About fighting evil.
My woman is home and safe. She’s been off for the weekend with her posse to a music festival. It’s a women only group, there’s a whole bunch of them and it’d be a very brave man who’d get anywhere into the middle of that jaunt. They’re just having a great old time judging from the WhatsApp messages and pictures I’m being sent. It’s their free time off from family responsibilities and thoroughly deserved. You’d have to be pretty stupid or selfish not to go along with that. This is their once a year thing.
Bad girls doing a bit of acting out without any of their men or kids in sight to be scandalised.
Of course, a scally like me, as with all the husbands, is going to get discussed in depth. There’s lots to discuss about me I’m afraid. Rich territory. Another good reason for not being there with them. I prefer to think of myself as a slightly aberrant off the reservation male, but there you go. A bit free range, know what I mean?
It’s been two nights without her and in a certain stubborn way, I won’t sleep in our bed alone without her. That’s been rarely done by her, but often by me because of working away from home. You’re doing the overwatch for the ones you love – always ready to react. I’m not comfortable with her being without me beside her side in chaotic events with thousands of people milling around and without a doubt containing the usual small but dangerous percentage of head cases.
I plunk for the living room couch, a throw blanket over my lap after kicking off my shoes and a few downloaded movies to intermittently doze my way through, but my fully-charged mobile is within easy reach. I sleep, but it’s a trigger finger, one eye open type of intermittent nap at best. You will always be her man.
We live in a world where the vast majority of people are just plain ordinary and decent. But also in that world are the conspicuously good and the malignantly bad. The two types are small in number but an encounter with either type is a life changing event. It’s my karma to have encountered a lot of the latter type, most possibly because I went after them, but it does lead you to believe there is definitely such a thing as evil walking the Earth.
You learn to be on your guard against it and always fight it once you get past the initially pleasant disguise it invariably presents itself in and see deeply into its dark heart. You cut it if it stands, and shoot it if it runs. There is no deal to be made with it.
It comes down to the decisions you make in life, and in my experience any one of those decisions falls somewhere in a spectrum that starts from the smart move, through the moral ones and straight out to just the plain necessary one at the other extreme. I’ve taken some damage over the years because of not taking the smart move, largely because it would involve throwing someone under the bus for my benefit but who didn’t deserve it. When you’ve taken enough bullets, after a while another one won’t make any difference.
Given any latitude, I always try for a moral decision, but when push comes to shove, I’m a necessary type. A greater but humane good always leads my thinking. I operate on my own individual rough version of Asimov’s three laws of robotics.
Given that inclination, the challenge is to live your life without letting the aftermath of making such decisions rot you out. You took action, the bell was rung and even in hindsight if it wasn’t optimal, it was good enough based on the information to hand at the time. The ultimate victory of evil is not just to corrupt the morality of those who fight it, but to blight their life thereafter.
There’s so much you’ve never shared with her or them. That is a betrayal of such long standing, there’s no way you can correct it at this late stage. The older you get, the more people die off, the fewer people left around, the more impossible it gets to have any semblance of that conversation.
I think we all have these conversations we’ve never had with our loved ones, both younger and older. In the end, they sense your need to talk about something but it never really happens. You will never allow that. Their world is the nicer one you’ve carefully constructed for them, and the necessary ugliness of some of your deeds is obscured, because you wanted to launch them out into the world without any of the baggage that has constantly nagged away at you in the background.
As with so many things in life, you have to pick out your own priorities. Putting yourself atop of that list has always seemed so weak and easy an option. If you’re strong, it’s your duty to give a leg up to those who need it, irrespective of any other consideration.
If there is a prime imperative in life, it’s to love and hopefully be loved in return. The first step on that path is to find an accommodation with your elemental nature. You can never change that and if you try, you’ll wreak huge damage on yourself. If you’re true to that primal nature, it’ll be a good servant to you. If you try to deny it, it’ll never go away because it’s inside you always waiting to do what it was intended to do from day one.
When you’ve got through the difficult points in your life and are thinking about it many miles down stream and are having a difficult time, the trick cyclists casually label it as survivor guilt and move on, but that’s the usual bollocks from people who’ve experience of nothing much of import. It’s not guilt, it’s shame. As you went through hell, and kept going as per Churchill’s dictum, it was always in the back of your head that you’d be a part of making a better world.
It was supposed to have gotten better but it hasn’t really. The thing you give yourself is that without your admittedly modest efforts, it might possibly be a bit worse. The comfort I have is my burning outrage at seeing a man drag three children slaves in chains behind him in the twenty-first century and still feeling the fire of anger rage in me.
That’s why, whatever it will cost you personally, you can never give up and come to any accommodation with evil.
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