That night didn’t start off any differently. Kevin called the others and kept it short, almost cryptic.
“7 p.m. 35th Street Garage.” He didn’t like talking on the phone, didn’t like the way it felt next to his ear or the nonsense that came out of his mouth. He felt like a fake. Still, the other Luchadores always came; dutifully arriving at the garage in full uniform - red spandex, wrestling masks, lace-up boots - and piling into Kevin’s van. He usually held off on naming the destination. There might be some Tejano wedding on the East side or a wine and cheese in West Lake. Or he’d give in and find a frat kegger. He tried to vary the theme as best he could. Victor sat up front and fiddled with the radio. Heath and Tiny rode in the back.
“I’m gonna pull the Don Julio,” Victor said, slurping vodka from a Super Big Gulp. His signature move involved grabbing Heath and landing a DDT while farting. Victor’s alias was El Guapo. He insisted on calling everyone by their wrestling names. Kevin was Santo. Heath was Rey Mysterioso. Tiny was the exception. Everyone called him Tiny.
“Why don’t you say DDT?” said Heath. He was a small guy, a computer programmer. He practiced a lot and everyone in the group appreciated his graceful style.
“Why don’t you sit on my dick?”
“Where are we going, anyway?”
“Juarez, man. Gonna get some real Luchadores action.”
There was a time when they weren’t so sure, when they gulped Tequila and sucked their lips through the nylon masks. People might call the police or chase them off, throwing beer bottles or pulling a shotgun - nothing like that pump-action clack. The Luchadores would scramble over fences, past chained dogs, running with their last breaths back to the van, the whole time grunting “Luchas libres! Luchas libres!”
Now people cheered when they arrived. Kevin couldn’t be sure, but he suspected one of the guys was calling ahead. Probably Heath. Most times, a homemade ring was cleared and women posed for snapshots. Fake cops handcuffed them to poles. Victor wore his mask in public until his girlfriend told him it smelled. Heath printed up business cards. They’d become party clowns.