There are lots of things and people I hate and dislike. But there are only two people I truly hate! And only one is an active hate. A hatred so strong it burns like a supernova. If I didn't have a conscience and a lack of any real desire to go to prison, I'd cheerfully strangle the life from his body. The downside would be that I'd have to touch the fucking prick.
For ease of reference, I shall call this person, Lameo the Lame Boy.
It'd be so much nicer if Lameo had been a murderer or rapist, but I've worked with murderers and rapists, and some of them I quite liked, but I'd at least have had some base starting point towards disliking him. Maybe if he'd been a con man, ripping off little old ladies, or a torturer of children or animals, it would have been easier to deal with hating him.
But Lameo is none of these things.
It's taken him a couple of decades, but he achieved this legendary status - not through actively doing very much, nor sheer lack of any useful ability - but by being so amazingly crap that he actually is like a black hole for anything worthwhile. Nothing positive can escape his influence.
Put it like this. If I could swim, and I saw George W. Bush drowning, I would jump in and try to save him. I think the world would be a better place if Bush died, but I couldn't stand by and let the man drown. I would also jump in to save Lameo, but I'd think twice about it. And later I'd probably wish I'd pushed him under.
I've watched him over the years, moving from one sub-culture to another, giving everyone there somebody to hate, then moving on. Most recently he joined the Furries. I have friends that are Furries, many of them are good people, nice people. They would love to lose the stigma associated with being Furry. It's bloody hard to do when you have someone who is just so ick running around and identifying very openly as a Furry. Wearing his damned tail to so many different events, including the low-key ones where no-one else is dressed up! For the average person, they see Lameo and all their negative ideas about Furries are confirmed, date stamped, and ratified at a general meeting.
I've worked with Lameo. Eighteen months on a project that he was heading. Eighteen months of watching him fuck things up for everybody, time and time again, and think that saying 'sorry, I screwed up' cuts it for the same careless fucking mistake made the fourth, fifth and sixth times.
Oh I tried, dear readers, I tried to help him out. And Lameo started asking me out to things. Inviting me for coffee, wanting to catch up and be pals. Even as he fucked up more and more and made my life hell. It got to the point where I sat him down and carefully explained to him that we were not friends. I was working with him for the good of the project, but I did not want to be his friend, did not want to spend time socialising with him. I told him outright, "Don't invite me to anything. I don't want to go, I don't like you."
Two weeks later, I kid you not, he invited me to his birthday party. I screamed at him down the phone and hung up.
He. Kept. Inviting. Me. To. Things.
He also kept screwing things up. If he'd been trying to sabotage the project he could not have done a better job. I swear to you, when he's dead and buried, nothing will grow above his grave for a million years. Birds flying over that spot will die in midflight and fall lifeless to the ground. I'd suggest cremation but then we'd have fine particles of Lameo escaping into the atmosphere so we could all breathe him in.
He made me burst a blood vessel in my eye! This is not an exaggeration, a humourous way of telling a story or getting a point across. During one phone conversation with him, for the only time ever, I burst a blood vessel in my eye. It may have been coincidence in the timing of the phone call, but I doubt it. I also had regular dreams about beating the man to a bloody pulp. Regular dreams. Not one, not a couple, this went on for weeks.
But even through my mind-numbing hatred of him, I keep hoping he'll change, learn. Learn to stop trying to be everyone's best friend, learn to actually make a positive contribution to those around him. Learn to be happy. I would hate him less if only he was happy. I could feel good for him, in that stupidly positive way of mine - "Well, he's still Lameo, the Lamest fucking arsehole in the entire sodding Universe, and he still makes people feign bilious attacks when he comes around so they can get away from him, but at least he's happy."
People have tried to be his friends, whole groups of'em, they've tried to like him, spend time with him. But he wears them all down in the end. Breaks their spirits. Even the nicest of them, and I don't count myself as even close to the nicest of them, even the nicest of them tire of him, find that his very presence puts a damper on any activity.
If he moves to Canberra, I will find a way to kill him.
