You came to lift me up;
As light as straw,
And brittle as a bird.
Today? I weigh less
Than a shadow on the wall;
Just one more whisper,
Of a voice unheard.
Leave the windows open.
As fear grows?
Please hold me in your arms.
Won’t you help me, if you can?
To shake this anger!
I need your gentle hand,
To keep me calm.
Because I never thought I’d lose;
I only thought I’d win!
I never dreamed I’d fear,
This fire beneath my skin …
Things we never said?
The hidden truth?
No longer haunting me.
Tonight? We touched on
The things that were never spoken –
That kind of understanding?
Sets me free.
Because I never thought I’d lose;
I only thought I’d win!
I never dreamed I’d fear,
This fire beneath my skin …”
Part Sies: Two Days in December.
With this post? This series turns personal. I am sure these will not be posts anyone cares to read, and that's cool. I am not ending this "my way" for you. I'm doing it for me.
The final three pieces in this fond farewell, are my take on all that’s happened, my viewpoint on this fight, the questions all this raises in me, and my defense, and explanation, for why I have chosen to handle things as I have, since the second day in December, profiled in this post.
If this is as selfish, arrogant, and inconsiderate as posts come?
I’m simply matching The Champ and The Chica’s level, of selfishness, arrogance, and inconsideration.
Sunday, December 2, 2012 dawned as arguably the darkest day in Chiefs history. Less than twenty four hours earlier, Chiefs LB Jovan Belcher had shot his fiancé, the mother of his child, nine times in their bed, then killed himself at Arrowhead as the police closed in, in front of Chiefs GM Scott Pioli, Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel (affectionately known on this site as “Coach Baffoon” – a man so incompetent, he can’t even spell buffoon right!), and Chiefs LB coach / defensive coordinator Gary Gibbs.
There was definitely a weird vibe at Arrowhead that day. The normal party-like atmosphere at the backed-up gates was non-existent. Even once the gates opened and the tailgating began, there wasn’t the usual jovial mood, at least in Lot G.
This would ultimately wind up being the last tailgate of my group that Dustin and Kellie would attend. It’s probably fitting – the last tailgate is overshadowed by a murder / suicide.
And if you think that’s one helluva coincidence?
Wait until we get to the second day in December.
(I’m telling you people, you give me six more weeks, I will convince you there is NO SUCH THING as coincidence.)
The recap of the day can be read by clicking here. (For the highly sensitive and/or squeamish, I get into my personal battles with depression and suicidal thoughts, in the last quarter of the post. Just a FYI for the weak of stomach and/or of heart.)
What didn’t stand out to me, was the “coincidence” of the song that came on as DJ and Kellie arrived, although I did note it in the recap, and again – there is no such thing as coincidence.
What stood out to me, is that for one brief moment of time, I wasn’t angry anymore. For 3 ½ months at that point, the rage had been building. It is my opinion that for 3 ½ straight months, I was shown nothing but intolerance, hatred, and disrespect by the two of them. That I was treated in a manner by them they wouldn’t tolerate being shown them for two seconds, and I had to endure it every day for 3 ½ months, without a shred of guilt, regret, remorse, or simple embarrassment from Dustin and Kellie. 115 bleeping days of indefensible conduct – conduct so indefensible, so offensive to even their friends, that as Kellie’s friend and teammate noted to me on December 5th after bowling: “if Dustin had done (all) this to me? I’d have bitch slapped him.” Their other teammates and friends there that night, simply nodded in agreement, at that comment.
I made the decision that Sunday, to let them get away with it.
Because Sunday, December 2nd, 2012, provided the answer to the question I’d been asking for nearly 115 days. What mattered more to me: the friends* I thought Dustin and Kellie were … or the way those two friends had treated me, over those 115 days.
(*: I will grant you -- especially in hindsight -- that the idea that either of the two of them were a “friend” at that point, was laugh-out-loud preposterous … but when you’re in the midst of a fight with people you care about, you tend to lose semblance and focus at times.)
