheartedness displayed by the half dozen miniature wrestlers there on the night of June, 23, 2012. This was an all ages event, and a certain childish innocence swept over even the oldest among the crowd that night. The Extreme Midget Wrestling Federation playfully and cheerfully reminded me of that youthful fascination with the once colorful and eccentric “World Wrestling Federation” or “WWF”.
During the show, I snuck up on promoter C.J. Halliburton, challenging him immediately to a drinking competition, regardless of his not having a beer in hand. I won this round. C.J seemed to enjoy the display of grandeur, but a gentleman beside him in sunglasses was overcome with confusion and rage.
“That was pointless,” the gentleman informed me. He was correct of course. ”I kind of just want to punch you in the face actually.”
“Punch me in the face?” I ask, exerting as deserving a tone as possible. “Well, if you want to punch me in the face, I guess that its because of something I did. Its all about conditions.”
“You’ve got a funny way about you Josh,” C.J. adds, shaking his head. Closest thing I’ll get to a pat on the back about this gesture. I look to the gentleman and remember Shantideva’s “The Way of The Bodhisattva”. “All those who slight me to my face, or do some other evil, even if they blame or slander me, may they attain the fortune of enlightenment.”
“I’m probably the least violent person you’ll meet here,” I inform him. I think there is a large possibility that this could have been a true statement, but then I remember my friend Adam, who invited me to the event in the first place. I see him holding his daughter on his shoulders so she can see the little people wreak havoc on one another in thier bite-size ring. Then I think about the possibility of being the second least “intentionally” violent person in the crowd.
C.J. recalls a heated bar-brawl I had fallen into the midst of, feeling rather out of place. At one point I had toppled over in my bar stool, and C.J. helped me back up and wiped his hands clean. I did not end up arriving to work the day following the bar-brawl, but I survived, even after somehow finding myself outside of the bar in the parking lot with a beer in my hand (totally illegal and unintentional). I had followed this “friendly duel” out the door of a Bremerton watering hole, which was probably a horrible idea, but I honestly don’t get to see many hands up thirties-style bar brawls. Why would I miss such an opportunity?
My wife and I try to get a picture with the little people in the ring, following the Filling Station event. Jeff Holcomb of Valholl Brewing, and his son little Jeff try to squeeze into the photo as per my request, but it is to no avail as the tiny crew becomes overwhelmed with the now rambunctious crowd. Nasty Boy, a notorious bad-boy among the mix, is shouting “if we can’t get you guys to do this in an orderly fashion, we’re going to have to try this later!” There is only chaos. One of the notable bad little guys points to what he tells me is a stain on my shirt. I look down, and he tweaks my nose. My wife lets out a howl when she sees this. There was nothing I could do at that point, aside from accepting that he had gotten the best of me. The Valholl Brew, a Valkyrie Red, has me feeling very friendly and receptive to humor anyways.
I would vent any resulting frustration out on my wife and her girlfriend on our way to the car, when I bent a pizza pan over thier heads with brute force, even taking an oppuritunity to smack them on the tail end with it too. It got ugly when they started attacking me with pizza pans as well, which had been handed out as a sort of novelty to the crowd. Some chose to have the wrestlers autograph them, and the rest of us did the mature thing, and began bludgeoning one another with them.
Meditation can be difficult to place in your routine. Anger is always going to be a problem for me. Its the worst thing that I think anyone will ever have to deal with. Just the tendency toward anger alone; its a lot to work on, and even when you are trying to diminish it, it will pull you in all sorts of directions. Its a very abstract thing, and for myself, I need to vent it out in as many creative directions as possible so that I can stay compassionate enough to enjoy even the worst of you assholes. Anger isn’t always just something that makes my hands shake or that causes me to grimace. Very often, its something that makes me either need to push my thoughts into the form of words on paper, or to just get lazy and depressed and bundle up into a blanket on the couch.
Anger has been driving me to seek spiritual experiences. The response to this anger is the leading force in what I do. The Bhagavad Gita, The Lotus Sutra, The King James Bible, Human All Too Human by Nietzsche, Kerouac, Tibetan Sound Healing, are just a small handful of the books that I have been prying through to extinguish my general suffering. I landed a great personal contact out this way though, and an appropriate contrast on the spectrum, as far as it concerns my predicament with anger.
