There are few platforms that confuse me as effortlessly as social networks. Used for sound purpose, this is a rather marvelous way of making new friends and sharing one another’s achievements. I’ve lost count of the amount of days that have seemed doomed from the offset, only for a single act of kindness to part those rain clouds and make everything both hunky and dory. Indeed, many of my favorite people reside here, and our paths never would have crossed in the first place had it not been for the likes of Facebook and Twitter. It’s a juggling act for sure and, when you’re not feeling 100%, can all get a little overwhelming. But the positives far outweigh the negatives and I’m glad I took the plunge three years ago and created myself a dainty little profile. All it takes is a few words of support and encouragement and every one of the hours I plough into my art are instantly justified. I’m a simple man with likewise needs and only wish to use my online persona to spread a little joy wherever possible. No great science, no master plan, just sharing and caring – just as I stated right at the offset. Nothing has changed with regards to my stance, but I’ve had to learn a fair few lessons en route.
One thing I have realized over that time is that there are so many types of character knocking about within these halls and no two people are the same. In that respect, it is similar to life itself, and I’d rather that than millions upon millions of faceless drones with no individuality, spark, or purpose. That said, not everyone has your best interests at heart, and the key is in sussing out who is sincere in their words and where those forked tongues reside. First off you have your trolls and, regardless of how despicable these dirt dwellers are and they truly are, at least they don’t disguise their intentions. Somewhat astonishingly, I’ve only happened across two to my knowledge over all this time and dealing with their threat really isn’t all that hard as one alteration in your settings and they’ve frittered any right to a captive audience. I don’t block folk unless there’s a damn good reason and have only used this function three times since taking my first online steps but will do so without dalliance for those dastardly dwarves for whom a day isn’t good unless it entails sucking the joy from another’s. Like I said, they’re pitiful in the extreme, but hardly what you would call discreet and therefore of precious little consequence in the greater scheme of things.
Then we have the smiling assassins and it is here that the whole online deal can get decidedly ugly and fast. One thing that has always baffled me is when words are spoken with no real fidelity, achievements are celebrated without a dash of sincerity, friendships are formed lacking the most vital component – backbone. You see, if you make a connection and it is reciprocated by your opposite number, then you have yourself a spine, something that won’t be compromised on a whim and that isn’t dependant on current circumstance. This is the most vital component to true friendship and will see you good through some pretty tough times as it is then that you learn the most about those you associate with. Once you have strengthened this construct, time no longer figures into the equation, you can go months without conversing with someone you hold dear and pick straight back up where you left off, no qualms. It is here that we find those bona fide smiles of kindness.
As for the assassins, well they play what they believe to be a clever game, swear blind that they’re sincere with their intentions, when something is festering inside which, over a sustained enough period, can completely wipe out any tenuous sense of reason. While you have always spoken openly about your strengths and weaknesses, it’s all being clocked up surreptitiously. Now I’m not suggesting that it’s always this premeditated but, when enough is ultimately deemed enough and all ties severed, any intelligence gleaned becomes ammunition and it’s trigger fingers at the ready. Should they really wish to be underhand, then they’ll drip poison into as many ears as possible, just enough to commence the corrosion and never actually come at you face to face. The reason for this is simple – some of us can provide a response instantly as our trail of breadcrumbs is clear and nothing has to be measured or deliberated. Others have to whisk it away to their dungeons and fire up those cauldrons until which time as they can regulate their most vile brew.
How we conduct ourselves in such scenarios speaks volumes for our character. Just recently I have been the victim of intense character assassination and, to this day, haven’t the vaguest idea of what I’m supposedly charged of as it has all played out beneath a veil. Indeed, I’ve purposely requested that nobody relay anything back to me as I have no desire whatsoever to defend myself against claims that comprise either twisted truth or blatant falsification. Goddammit I’m forty-two-years-old and have long since left the playground theatrics behind me. Why should anyone even need to choose allegiances? It’s preposterous when you think about it, you’re either in or you’re out, and the weaker willed amongst us actually buy into that horse shit. Isn’t there enough space within the seven billion plus population for two alternate trajectories to play out peacefully? Are people not allowed to perch themselves on the fence and pronounce themselves “not a part of this”? Actions speak louder than words in these instances as true colors are revealed and all that pent-up hate contorts their every action. Each to their own of course but really? Is life not dramatic enough already?
Of course it is inevitable that, due to your refusal to get drawn into your own pre-ordained sentencing, the arrogance card is thrown in. We all have a basic grasp of what this means but talk can be cheap and presents us with this “easy win” at a more than affordable price. If someone knows their mind then they’re “arrogant”, refrain from playing poisonous ball and you’re “arrogant”. Well guess what? I know myself pretty well after a 42-stretch mincing about in my snug epidermis and know few people less “arrogant” than I. Anyone who truly knows me, knows this, as the lion’s share of my output is open-handedly self-effacing. I’m not above playing the village idiot and neither do I exceed learning from others and taking their thoughts into consideration rather than simply dismissing them out of hand because of ego. As Keeper there is admittedly a percentage of bravado and it’s channeled through every last word I scribe as I have no great need to hang onto it. Those who practise humility themselves get this, understand me, have my infinite respect and adulation, and will always be held decidedly dear. Those who fall by the wayside do so of their own free will and actually do me a favor as the games are no longer in motion.
I detest mind games. Why should thoughts need to be calculated anyhoots? I mean, where’s the spontaneity? It’s such a laborious exercise and ultimately benefits neither party. Instead it whisks our eyes away from erecting the true sturdy foundations that will see our friendships good in the long run. There are so many things to be achieved, so many words to be spoken, and so many ways to do so eloquently rather than expelling all that energy during round after round of mental badminton. No games for me thank you very much, not that I’m trying to be a stick in the mud or anything, but I’ve long since run out of quarters. I’ll just keep on keeping on like I always do, attempting to unlock any remaining puzzle boxes in my psyche and free up their contents in as entertaining a manner as feasible. This seems like a far more worthwhile pastime to me, continuing to do what I know I can do in a manner that benefits all who read in some way, myself inclusive. There’s too much fun to be had dagnabbit and, while recent disruptions to the natural order have proved mildly distracting, I’ve still been scribing my little peach punnet off like a rabid madman. There are well over seventy drafts literally primed for the firing and I’ve been hitting something of a diamante stretch of late so really cannot wait to start firing the trigger. You just say the word and it’s done Grueheads.
To anyone who knows me, be aware that my goals remain the same, to exist on the same plane as everyone else and quench from the same drinking water. Granted, my presence on social networks has been compromised somewhat of late, but that has been the customary self-preservation. Those who truly read my prose, know precisely where I am in my life, and where it is that I want to be. Right here with you Grueheads, snuggled tight through verse, laughing together until snot bubbles emerge in unison, crying tears of all varieties together, discussing bowel movements together (I accept primary penance for that one), stomping our feet like Wonka cadets, blowing our noses also like Wonka cadets, touching cloth in our underwear a little too frequently (really, just me again?), blaming aromatic bouquets on one another, jetting off to the outer reaches of our galaxy then jetting off some more, drilling deep into the earth’s core to mine for ore, punching Justin Bieber repeatedly in his snot-cogged schnoz while serenading him with Sorry, and being whoever the hell we bloody want to be without a solitary fear of chastisement. After all this time as a scribe, over a thousand days of plying my occasionally thankless trade, there is one thing I can say with hand on heart and serenity in my soul – there really is no place like home.