The night was filled with anticipation as “The Complex” was set to premiere on IWTV, marking Industrial World Wrestling’s grand entrance into the world of indie wrestling promotions. Tom had assured me that this was how things were done, but I couldn’t shake the feeling of discontent that gnawed at me. I wished we had control over the distribution, that it was broadcasted on a network platform of our own. It felt like I was relinquishing a part of my dream. Alonzo and I settled into the wrestling-themed bar, where the vibrant luchador masks took their place next to the liquor bottles, basking in the glow of the lights beneath them. I knocked back my first beer, the bitter taste doing little to quell my unease as the countdown to the premiere approached. As the timer struck zero, and our labor of love, our shot at wrestling industry superstardom, began to play, I couldn’t bring myself to stay in the crowded bar. I needed air, space to breathe, to process the conflicting emotions swirling within me. I stepped outside, taking refuge on the sidewalk, and found solace among the fellow patrons who had opted for the open air. I sipped my beer, occasionally downing a shot, as I listened to the distant sound of the crowd popping in response to the wrestlers’ awe-inspiring athleticism. My heart ached, knowing that the adulation was directed at the performers, not the associate producer who had poured himself into the production process. I had played a vital role, but it didn’t feel as satisfying as I had imagined. As I sat there, the alcohol began to take hold, its numbing embrace dulling my senses. I struck up a conversation with a group of people nearby, their voices providing a temporary distraction from my growing melancholy. We talked about the excitement of the event, the wrestlers, and our shared passion for the industry. But the more I drank, the more their voices started to fade into the background, replaced by the all-too-familiar weight of depression. I felt disconnected, detached from the moment, as if I were watching my dreams slip through my fingers all over again. My vision blurred, and the faces of the people I’d been talking to became indistinct, their laughter and conversation nothing more than a distant hum. The darkness felt all-consuming, impenetrable, as I continued to spiral downward, trapped in the vortex of my own self-pity and regret.

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