15 and flipping burgers at a reputable franchised establishment (1st stop of the Golden Oldies before routinely migrating to a lunch buffet in “V” formation, gleefully drifting back toward adolescence, after the painful transition from the breakfast menu subsided), my closing manager was an underground semi-professional wrestler operating under the moniker Dark Angel.
He had a braided ponytail like a bolo tie and a black trench coat, encrusted to the point of silvery purple. One time, he demonstrated his Thang to my cohort: He came out of the chicken-breading area to “Back In Black” on the floured kitchen boom-box, his hands arched upward, acknowledging the implied applause from the frothy crowd, walked into the chain-link ring, entered a coffin sarcophagus-style, got nailed into it, and subsequently had it wrapped in chains and set on fire. Then, he broke out of the coffin, whooped his opponent in a cage fight, nailed him inside the coffin, re-set it on fire, and won.
after the naivety of my teens subsided, and the moderateness of my 20’s further erodes into the manufactured Possibilities of the “Quarter Life Crisis”, I consider Dark Angel a hero, for two reasons:
He routinely burst from a flaming coffin wrapped in chains, and every morning that he did so, he didn’t blow his brains out.
He was immutable, his mythology impenetrable, and he believed in what was Not-Boring: Like a religion of the Self, racing toward The Light at the end of the wind-tunnel: Into the afterlife Itself, chasing the holy ghost of a Most High.
His Fiction, his refusal to be castrated by the groundlessness of banality, smoking inside, tonsils enflamed with Bretchian Madness, penned him unashamed to fall on his own sword, into the crowd, and through the awning, like a wet rock in a Kroger sack, from the roof of the Theatrum Mundi, saved by faith and Faith Alone,
When barking with Conviction, and
Hacking at me like a rusty cutlass,
"I saw God in Dark Angel."