I spent the next week bouncing questions off of various friends, and ultimately decided, someone had to cave, if this part of The Family could be saved. And if Dustin and/or Kellie didn’t have the moral conscience a six year old possesses, to own the consequences of their choices?
Then it had to be me, once again, giving them what they demanded, at the expense of what I wanted.
Which I offered to do about a week later, when I noted that it had been four months since either side had invited the other to spend time in their presence “just because”, and I suggested we try to set aside a Friday evening for a happy hour, to try to find our version of détente.
Wednesday, December 12th, they accepted my offer. And did more than accept – to their credit, they seemed genuinely stunned that it had been four months since our last funday “just because”, and they went out of their way to not just accept my offer, but to insist I pick the bar where this soiree was going to go down.
I picked Quinton’s in Waldo, and we agreed to meet up around 6pm on Friday, December 14th.
At about noon on that Friday, I got a text from The Chica asking if we were still on for that night. I replied that we were. She said they’d see me when I got there.
From that moment on?
It’s been one gigantic Chernobyl, of a relationship.
Friday, December 14, 2012, is a day no American should ever forget. (Again: I am the one here, who does not believe in coincidence.)
Because it is the day that SandyHook happened. And quite frankly, it is President Obama’s finest hour. I have never been as proud to have that man as my leader, than I was on that Sunday night the 16th, in his speech to the nation in the aftermath of that national tragedy.
I spent the ride from work to Waldo, listening to Dana and Parks (as I usually do), only unlike most days, I wasn't laughing, and neither were they. I was crying on that Metro ride, as were the hosts of the show, and I know I'm not the only person, who was shedding tears that day, at yet another senseless tragedy that was 100% preventable, against the greatest generation still to come.
But that’s not why I’ll ultimately remember Friday, December 14th, 2012, as a sad, sad day.
I’ll remember it as a sad, sad day, because it’s the day I realized beyond the shadow of any doubt, that Dustin and Kellie were no longer the Dustin and Kellie I once knew, loved, and (in Kellie’s case) respected. (Sorry Champ, but I’ve never respected you. And if you’re being fair, that feeling’s mutual. Our friendship was never based on respect for either side.)
So let me address December 14th, 2012, by noting this: no one can deny I gave Dustin and Kellie every single thing they demanded. And yes, they drove the “negotiation”. I offered nothing but unconditional surrender that night – up to and including letting them change the bar on me as I was on my way to Waldo, because their dinner plans had fallen through, so somehow, that meant Lew’s was now their preferred place to talk.
In fairness to them, they never demanded we meet at Lew’s. And in fairness to them, they did half-assedly offer to meet me across the street at Quinton’s when they were done eating.
But in fairness to me? That’s a dick move, and everybody knows it. They knew I would go along with Lew’s … and if they didn’t realize what yet another bitch slap of disrespect that move was to me? Then they’re either so ignorant they can’t see reality, or so arrogant they don’t care. And sadly, I don’t know what the proper answer is, ignorance or arrogance, at this point.
I picked Quinton’s for a reason – three of them actually – and in case anyone ever doubts I don’t think three moves ahead in dealing with a problem or a person that’s a problem, this night proves I do. I picked Quinton’s because (a) they have the cheapest happy hour prices in Waldo, (b) their happy hour runs the longest in Waldo, and (c) I was testing The Champ and The Chica, to see if they could even manage at this point to set their selfishness aside, to at least give me the bar of my choice, for my “unconditional surrender” to them.
(For the record, I left the bowling alley two nights earlier, telling my teammates that “you watch – they’ll find a way to not have this happen at Quinton’s”. As always, I can not only think three moves ahead; I can see at least two ahead.)
I arrived at Lew’s, knowing nothing good was going to come from this night. But I did do what I didn’t want to do, once I got the text changing the location, and that was show up.
Because I knew, what I was dealing with, at that point. And it’s two people, noone should ever have a desire, to have to deal with. Two people who place their arrogance, selfishness, egos and greed, above those they claim to care about and/or love.
Who gives a shit about you? They’re all that matter, to them.
