A Hard(y) Habit to Break

Eric Hardy nee Stryker belongs to me... all other characters are property of their respective wrestling organizations and/or themselves.

December 3, 2009 2:25 a.m.

Trying to sleep is hard enough for me, but tonight it is extremely difficult. I don't know if it's the travel, the stress of being a WWE superstar or the fact that my live-in boyfriend is watching old wrestling tapes at full volume. So, let me catch you up on our lives since Wrestlemania. Although I wrestle as Eric Hardy, we're about as legal as prostitution in Utah thanks to the unequal rights amendment. I'm forever joking that things would be a whole lot easier if Jeff would just get the operation (the locker room agrees... he'd make a much better looking woman than I am!), but lately, he's been much more withdrawn. I don't know if it's 'coz he dropped the title to Triple H at Summerslam or what, but whatever it is, he ain't talking. Believe me, I've tried...

3:14 a.m.

Damn, I wish I'd never discovered blogging... Anyway, if we're gonna make our flight today, I need some sleep. I was hoping that maybe I could convince Jeff to turn down the volume on the tape, so I staggered out into the hallway. I sleep nude (not a pretty thought) so I stick my head around the corner, a "will you turn that crap off?" kind of retort at the ready. I never get to use it, though. What I see makes me run back to our bedroom and throw some clothes on and quickly run back and throw myself on the couch. What do I see? Oh God, it breaks my heart just to tell you this, but you must care or you wouldn't be reading this... Jeff is watching old Hardy Boyz matches, surrounded by several bottles of Gin, Tequila, and who knows what else... not a problem, but the white powder on a mirror on my coffee table is.

"Jeff?" If I'm lucky, I'll get a reply. Did I mention how withdrawn he's become lately... I never though he'd go back to the hard stuff.

Those aqua eyes are completely blank. It's like I'm not even there and since it's my house, that's not something I come to expect.

"Jeff?" I repeat...

Finally the dude looks over at me. I swear to you I have never been that unnerved since I proposed to him in front of millions at Wrestlemania.

"What's wrong?" You know about my habit of asking obvious questions, so don't say a word!

He wants to say something, but the words don't seem to be coming out. I can wait.

I reach for the bottle of Tequila, almost empty, and take a sip. The liquor burns my throat so I can only imagine how his feels. I could probably violate the WWE's wellness policy just by kissing him, but my job is the last thing on my mind right now.

"Why?"

I'm not sure what he means so I wait, hoping he'll explain himself.

"I just want to be happy... why can't I?" Jeff reaches for the hundred-dollar bill he has rolled up, but I quickly intercept it.

"This shit ain't gonna help." I look at the powder and have an urge to revert to my freebasing days.

Jeff doesn't say anything; I cut the lecture short therefore and wait for him to continue. I've learned that patience is the best thing right now.

"Vince called today." Jeff stares longingly at the table. I can see where this is going.

"And..." I try to remember what little I heard of the conversation.

"Adam is coming back tomorrow..."

Trying not to react, I dip my finger into the pile on the mirror and take a taste. Not bad...

"It's been nine months... we've moved on... I assume he has!" I haven't quite forgiven him though.

Jeff looks back at the video. I notice that he's watching a match from '99... the Hardy Boyz vs the Acolytes for the WWE tag titles. Trying to recall what I was doing ten years ago... let's see... I was a year away from ending my second marriage, finishing my Masters, and the rest is a blur.

"That's not all that's on your mind, is it?" I don't need conformation to see that I am right... Almost on cue, Matt pins Bradshaw.

"Good times, eh?" It all makes sense. Sometimes I wish Jeff would trust me a little more. I guess it's something we have to work on.

Watching the tears fall again, I scoot over and hold him. It's becoming our favorite position... him in my arms... we tried flip-flopping, but I just can't get comfortable on top of him. Maybe I'm afraid that the fifty pounds I outweigh him by will crush him.

"Look, a lot has happened in the last year... do you want me to talk to Vince? Maybe we can get some time off?"

I can tell that this idea has crossed his mind, but maybe he's more concerned with the money.

"Wanna go back to TNA?" I ask, momentarily forgetting what brought him back to WWE.

Jeff swats me across the forehead. At least for the moment, he's forgotten about his depression. "As if... Abyss kept trying to make out with me..."

"I know..."

"then why did you suggest it?"

"I just wanted to meet Sting." I answer "You know he's my favorite wrestler!"

"What about me?"

It's one of my favorite ways to get Jeff out of his doldrums, but lately I've had to do it way more than I am comfortable with.

