Teamwork: Clear Your Name

(An Aside: I want to apologize at the outset for my tendency to vague things up for you. I’m telling you, as best I can, the truth of my life right now. My life right now, to sum it up, sucks. The details of how it sucks and why and who is helping or hindering are where I run into a little problem.

There is a fine line I have to walk. I want you to know what is going on with me, what I really think and feel and experience. I want to give you truth. At the same time, I need to protect myself. Not from you, but from the meat-world realities, from the people who would not much appreciate it if I started naming names. So all I can give you is the truth in code, the truth behind a veil, the truth in spirit more than letter.)

As a child, I keenly felt the sting of injustice. I know the frustration of trying to tell adults, “But I didn’t do anything!” I’m lucky to have been an only child, since the addition of a sibling, with all their mischievous potential, might have broken me. I always thought, back then, “One day, I’ll be a grownup and everyone will just believe me when I say true things.” (Stop it, stop that laughing, kids are naive, I know!) It turns out, this is not something that gets easier with age.

Have you ever had someone say something to you that just took you by surprise like a brick to the temple? Something so off-base, so rife with false assumptions, that it was almost impossible to even start parsing it? “So, exactly when did you start molesting goats with your cult members?” Buh, wha–? “I’m not surprised you lost your job, considering all the demons you kept summoning in the break room.” I–excuse me?

The amount of exaggeration here is depressingly low, I want you to know.

I start to get a little paranoid. I know, objectively, that this is a combination of accidental rumor-mongering and deliberate gaslighting. But of course, gaslighting is a problem because it works. I start to wonder how many other people are convinced of my goat-molesting, demon-summoning reputation. Who is it safe to talk to? Who can be trusted? In my wildest fantasies, I wonder, who would fight to clear my name if I asked?

I’m cranky and lonely and sick to death of this shabby crap, so I’m pulling out the big guns. This is the fictional character I would most like to make real. He is foul, offensive, violent, and strung out way too often. He is also the most rabid defender of Truth I have ever seen in fiction (or real life). This is someone who would tear down the world to make the truth known. This is Spider Jerusalem and if you loved him, you’d all kill yourselves today.

Spider and the filthy assistants, Channon and Yelena, are from the comic series Transmetropolitan. It, like Spider himself, is foul, offensive, violent, and full of drugs. It is also, like Spider, beautiful and compassionate and visionary and funny as hell. Spider makes something of a habit of saving people, despite his misanthropic views. He loves the truth more than he can hate any one person. He risks his job, his sanity, and his life (and the jobs, sanity, and lives of others) to prove to the world who is right and who is wrong. I might not want to be stuck with Spider at dinner, but I can’t think of anyone I would want in my corner more. He wouldn’t be nice to me, but he would wreck careers and topple governments and scream from the rooftops if I could show him, this is the truth and this is what people believe and they are not the same thing.

What injustices have you had to face, big or small? Who do you have, or wish you had, who would believe your story and fight like hell to prove it? Who would clear your name at any cost?

Published by Joyce Sully

Joyce Sully believes in magic and dragons and ghosts, but is not convinced her next-door neighbors are real. So she writes stories. Really, what else could she do?

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