Tuesday, October 4, 2011


I am not a fighter, not even close. I have not been in a fight since Grade 13, 1993. And that fight consisted of me kicking a guy in the balls and him cuffing my ear. I'm not sure which hurt more...

I take pride in the fact that I have not been physically violent since then. But I also have this weird impulse, deep down, to see if I could step up and kick some guy's ass. Luckily, no matter how drunk or belligerent I feel, something inside always stops me. What's even weirder is that somehow, mystically, that force seems to stop others.

I have literally thrown myself in the path of fights. I did it at the Slayer show in 2006, I've done it at the Dom a few times. And yet, I didn't get pounded. The guys involved saw this goofy, happy drunken Metalhead and stood down. I helped to diffuse violence. There isn't much in this world that fills me with pride as much as that. Why? Because real violence simply isn't worth it.

And the funny thing is, I should have been suckling at the teat of violence. I'm the youngest of seven, six of whom are boys, and my earliest memories are of family members beating the snot out of each other. Luckily I had a buffer from all that testosterone, my sister Suzie. She was born in '72, after six boys, like some kind of miracle. What was an even greater miracle, or pratfall, depending on your humour, was that after her came one last boy. I was supposed to be Sylvie... Whoops.

So there I was, stuck  4.5 years between me and my next older brother. So while they played sports, I sat inside, being too small to join in (not that there weren't grandiose moments where my brothers would use me to make awesomeness happen, like the crabapple-shooting go-kart). So I did a lot of reading... I got into Masters of the Universe and comic books. And I entered high school as a total geek, not knowing how to be cool. And I got bullied, harassed, disappointed, etc.

I was suicidal at ten years old. I was a miserable little guy. But you know what? I had a moment of clarity, where I realized the second-story drop would hurt more than kill, and that was it. I contemplated suicide after that, but never with any conviction. I fought it. And I cannot be more grateful for that ordeal, because I got it over with early. I see loved ones still contemplating horrible acts and it pains me. Why? Because there should be no bully so strong as to extinguish the joy of what life has to offer. Whether it's fiction, sex, food, booze, whatever. Nothing should be that strong.

But in the end, some of us can't fight it alone. To you, I offer my support. Talk to me before you think about it, I might be able to change your mind. At least I hope someone can. @gutfrag on twitter.

I should have been dead a long time ago, a pathetic statistic of the effed up way life is lived these days. But I fought. And fighting is its own reward. There's nothing more satisfying than looking your failings and faults in the eye and saying "I'm better than you and I can prove it!" So, if you're thinking of ending the fight, hopefully you'll try one last time. The fight itself can be worth it for some of us...

Strive on my dear friends!

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