Suggested Audio Candy:
Marilyn Manson “Personal Jesus”
I’ll give you three guesses what I’m doing right now. And if you suggest that I’m spanking the monkey then that’s just a lucky guess. Actually, I’m doing nothing of the sort as I’d likely end up in the Emergency Room if I attempted it in my current mindset. You see, at this precise moment, I’m positively teeming with rage. My integrity has been called into question and, for a scribe who bases every last word he scribes on honesty, I can’t allow such treachery to go unpunished can I? Surely it is times like these I save up my cans of whoop for; when I find myself confronted with a mesh of twisted truths and blatant lies. That said, perhaps I shouldn’t even be writing when I’m feeling so utterly betrayed and misrepresented. We’ve all seen it happen, somebody grinds our gears to such an extent that we lash out and say things that we’re fairly assured will hurt or maim them. The low blow works a treat in such circumstances. I mean, what could feel better than to crush their brittle bones in the palm of our hands? Logic need not come into the equation when good old-fashioned retribution is on hand to offer a Mortal Kombat-style victory. Sounds like I’m pre-loading an almighty knuckle sandwich with extra relish right?
Anyone who knows me well will already be aware that this simply isn’t how I roll. I’m disinterested in naming names for the purpose of shaming and have absolutely no intention of pointing fingers or calling out “BURN THE WITCH!” either. It’s simply not necessary as, the last thing I wish to surround myself with are swirling currents of hate. As long as the guilty party can identify then that’s job done in my book and not because I wish to destroy them, I’ll choose my words wisely and state my point eloquently in a plea to their better nature if they actually possess one. Of course, anyone with a guilty conscience will take instant offence, and likely respond by attempting to turn others against me. I cannot control what the grapevine spews up and just pray that others don’t allow themselves to be swung by their vitriolic ramblings. Granted, it will hurt deeply, but I’d rather be the bigger person than sell someone I’m supposed to care for down the river out of spite. It’s just not my style and I learned that way back in secondary school.
Anyhoots, take a look at Clint’s face and you’ll have a fair idea of what mine has looked like for the past 24 hours or so. That’s right, I’ve been dragged over hot coals and accused of being some sort of deranged cultist; somebody who preys on the fragile and manipulates them for his own sick amusement. This is as cheap a shot as they come as I’ve counted all 206 bones in my exoskeleton and not a single one of them is bad to my knowledge. Unless some callous bastard is lacing my Cheerios with Rohypnol each morning, assuming control of my affairs, and wreaking havoc on my behalf, then such suggestions are beyond preposterous. What is more likely is that the antagonist has spent a long time studying me, sussed out what would kind of accusations would harm me most, then given back-handed slander their very best shot in an attempt to derail me. In my game, you rub shoulders with many different people, 95% of whom have only the very best of intentions. Should you achieve or exceed a goal, then they’ll be genuinely happy for you and wish only to share in your joy. Regrettably, that still leaves 5% and it is this minority who do the damage.
They aren’t necessarily easy to spot as they wear their masks well and conceal their true feelings beneath a shroud of false commendation. They’ll say they’re thrilled about your good news but secretly wish you blight and misfortune. This infuriates me more than anything else in the world as I cannot fathom, for the life of me, what would drive them to be so false. You can tell a lot by the way that they conduct themselves when the poison pens are flowing. Snide, underhand, premeditated in the extreme – their actions speak volumes about their characters and, if their arguments sound convincing, then that is because they’ve likely spent the last two days fine tuning their attack plans. On the flip side is the antagonized party and they have two distinct choices when push comes to shove. Fight or flight tends to be the order and I much prefer the latter to engaging in public slanging matches that will ultimately be devastating to both parties involved. I see no reason to defend myself against any accusations when it won’t make a blind bit of difference. Folk will believe whatever they wish, some will choose allegiances, others will wisely stand well clear of the fracas, but they’ll do it regardless of whether or not I slip in the gumshield and come out swinging.
I simply haven’t the energy to do battle against those who are too caught up in their own self-loathing to want anything less than bloodshed. Thus, I simply let them get on with it and wait for the storm to pass before assessing the damage. That said, if I feel it is necessary to voice my frustrations, then I am still human after all. The difference is that I will do so intelligently and without spitting poison as that shit will taint your very blood if you allow such. The rumor mill is currently in full flow and, what has been suggested, is poppycock of the highest order. There have question marks raised about my character and, while hardly a pleasant state of affairs to find myself up against, I’m as okay with that as I’m ever likely to be. You see, I make no secret of the fact that I’m an open book and hide nothing when ploughing over 100 hours each week into influencing others only to stand united. Do I act out of spite when hurting? No I do not. But I am prepared to act out of controlled rage and this is what this exercise is ultimately all about. We all have a voice but it is how we choose to use said voice that defines us.