Allow me to put it in final perspective, I know I'm ranting but fuck it, it feels good to unburden.
The woman that we used to live next door to, who called the cops on us several times a week for a year or more, and made my father cry... I merely resent her, I don't hate her.
The guy who 'did things' to me as a kid... I feel sympathy for as I've tried to understand him.
The ex who implied to our friends that I used to beat her... I'm still grumpy at but I've forgiven her.
The neighbour, who forcefully hit on my mum less than a week after my father died, saying "We do this for Barry..." Yeah, he's the other one I hate. It's a fucking low act.
But even with that, I hate Lameo so much more!
If you read the next post, you will see just what a spectacular achievement that is.
I feel towards strangers as though we were acquaintances. Acquaintances as though friends. Friends like siblings or loves. Beyond that I adore people utterly.
That's not all a line, I feel friendship, love, all that stuff incredibly deeply. It's taken me years to realise that when I talk about my friends, the vast majority are merely acquaintances. I talk to them as though we're old friends, because when I talk to them I feel as though they are. It's only when I stop to think about it that I realise, no, this group of people over here are my friends the others are only acquaintances.
Which sounds like I'm belittling the others and I'm not. I using the term to create a distinction. I have so many people in my life, it's nuts. Of the people I care about deeply, I could literally see a different one every night for a month and still have a fair few left over. Of the 'acquaintances', there's probably around 80 people who I'd love to see regularly, the remainder relegated to every few weeks to a month or two.
So if I seem enthusiastic when I see you, it's because I'm genuinely happy and excited to see you. If I make you feel special or welcome it's because you are. I like you, the fact that I like a lot of people doesn't take away from the fact I like you.
I have endless places in my heart for people, and each place has an unlimited ability to love, and each love is completely different for each person.
Sharon could name you a bunch of the women that I'm madly in love with, besides herself. Without trying I can think of seven, and then I need a short pause before I start bringing up other names. She's never felt threatened by how much I love other people, because she knows that she's my wife, that my love for her is not only boundless, but that I made a commitment. As much as I've loved other women, she was the one where I finally went 'this is the person I want to spend the rest of my life with.' And prior to that she was one of those many loves, a dear friend who I loved utterly.
Love & commitment has held us together through the bad times, and my love of another person actually saved our marriage. This was at a time when Sharon was happy but I was utterly miserable within the relationship, and was seriously thinking of ending things. I still loved Sharon, and she me, but there seemed no end to the issues that had plagued us for so long and I had been unhappy with for a long time.
And no, it had nothing to do with sex.
Then one night I fell in deeply in love with a friend, and the blossoming of that reminded me just how much I utterly adored Sharon, and that the marriage was worth fighting for. This wasn't realising that I loved Sharon more, I still love both women fully and completely individually. This was having what had become the constant pain of our relationship dulled so that I could think straight and remember how special she was. And that was what I needed, a break from the pain so I could regroup and come back fighting, because I love and am totally committed to my wife.
So love held us together over the next three years. It was both wonderful and bloody hard at times, but without it I wouldn't have had the last twelve months, which have been magnificent and only seem to be getting better. Not all the issues have been worked out, you can never solve all the problems, but enough has happened so that we're moving forward, happily, hand in hand, looking forward to many years together.
There will be those that can't understand how I can feel so strongly for so many. And that's fine. Just as some folks can't juggle, some can juggle one or two balls, and others can juggle many items of varying size - so we all experience love in our own way. The passion I have for the world applies to people just as powerfully, if not moreso. I fall in love regularly with people I know, and complete strangers - love is one of my strongest motivations. I love people, people I don't know, it's why I started Continuum. I love kids, so I became Father Christmas. For me, altruism is just another word for love.
I'm very happy with my capacity for love. Yes, I have a big heart and yes, it does leave me open to being hurt, but the rewards are so great, that scarcely matters.
My capacity for negative emotions is pretty darned impressive too, as you may have seen above, but fortunately not as strong.
But if you think this has been over the top, or impressive, you should be thankful I didn't start talking about all the people and things I merely like.
Now that's a daunting prospect!