Pro MMA fighter Carl Edwards, who I’ve researched for previous articles and become acquainted with personally, is also a Reiki Practitioner, doing work with crystals and mantra. He has even incorporated some of his crystal work into meditation, and meditation is something I have a little bit of familiarity with. My first interview with Carl, at my own dining room table over a six-pack of Icehouse, ended up moving in a direction which dealt mostly with the subject of meditation, philosophy, etc. These are the most important types of conversations to me, because they temporarily debride the rock-hard business and predetermined politics from the social setting. Nothing constricts and hinders me more than rock-hard business and predetermined political opinions. These two things are never going to be progressive enough to satisfy me.
Carl is intellectually potent, as well as being a sincerely dangerous physical element in the ring. Even after a recent loss in his second professional bout, humbly tapping out to Darrio Mobley after Mobley had been handed a pretty slippery chance at an “Off with the head guillotine” as one of the Reign Promotions announcers had phrased it. Carl is honing himself continuously and spontaneously as usual, bolth on as well as off the gym floor. He is simply a hard man to undermine in my opinion, and didn’t seem very devastated by the need to tap out. Really, it seemed less like he was tapping out to avoid pain, and more like he was admitting “nope, that was not the position I wanted to put my head in”. It just seemed like a strange and unavoidable mistake coming out from underneath Mobley and appearing to surrender his wide open neck like a turkey on thanksgiving. Carl had shared with me that a few experimental preparation techniques, and the feeling he may have been dieting unusually had been major factors in his heavyness in the octagon that night, and that it was an easy thing to avoid in the future.
In a meditation session with Carl, in my study at home, Carl placed crystals in positions around me with particularity to his own practices, and I went about the usual meditation techniques I have been taught. I was hesitant and felt inclined to scepticism, but immediately felt results when Carl went about his chanting and prescribed motions. He didn’t believe me when I told him that I felt sceptical about it, which I thought was funny. Probably, he is used to a sceptic being unwilling to place themselves in a vulnerable position. I have no issues with trying new things.
You will see Carl Edwards win again. Its inevitable. People who make sincere efforts toward success, always experience success. History is proof of that. They make statues from the likeness of men and women who strive for sincerity and wisdom, and it is because those types of people simply tend to win quite a bit. I think of Mc’Arthur, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and I guess even Bono from U2 for some reason, even though I hate the sound of U2. Bono does win quite a bit though.
I recieved an email from Carl while he was in Vegas. Included in the email was a picture of Carl beside UFC fighter and published writer Forrest Griffin. Carl even had an oppuritunity to wrestle Griffin, and recieve some special training. I continue to be happy for him as his success and prosperity mounts, and it doesn’t worry me one bit that his second Pro fight took a strange twist. Carl is a survivor, and a trustworthy friend.
I’ve been jamming out to modern jazz pianist Brad Mehldau again. I discovered his album “Largo” while I was in the Navy. In fact, I first purchased the album while I was serving as a secretary during the Shock and Awe campaign, the first initial bombings on Iraqi soil in response to George W. Bush’s official declaration of war. His soft and ghostly variation on Radiohead’s Paranoid Android, gave me goosebumps as I watched Saddam Hussein’s statues being torn down in Baghdad Square via the television. I was only a few hundred miles from where the Iraqi Liberation campaign was all taking place, onboard the Aircraft Carrier Theodore Roosevelt, CVN-71, floating in the sea. At night I would stare up while drifting to sleep in my wrack, read Walt Whitman, and think about all the horrible sea-creatures beneath the hull of the ship.
Life is funny this way, taking us from one part of the world and then delivering us elsewhere in such a flash. I find myself now, among new friends, some of my loved ones gone now, opportunities peeking their heads from around eerie and uncertain corners. I wonder to myself occasionally in some paranoid state, “will I succeed?” “Is what I’m doing good enough?” I can only take a little comfort in knowing that at least I still have the right idea, which is to keep trying… and to keep striving for goodness.
Have patience with me people. I’m a little crazy, but I am having fun. Fun, and I intend to make the craziness work in my favor.
An American Rougheart