"I told you... You're not even in my top ten!" I'm not ready for his reply. We've trained together once or twice, but we've never tried to intentionally hurt each other... until now. I don't know exactly what prompted this, but five seconds later I'm on the floor, covering myself up and Jeff rains punches at me.

"Jesus! What the...?" Trying to get a full sentence out is damn near impossible. I can block most of the ones aimed at my face, but the kicks to the ribs are another story... thankfully, just as fast as the beating began it is over. The bathroom door slams, yet I still wait a good two minutes before I stagger to my feet. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm getting the feeling that my role as a boyfriend/lover is becoming secondary to my role as a punching bag and I'm not sure what to do. Do I confront Jeff? Leave him alone and hope that this blows over? What...?

8:07 a.m.

The Percoset I took has finally started to kick in. My ribs are throbbing, my head is on fire and not just from the Tequila and Jeff refuses to even look at me as I drive us to the arena. We're due in Chicago later today for a TV taping, but I want to get their a little early to talk to Vince. If Adam is really coming back to work, then there is no way that I want to be anywhere near him even if it means transferring to another show (again) and skipping all joint PPVs. I'm looking over, and Jeff won't even return my gaze... he's spaced again!

"So... when we arrive are we going to pretend that this morning didn't happen or are you planning to make this a habit?" I have to say something. I am prepared to fight back this time if I have to.

No reply... I expected as much. I've talked to some of the guys and basically they've told me that when Jeff gets like this, it's better to leave him alone. Fine with me, but if it gets to the point where I am sleeping on the couch, then you know who going to be the one left alone as it were.

8:45 a.m.

Driving in silence creeps me out. I reach for the radio to at least have some background noise but something just doesn't feel right... maybe it's the painkillers I'm on, but my mind is going in a million directions at once.

"This is ridiculous!" I growl, swerving off to the side of the road and slamming my brakes. The sudden stop gives us both a mild case of whiplash but I don't really care about that right now.

"Huh?" It's the first word Jeff has said to me since we left the house this morning.

"I've had it." I lean on the steering wheel, feeling the whole compote of emotions just boiling inside me, just below the surface. The last time I was this angry, I filed for divorce two days later. "I can't go on like this!"

Jeff continues to stare out the window. I guess he enjoys watching the snow.

"We've been together for almost a year now and if we aren't at the point where there's at least enough trust between us that you can tell me why you suddenly decided to make me your personal bump dummy, then maybe we should just end it now...!"

"So are you going to talk to me or not?" Jeff doesn't answer right away so I continue to ramble. Eventually he'll say something, but until then I am determined to stay right where we are.

"You already know the answer to that..." Jeff finally breaks the silence. Whether he means the talking to me or what is bothering him I'm not sure, but the last thing I want is this relationship to go down the hill, out the window, into the john, use your own metaphor here...

"I know what your answer to everything is, dude. You're gonna start shutting people out, and before you know it you'll be back to the way I found you this morning. This time, there'll be no one to bring you around..."

And, guess what, the light bulb goes on. It was so easy to see, I'm pissed at myself for not catching it. Jeff's lonely. I can't imagine how hard it is for him right now, especially at this time of year. Last year, we were all still in shock over the accident, but this will be the first year without Matt.

"Have you talked to your Dad lately?" I try to change the subject quickly.

"Nah."

I saw Gil only briefly at the funeral (when I wasn't hiding behind Batista) and our paths haven't crossed since. I don't even know if he knows about Jeff and I.

"Are you doing anything over the holidays?" I hoping to find some solution, but Jeff is not very forthcoming with any useful information right now.

"Nah." Yup, he's spaced out again.

"We could invite a few of the guys over for drinks, or go to Hawaii for a week, or you could beat the living crap out of me a few times... whatever you like." The last one was out of line again, but right now I got nothing to lose.

"Whatever." All right, he's up to multi-syllable words.

Okay, time for the more direct approach. "Jeff, I'm not as dense as some people seem to think. I know you're feeling all alone right now. I know I'm only one guy but right now I am all you have. Just tell me what you want me to do... if you want me to leave you to wallow just say the words and I'm outta here! I'll talk to Vince and transfer to Smackdown!"

No response... I wish I could read minds right now.

"BRB." Hoping that Jeff doesn't decide to drive off on me, I get out of the car under the pretense of stretching my legs. I may be good at lot of things, but I know when something is over my head. Flipping my cell, I quickly find the number I am looking for.

"Hey Chris. Are you at the arena yet?"

"Good... I need to talk to someone." It's the hardest thing I've ever done to involve someone else in my personal life but Jericho is one of the few mutual friends both Jeff and I have. "I'll see you there."

Back into the car and off to Chicago we go... this better not be a mistake.