This will be one of the 27 questions to come in the next post, but I’ll ask it early: “what the hell did your dinner plan changes, have to do with our meeting up at Quinton’s? Why not just eat your dinner, then meet me at Quinton’s as scheduled, without sending the text guaranteed to change the venue? Why couldn’t you two even give me my damned favorite bar, for the fucking conversation?”
(Pause). Yeah, the next two posts might need to have a “I’m over 18, and I consent to what I am about to read” disclaimer entryway, attached to them.
The conversation itself was pleasant enough. Sadly, I actually think they were being somewhat genuine in what they demanded out of me.
Well, of course they were -- I was giving them every fucking thing they'd demanded for 115 days. And all they were offering in return?
We'll get to those lies, momentarily.
Specifically, they made the following demands on me:
* We were not going to deal with what had happened. They had to be allowed to get away with all of it, without a shred of accountability or consequence. I said fine.
* I would be provided with no answers, no explanations, for all they had done. I just had to accept it. I said great.
* There would be no credible apologies for all that had happened. Again, they had to be allowed to get away with treating me for 115 days in a manner so offensive, the phrase “bitch slap” was used, to describe how their allies in this fight, would have reacted had they done this to them. I said spectacular.
* We had to start over, as if nothing had happened. I said wonderful.
* We had to treat each other, as if nothing had happened. These 115 days become the “elephant in the room” that nobody acknowledges is there. I said sweet, let’s do this.
* And as part of that starting over, and creating one helluva gigantic elephant, we all had to agree, that once we walked out the front door of Lew’s that night, that NONE of us, for ANY reason, could EVER again bring up ANYTHING that had happened, in the previous 115 days. It was all dead, buried, and off limits, no matter what we thought of it.
To this point, I actually did whole-heartedly agree. Because it’s the only time that night, I actually thought Dustin and Kellie were telling the truth, were actually saying something they intended to do.
But just to be sure, I decided to insure myself against the fraud and deception I knew was occurring. Once Dustin made that demand, and I agreed to it (as did Kellie), then I started telling some half-truths and outright lies that were just believable enough, you’d question if they actually were true.
That's the key point to note, that The Champ and The Chica conveniently ask you to ignore.
I didn't lie to them, BEFORE the demand, that nothing that was said or done prior to walking out the door, was made of me.
And actually, that's not fair.
The Champ knew what that demand meant.
It's why he told The Chica, to not do what she did, on the Easter Sunday seventeen months ago, that sealed the downfall of this friendship, of this "family".
Because Dusty knew, I'd trapped them. Dusty knew, the only way they'd ever know I lied to them?
Was if everything they demanded I agree to, was a lie to begin with.
But hey -- they stand for openness and honesty at all times.
The hypocrisy of the two of them stinks so much, I can smell it 30 miles away, from lovely Yecker Avenue.
So let me acknowledge the obvious:
Did I lie to them after that demand was made? Hell yes I did!
Because – and this is what The Chica cannot seem to comprehend – if NONE of us can EVER again mention ANYTHING that happened prior to our walking out the door that night?
They’d never know I lied to them.
Because they couldn’t ask, they couldn’t confirm. They had to let it go.
Even 12 SoCo’s on the rocks* in?
I’m still the smartest person in the room, when it’s me, The Champ, and The Chica in said room.
Go figure – three weeks later, The Chica proved herself to be a liar (which, in fairness, I already knew she was; just wait until we get to the Twenty Seven Questions I’d Like a (Bleeping!) Answer To post), by dredging up the half-truths and outright lies I told her that night, while out celebrating my birthday.
Let that sink in – she broke our “deal”, that they wrote every piece of, while out celebrating my birthday.
Talk about bitch slapping someone!
(*: "The Kid" and "boasheao" can confirm: I was POUNDING the SoCo on the rocks, that night. Yet another reason I wanted Quinton's -- I knew how much I was going to have to drink, to swallow and choke down, giving them all they demanded.)
In fairness to The Champ and The Chica, they did give me certain promises, concessions, for agreeing to cave to all their demands.
Specifically, they promised three specific things.