Let me ask you this: Has anything I have done or said during my tenure been malignant? The answer is a resounding no and I would wager that anyone who truly knows me would concur such without a second’s dalliance. I’m not saying “Psst! Over here. Here’s my plan see. Gonna do the world domination thing ain’t I! You want in?” No I’m saying “Believe in yourself, reach for every last goal and surpass it, take those leaps of faith as you’ll never know the outcome if you don’t at least try”. That’s sucking in the needy is it? Shame on these infidels for assuming they have me all figured out when we’ve never even met in person. You guessed it, I’m bleeding pure blackened crimson from both eyes right now, incisors are fully extended, and my chest bared and bloody. I’m this person’s worst fucking nightmare if I wish to be. So what do I do? How do I choose to react to such ludicrous claims? Here’s how.
I wish you the very best of health and happiness in all your future pursuits. You’re a good person with a wonderfully creative mind. Use that. Change your life, you can absolutely do it and I will always believe you can. Our journey together may have come to an end but I truly hope you find joy and peace going forward.
Truly, Really, Clearly, Sincerely,
Keeper of the Crimson Quill
I know right? Is that it? I can almost hear folk getting up from their seats and storming out in disarray. Yes that is exactly it and there is no more to be said on the matter, at least where I’m concerned. So how can I remain so calm and not wish to go into full-on hellfire mode when I know full well how to access it? That’s easy, I’m past worrying what others are going to think of me as I can’t change that. Instead I trust in these people and, more often that not, they stand alongside me through the most vicious tides, because they know of my soul and see no reason to question it the first time the shit hits the back wall. I never claimed to be Jesus reincarnated just as I also never suggested that I possess the Hitler gene. I’m simply Mr. Regular. And that doesn’t denote that I consume a lot of bran and have clockwork bowel movements. It also doesn’t make me Norm from Cheers although I would rather like his bar stool. It just makes me like anybody else you’d meet on the street and I’m more than comfortable than that.
Study the facts, I don’t reside in an underground bunker while perfecting my blueprint for mass genocide and global domination. So that’s Hitler out then. As for Jesus, well I never wear sandals or loin cloths out in public and clearly the beard is never going to happen, while I’ve never once claimed that I can heal the afflictions of others either. What I can do is share with them my belief that they can begin to mend themselves if their will to do so is great enough and offer unconditional support wherever possible. You see, no hidden ice-picks beneath my bed or simmering bunnies on the stove. And before anyone asks, no I haven’t been secretly breast-feeding all of your children. There’s no great mystery to my actions and I am always looking to make them crystal clear so that doubt never need come into it. Meanwhile, I have learned not to concern myself with things that I cannot change, not anymore. I could defend every last word I scribe and fight my corner if I so wished but my heart’s just not in that as it’s just so exhausting. Instead, I just want to enjoy any time remaining and wish everyone well, including those who have wronged me. I’m quite happy just existing, seeing my boy each weekend and watching him develop, while sharing my work with those who wish to indulge. Not that complex really am I?
There is one final thing I wish to share and feel that now is finally the time to do so. My real name is Richard Charles Stevens but close friends often call me Rich. Nice to formally meet you beautiful people and allow me to clear a couple of other things up while I’m at it. Am I a shameless flirt? Guilty as charged but only ever with the very best of intentions. I’m also loyal and committed. Flirting is flirting but I say everything with conviction and if I say I love you then, rest assured, those words are never hollow. Indeed, I will stand by you in a blazing shit-tornado with my mouth gaping wide just so you don’t have to do it alone and use my prose to comfort you in your darkest hours, even if I cannot be there in person. And should accusations fly, as they do currently, then I’ll conduct myself in as dignified a manner as my dear grandmother taught me. In the words of Sting, it takes a man to suffer ignorance and smile. Keeper of the Crimson Quill has a full mouth of proudly presented polished pearls and they’re not planning on going anywhere for the foreseeable. Unless tooth decay gets the better of me, in which case, I’ll still have my gums dagnabbit.