Cesar Salazar lays awkwardly in the backseat of his cousin Santos’ orange 1969 cadillac deville convertible asleep, while Santos' steers the vehicle down the 219 freeway at eighty miles per hour. The night is peaceful and desolate.
I'm twenty-eight years old, and I was considered to be the definitive wrestler of my country and our generation. In my country, I held 'Pride of Mexico' as a moniker for seven hundred, thirty-four days. The reason why I kept track is because someday I knew I couldn't call Mexico my home, even though I'll always be deeply fond of her. For that day, my poor, lukewarm home wouldn't accept me once discovering my ambitions as a wrestler.
They envisioned me to be a representative of the unfortunate, defender of the mistreated, and would ultimately be incorruptible. No man or woman could persuade me to join the dark side of the ring. I would help those in need and keep the prestige of wrestling intact, no matter how many bones broke, or how much I'd have to bleed. And for seven hundred, thirty-four days I fit the scripture perfectly.
But yesterday, my heritage consumed me. My whole purpose in this business is to continue the legacy my fathers' achieved. I belong to the Salazar's, a highly valued family of professional wrestlers, who are widely known for their stunning stamina and rich history. We Salazar's pride ourselves on the ability to outlast our opponents and decorating ourselves with only the finest championships wrestling has ever known. Failure to do so is a crime, and usually results in being banished from the family.
Yesterday, not only did I tap out and lose my heavyweight title, but I was unmasked by my livid father, which revealed my true identity as a Salazar, who then proceeded to spit in my face and beat me with his signature singapore cane until I was bloody and unconscious. Most of the audience showed no pity for I had lied about my upbringing and secretly worked for the foulest creatures this sport has ever known.
The connection the audience and I had is equivalent to marriage. Once my betrayal surfaced, they would undoubtedly divorce me. Even though my family is respected for their contributions in wrestling by peers, the mark they've left on fans isn't appreciated. The things they've done, said, and believe, might as well be considered sacrilegious. Although I haven't committed any of the crimes my family had, my association is all that's needed to be hated.
I feel so disoriented and stupid. Perhaps if I had been honest from the start, I wouldn't have to find work in another country. I wouldn't be on probation, and my father could look me in the eye without feeling disgust.
The world knows how important wrestling is to the Mexican people. It's not just a sport, but a culture. A society; a religion. To disappoint my fans, and dishonor my family … disowned by my blood .. has left me terribly heartbroken.
Cesar Salazar opens his eyes, unaware of his subconscious' reflection moments ago.