Last night a friend of mine shared a Henry Rollins meme and encouraged us to “Channel your inner punk/apocalypse warrior/metal/level 57 paladin and let’s DO the thing.” Being the eternal pessimist I am, I wondered what to do if I wasn’t a level 57 paladin but merely cannon fodder. See, there are people that don’t live past the first act of any apocalypse story. When people ask me how I’ll survive some catastrophe, I’ll reply, “Sandwiches.” That is, I expect to be made into sandwiches at the first possible moment.
I’m not a resilient person. I’m not the person you want on your team. I’m a liability. I’m the final iteration of a failed genetic experiment. I require too much upkeep to be cost-effective in the long or short run; it’s a quirk of cosmic circumstance that I wasn’t thrown into a bog decades ago.
This is all true, but it’s not all the truth there is. Thinking a while, I remembered the rest.
See, I’m surrounded by people who tend to have fairly obvious types. I know a lot of healers and a lot of war witches. They seemed to know early on what they were; they came along with the basic package of types, as it were. You had a healer, you had a fighter, you had a diviner, etc. etc. I’m not one of the basic types. I come in the deluxe packages. I’m not more special, just not quite so easily described.
I have a reputation as a coven breaker – to which I will reply, “They weren’t a coven, and they didn’t need my help.” They were actually a kindred and they were beset by internal bickering long before I showed up. I came to a few events, I taught a few classes, a led a ritual, then I left because I got angry. Next thing I knew they had imploded. It had nothing to do with me.
There was another kindred whose Yule event I attended who later dissolved amid accusations of child porn usage and partner swapping. Yet another kindred fell apart in the face of felony charges. Again, nothing to do with me.
There are other examples of groups I’m marginally associated with coming near to dissolving; they’ve been way more organized than kindreds and this time edged weapons weren’t involved.
I have this radioactive effect that I’ve learned to warn other people about. I can’t ethically join groups without giving a caveat that, hey shit’s gonna get weird. I warned the leader of a group a couple years ago about this and then watched as they had a near total psychological breakdown not long after. A group with a history going back to the 1990s nearly fell apart. It’s not something I do deliberately; it’s something I tend to catalyze. All I can do is warn – and apologize.
Yes, I’ve tried to think about how I can use this radioactivity for good. I’ve tried to think about which groups need a good destroying. I’ve tried to think about which people need a good psychological breakdown or felony charge. I can’t bring a lot to the struggle we’re currently engaged in (the struggle that some of us have been engaged in for generations), but I can stand around being radioactive.