My father is a musician. He had grown up obsessed with jazz music, throwing himself headlong into some of the most beautiful notes and chords ever played, whether they came from the pianos of Herbie Hancock or the ageless vocals of the Four Tops. My father has that indelible thing, that recessive gene which curses humanity every so often by choosing person after person to be destructively talented; there is nothing more he can be than the idealization of a jazz musician, numb to playing progressions he’s heard seconds earlier as if they’d been grooved into his brain at birth.

He has no other outlet than the same music that feeds into itself endlessly, and as such he is desperate to share it with someone, desperate for music to leak out of his mind in a new way.

Maybe he’d felt that bottomless well of desire being quenched when I’d finally asked him about music, posturing for him to introduce me to Living Colour.

I only wanted one song, “Cult of Personality” because it was CM Punk’s theme music – I couldn’t bring myself to care about the tracks that surrounded it or the album it had risen from.

My father’s voice pitched up several levels, his love and enthusiasm like pure helium swelling through his body – he’d drive me to the store (a now abandoned FYE, of all places), right this second, no questions asked, because it was something I “had to have.”

So I did.

I played “Cult of Personality” in my shoebox-shaped room relentlessly, as obsessed as my father always was, with none of the determination or skill, imagining myself in CM Punk’s boots, attempting to thank him for manifesting my love of pro wrestling. I swapped Punk’s gaudy WWE championship belt for a leather one, stripped and sold off of a clearance rack. I mirrored his movements and watched his matches into exhaustion, bringing nothing but joy onto myself and my father, because I was loving wrestling and – seemingly – loving music.

The most enduring memory I have of that time is watching my father, in snippets, truly be happy, happy that the melodic curse entangling his soul had loosened somewhat. CM Punk, to me, functions in a similar way. He has that thing, that intangible, unmistakable quality that makes him feel realized and perfect.

CM Punk is cursed with that maniacal, magnetic gene that etches him in the minds of audiences as an incredible professional wrestler. CM Punk as a wrestler is as it should be, and it was another unforgettable moment on August 20 watching him, for the first time in sixteen years, truly be happy.