They both turn around and say “bloody hell! Have you met that Chris Hoggins character? Now he’s what you call stubborn.”
Apparently, being stubborn is supposed to be a bad thing but I regard it as being one of my greatest strengths. If it wasn’t for my stubbornness I would probably be either dead or living on the streets by now, it is through sheer iron force of will that I have survived all the shit thrown at me and in many cases thrown it straight back. Back last century, I remember being shown an advert with a small child smashing a square peg into a round hole. My friends pointed it out at the time with comments of “ha, ha, that’s you that is!” To which I mumbled something about the commodification of everything and how i certainly wouldn’t be buying anything because of some manipulative advertising, “ooh, I’m a rebel because I wear these jeans.” malarkey.
There is a view of me by people who don’t know me that I am some sort or morose grouch, sniping at the world from the sidelines. What I am is someone who absolutely hates cynicism and unfairness, the thing is, if you think all I am is some ranting misfit then it’s because I have intentionally distanced myself from you, and the reason that I have done that is because you are most likely a horrible person. That’s ok though, because there are plenty of you around and you can all hang out together and tell yourselves just how wonderful you are. You never know, if you do it long enough, you might actually believe it. Most people are too affraid to say anything about anything much in case they lose friends, or a job or because people might not like you. Personally, knowing that various people can’t stand me gives me a warm fuzzy glow inside, if arseholes like you, you are on the wrong track. If something is unfair it needs to be pointed out by someone and usually that someone is me. There is a big difference between being stubborn and unkind though. I am very empathetic and I try and put myself in other people’s shoes before I say or do something. Sometimes , though, what you find looks like a pair of fluffy slippers on the outside are more like blood besplattered jackboots when you try them on and that is when I have to say something. I seem to always have had an ability to see right through people, it can be very frustrating though. Sometimes I have had to wait years for others to spot what I saw in the first five minutes of meeting someone and by then the damage that they have wreaked is immeasurable.
There is something absolutely fascinating about the way that some people are fawned over in the relatively small town where I live. If people get the impression that you may be of use to them in some way or another, it’s amazing how nice they can be in an incincere sort of way. The mask soon slips though but until it does you can have such fun watching everyone trip over each other to be super nice. It’s fascinating watching when someone new comes to town, it’s like the gold rush, or a swarm of locusts buzzing all over someone. I have discovered two wonderful things though about not falling for any of this bullshit. The first is that money cannot buy the feeling you get from being truly honest about something or someone, especially when you have had to keep your mouth shut in the past, and the second is that for every nasty fake person that you tell the truth about and lose from your life, you will get twenty more nice people come and shake your hand for doing what they have always wanted to do. You end up becoming a sort of honesty Robin Hood and that is such a nice feeling.
Basic honesty aside, stubbornness prevents you from folding, I have had my (and other people’s) share of knockbacks but I always manage to turn things around and use those negatives for good. When I’m not being stubborn, I’m quite often storing up grudges, I would like to think that it is through a sense of justice (or lack thereof) but I have a very long memory and it’s good to make sure that shitty people get their comeuppance eventually or at least that heinous acts aren’t forgotten. Karma, sometimes needs a hand, or a mouth.
My stubbornness is currently manifesting as an exercise in slowly bashing my head against a brick wall or more precisely a wall of words. It’s a chapter of the gigantic book I’ve been reading since the start of the year, Jerusalem by Alan Moore and I’ve been rewarded for all my troubles with a three hour chapter of phonetics. I know it’s supposed to take three hours because it is on a kindle because the physical copy was too heavy to hold, to add insult to injury the gubbins of the ebook keeps adjusting down my reading speed because it is so hard going. It’s not just in phonetics you see, it’s in dual word phonetics so each sentence has two meaning at the same time and it is hard bloody work to get through, but will it beat me? No bloody way! No chance never!
You see, whatever happens, however poor you are, however much the ranks close around you, however much the government tries to shit on you, whatever health problem you have and whatever bad luck comes your way. However horrible things might get, what no one can ever do is take away your choice to face whatever life gives you in the way you choose to face it. No one can tell you what to think, no one can tell you what to feel and if they try…. Oooh! Don’t even go there, but in a world that is getting increasingly more authoritarian sometimes the only thing we that is left in out control is ourselves.