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I like to think I'm a bit of rebel... I'm not.
I'm REALLY not.
I do the nine to five, I live in a bog-standard Rabbit Hutch House (which I wont miss) I've never been out the country for more than a fortnight and the scariest thing I've done is lead an E3 route...indoors!
Sometimes I play my music too loud and I have a snappy temper but mostly I keep my head down.
Thing is though, keeping your head down... it doesn't work. You get warned at a certain age, or perhaps you learn, that not everyone is on your side. You learn that not everyone has your best interests at heart and that they not only don't care that much but actually seem to have a negative agenda. The problem is not necessarily with you personally but there are "issues" somewhere in their psyche and you might be the unlucky sod on the recieving end even if you didn't start it. If you're unlucky you learn that fact obscenely early.
For my relative inoffensiveness (yes alright at the back there, pipe down, you can complain later! ) I am being threatened with being taken to court. Apparantly the leak from my heating, which occasionally sprays, onto the man next door's house wall is causing to wallpaper to peel. Part of what I might be sued for is "emotional distress". What will eventually happen? I don't know at this stage. The broken heating is being fixed this afternoon and tommorrow and hopefully I should hear no more about it. From past experience however I am not 'counting my chickens'. I am dealing with a person who claimed he might sue when I used the stairs too often. Fair play, they do creak a lot, but I'll run that by you again anyway.
Emotional distress caused by the next-door neighbour's stairs creaking too much.
AH HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA **cough** sorry...
The moral of this story? There's no POINT keeping your head down. Anyone who is looking for a conflict will be able to create one.
I'm not a paranoid person (mostly). I don't go round under a cloud thinking everyone's against me (least not now anyway!) But I have been hiding, I can see that now. Hiding who I am (careful Frac you're heading into Jerry Springer territory) I have always known, intellectually at least, that you can't be everyone's friend, that some people will just take against you however pleasant you think you're being, but have always had this unquenchable desperation to be liked.
At its worst my natural tendancy towards "live and let live" has seen me agree with people just to be liked even if what that person has said has been not been particularly nice. I've avoided inviting people out or even to my own house incase they don't like the film I've chosen or the food I've cooked.
The Man-Next-Door (a good horror film title... anyone?!) has taught me a valuable lesson in both the value of honesty and the need to live life rather than just existing. When he first threatened me all I could think about was the things I'd done wrong and how they might be discovered... Ok so I've never murdered anyone but I missed the deadline on my car tax once and I spend WAY too much time on the net when I've at work... [God Dayum, those are feeble skeletons - Editor]
That's why honesty is Sooooo important. Not because you'll be "found out" but because you only get one shot at this stuff. Not doing your best because you're scared is no way to live.
I have never met a person about whom I have had such difficulty finding something positive to say. Seeing the positive first is my default setting and generally people live up to it but this guy is stretching my bubble. I try, however. to follow the path of least resistence (ommmmmmmm). Therefore I am thankful to this man for teaching me, in a relatively safe environment, that if they want you they'll get you.
You can be as inoffensive as oatmeal and some people will still take it personally.
So, in essence, get that tattoo, buy that motorbike, join Reclaim the Streets, and wear that bright pink top with the pillarbox-red skirt and a mushy-pea green hat, because some people will NEVER be happy.