A Guy Named “Dustin.”

grayscale photo of man walking on road

Recently I’ve had a couple of things transpire, and it just so happens that both things can be related to one another.

The first thing that happened is I ran into a guy on Facebook that I used to go to school with. I’ll call him, “Dustin.” From K through 12 I went to school with this guy. He was the kid that felt that hygiene wasn’t a priority. From messy, dirty, greasy hair, to bad breath and dirty teeth, to body odor…You get the picture.

Dustin was a kid that was a true outcast. A real social misfit. I don’t recall this guy having friends throughout school. Ever. Most of it was because of the lack of hygiene, but some of it was also the fact that he had no idea how to deal with people socially. He was the Original Sperg.

If ever there was a guy who could have easily turned into a mass shooter, Dustin was it. I’m slightly surprised he didn’t turn out that way, but then again, he was missing something that a lot of shooters have. The anger.

For all the shit that Dustin went through and put up with, he never got angry or resentful, at least as far as I could tell. Nowadays he’s a grown man with a decent job, a wife of almost 25 years and a couple of kids. Apparently there is somebody for everybody. Don’t get me wrong, Dustin didn’t marry an 8 and God knows, he’s no 8 either, but they are similar in SMV. Basically they are two peas in a pod and happy as a couple of clams. Good for them.

When I said that Dustin went through a lot of shit, I’m not kidding. From early on in elementary school, right up to the end of high school, somebody was always saying mean shit to him and in a lot of cases, they were kicking his ass too.

Before anyone goes off about bullying though, understand this:

Dustin brought most of it onto himself. He would say obnoxious things to people and get under their skin to the point that they would end up kicking his ass. He would harass and bother people until they couldn’t stand it and then the beatings would begin.

I remember working with Dustin when I was 16. We both worked at a local grocery store as baggers. I remember him goading me and being a nuisance and a menace until I wanted to kick his ass like everyone else did. But then I realized something:

Kicking his ass was no major feat. Nobody high fived you if you ended up in a fight with Dustin. The only problem with kicking his ass was that it was too easy. He would bring that shit onto himself.

For Dustin, there was no such thing as bad attention. Any attention was good attention to him. An ass beating was just as good as a kind word or two. I remember realizing this and since I didn’t feel like kicking his ass, which would just goad him into more bad behavior, I ignored him. Completely.

He would stand in my way, I would simply walk around him. He would say my name or some other nonsense, I acted like I didn’t hear anything. I totally shut him out and initially it drove him nuts. Then it didn’t and he moved on to someone else that would pay attention to him and usually the pattern would begin again.

Lately I’ve seen people on Twitter that have beefs with other groups. Each group thrives off of attention from what I’ve seen. You talk positive or negative about them, you’re just giving that other group attention and validity. I’m not talking about the joggers and skateboarders out protesting. This has nothing to do with the rioting and politics, at least on any sort of major level.

This is simply two groups of people that have different points of view and neither side is going to convince the other side of the “rightness” of their cause. To me it’s simply a time for both sides to agree to disagree and move on. What’s the point when neither side is going to budge?

Both sides have approached me in one form or another. Both sides want me to side with “them.” Newsflash: I side with myself. Don’t drag me into your drama. Trying to “take on” the opposition is only giving them attention and validity. You are just reinforcing their point of view as being the “correct” one and they are just going to double down, dig in, and become further entrenched in their beliefs.

Why bother? Life is too short.

What do you hope to gain by taking them on? A dopamine hit? Some weird flex? Do you think you’ll “convert them to your cause?” You aren’t going to change their point of view when they have become invested in it and identify with it, so give that up.

The only thing worse than a guy playing Cap’n Save A Ho with a woman is a guy playing Cap’n Save A Ho with another guy. It’s not going to work.

Remember what I’ve said time and time again:

Let ‘Em Burn.

This is just like Dustin from back in the day, doing and saying stupid shit all for validity and attention. Just ignore them and move on.

It’s funny to me when both sides approached me. Immediately I started thinking to myself, “Why are you coming to me? What do you want from me? What are you hoping to gain by having me ‘on your side?’ What is your agenda here? What do you hope to gain from all of this?”

The only questions that I asked myself that really matter to me though is, why bother? Who cares? Why get involved? It’s not my circus and not my monkeys.

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