1. I’d never again be left out of post-bowling fun. I still want to punch Dustin in the balls for what he did on Halloween 2012, when he and Kellie intentionally left me behind. And they both intentionally left me out of the invite list for most of the last season.
So be it – but if you don’t want me around, at least have the balls to say it to my face.
They promised I’d never again be left out.
I haven’t been invited to join them since mid-February 2013.
2. They swore we’d never again go four months without a Funday “just because”. Specifically, they swore they’d never go that long, without extending an invite to me.
Every invitation to spend time in their presence for anything other than post-bowling since December 31, 2011?
Has come from me.
Save for Kellie’s demand to come over and talk, on ten minutes notice, on Easter Sunday 2013. Funny – I ask them to talk, I’m literally told to go fuck myself*.
She demands to come over and talk on a holiday? I offer to buy the beer for the conversation.
You tell me who’s to blame for this. Because I’m fucking done, pretending for even a moment of time, that any of this is my fault. It’s time to hold the lying hypocrites accountable, for who they are, and what they have done.
3. Again – they swore none of us would ever again raise, what had happened, in any way, anywhere, anytime, anyplace. And then they did.
Kellie, here’s another of the Twenty Seven Questions I Want a (Bleeping!) Answer To: "do you consider a broken promise to be a lie, or a failure of character?
(*: this is coming up in the next post ... although indirectly, via Question Twenty Seven.)
The truest sign Lew’s killed off what was left of this friendship: those of you who know me even reasonably well, know my car hasn’t worked right in a couple years, and I don’t even bother at this point – I just rely on mass transit, and the kindness of friends, to get to and from where I desire to be.
(Again, I don’t believe in coincidence. I have to think that God spared me from a few DUI’s the last couple years, given all I’ve had to deal with, out of not just The Family, but with real life. I guarantee you, I'd have had a couple DUI's last October, if I'd been driving back and forth from the hospital every night.)
When we walked out the door that night, The Champ and The Chica were headed next to Power and Light.
(Stunner: I wasn't invited. So let me once again state: I am so fucking glad to know this "night of friendship" you went overboard to convince all our friends was genuine and sincere?
Was pigeon-holed between your dinner plans, and party plans.)
The “friendship” move, would have been to offer me a ride home. It would have been, at most, a six, seven minute detour off The Watkins to downtown.
Instead? They hung a U-turn to flag down a cab going the other direction.
A five minute ride home, was asking too much of them. That was demanding too much of them.
Dustin? Kellie? Every time you’ve ever taken me anywhere? All three times I've ever asked?
Have I ever once failed to pay you? Have I ever once failed to compensate you?
If you’re being honest? You know the answer is “no”, to all of those questions.
Then again, if you were capable of being honest?
I wouldn’t have the anger, and the rage, and the disgust, the contempt, the hurt, the outrage, and the (at times) irrational hatred I have for you two, at this point.
I’m sorry that this is such a “Stevo’s a selfish ass who can’t get over the loss of a couple of friends” post … but sometimes? I am a selfish ass. And I didn’t want to lose these two friends.
Only two of these posts remaining:
* The Twenty Seven Questions I Want Some (Bleeping!) Answers To … and in the interest of fairness, at least four of the twenty seven, I know the answer to; I’d just love for the person(s) asked the question, to be honest and admit the answer(s).
Especially Question Twenty Seven, which is the key to this whole fight, and is a question The Champ can never afford the answer, to be revealed to.
* And The Final Goodbye, where I will explain why I have handled things as I have since Lew’s, and why I’m done trying to save a friendship, The Champ and The Chica not only have no interest in saving, but they’ve set out every day for two years, to destroy.
Which means that once again, what Dusty and Kellie demand? They get. And what I want? I sacrifice.
And when it comes to The Ex? I guess it’s time to finally deal with a few things that we’ve conveniently ignored for half a decade, and finally allow me to state, for the record, why I feel about her as I do. (Hint: she's the one dissolved friend in this debacle, I'm willing to blindly forgive.)
(dave matthews band voice) Funny, the way it is, if you think about it …