It was hot today in Virginia – unseasonably hot. It made everyone a little loopy, even me. I played a lot of dance music at work and even wore a skirt I could twirl around in, which is very much out of character for me. There are clouds rolling in now, though, and the temperature is due to drop. There’s a window over my desk that looks into the backyard and beyond to the house behind mine. I’ve got the window open, waiting for the heat to break and I can see this house behind me is dark. It all looks like the perfect set-up for a horror story. But instead of slasher fiction, I’m pacing my room and trying to magically conjure something to talk about in this blog.
I’m feeling frustrated and disdainful. It might be because the air conditioning is off. Maybe it’s because it’s only been 24 hours and I’m already sick of talking about Seth Rollins and the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. I can see it now – I’ll fall out of love so quick with whatever happens next and suddenly there will be other things I’d rather be doing on a Monday night. Just the mere thought of another prolonged exit from the product makes me rage internally – I promised myself I was going to commit to this. And then my thoughts shift like the clouds outside and I become angrier with myself that the thing I chose to commit to was a company so universally known for making horrifically bad choices with its programming. The frustration builds. I turn the music up louder in my headphones. The clouds are now thick outside my window. I’m staring into mountains of foggy, dense sky. The air feels wet around me. And then, suddenly, a window is illuminated in the otherwise pitch black house across the yard.
This is where the Lady J comes from. This is where she lives – in some miraculous, dimly lit window in the dark. She comes from the moments where things twist – from change. For nearly a year and a half now I have been writing under a moniker I created over a decade ago. I used to write it on my converse sneakers in the 10th grade. I vaguely remember it coming from a storybook – that Peter Pan referred to his new mother as the “Wendy lady”. I don’t know what called it back to my memory when I decided to separate what I wrote about WWE from my literary endeavors, but suddenly the name appeared around some corner of my mind, like a child who knew he’d just won hide and seek. For a few months, I didn’t quite understand what I was doing – why had I bothered to create a pen name for myself? Surely people would know who I was eventually? But every once in a while, I’d see traces of this character I’d padded myself with in my writing.
The first long-form work I created went up on a fan site and centered around the fantasy booking of Bray Wyatt winning the WWE World Heavyweight Champion at Money in the Bank 2014. I had never written something like that before. It was a bit like casting a spell and hoping for fast results. That’s where I first really felt like the Lady J, and I prayed over that piece for chaos – but none came. The last post I did for the same site was a more heady conjuring, and painted Dean Ambrose into the role of the Joker: an origin-less villain who can’t be beaten because he has nothing to lose. There, I truly had a handle on what Lady J was about. Again, I prayed for chaos – and no chaos came. Recently, I mentioned this same concept again in a post I did about whether or not they were going to turn Ambrose soon, but even that was half-assed. Somehow Lady J had eluded me, and I felt that I wasn’t even praying for chaos anymore, just a little disfunction. I’d given up all hope of true chaos. And then the wind picked up.
Now there is actual, palpable chaos brewing. Everything that happens in WWE is up in the air, like a freeze frame shot on a waiter carrying a full tray, mid-tumble. Between now and Monday Night RAW – and even, really, between now and Survivor Series – the stones have yet to be cast. Everyone is awake and alive and whispering and guessing but we don’t know anything, because the story was changed. The actual pages were rewritten. It’s possible this is just what WWE needed – real, unavoidable, non-kayfabe chaos. And maybe they’re not the only ones.
It’s easy for me, as the writer at her desk, to write posts about things I like or dislike – wrestlers, storylines, kayfabe, pay-per-views – but that doesn’t set me apart from anyone else. It makes it harder to make the ideas come. Facing a blank, white page every day is like agony – and writing never used to feel like that for me. So it’s time to see what happens after the clouds move. It’s time to see into the one lit window – where The Lady J really lives. Because, as we all know as wrestling fans, the best gimmicks are the ones you’re willing to live inside, no matter how ugly it might be in there. If I want to let The Lady J be the one who writes this blog, I’d better let her do it. No spells, no prayers. Just really beautifully organized chaos.