A washed-up, burnt-out has-been
I’m not the kind of writer to wave tales of inequality around willy nilly. Nor am I the kind of protagonist to pay lip service to popular opinion. If you like your stories straightforward, unchallenging and mainstream, go join your local Anti-Individuality Anonymous support group. You’ll find no such tomfoolery in any of my stories.
I like my craft beers like I like my abuse. Domestic.
I know what you’re thinking, “Lee, you can’t make jokes about domestic abuse!”
Ok, fair enough, I’ll admit that jokes about domestic abuse are only funny until someone gets hurt, but just so you know, I like my humour like I like my emotions, self-deprecated, so, if you’re worried these jokes may hit too close to home, rest assured the only one who’s getting hurt in this story is me. Don’t worry, I can take it, I’m a man. Plus, if you don’t like what’s happening here then just leave, because after all, leaving is as easy as IPV.
So, me and Johnny Depp have something in common. Now, before you ask, no it’s not the money, nor is it the generally dishevelled appearance or the shared love of wine.
I know what you’re thinking, “Lee! What could you possibly have in common with Johnny Depp?”
Please allow me to explain the parallel. Our respective public courts of popular opinion, each presided over by Judge Jo Public, have presumed both Johnny Depp and me to be guilty of domestic violence. What’s six inches long, fits in your mouth, and is more fun when it vibrates? A toothbrush, you dirty-minded deviant. Do you see where making assumptions gets you?
In 2016 I was accused of domestic violence and drug addiction. It didn’t matter that my only involvement with Class A drugs was that one time I tied a medication bottle up, smacked it around a bit, and called it a very naughty pill. Nor did it matter that the only thing I’ve ever hit is the bottle. False accusations take no prisoners. My ex-wife is so cold hearted, in the nursing home where she worked, she was voted worst employee. She just didn’t care.
Regardless of gender or sexuality, domestic violence can happen to anyone. It can even happen to Trump supporters. I once dated an Indian girl whose abusive partner hit her every night at 7 pm, on the dot. I have a friend who recently escaped an abusive relationship with a violent photographer. His ex tried to frame him, shoot him, blow him up and then get him hung. Now he’s about to testify, he wishes he had a photographic memory, but it never developed.
Let’s get something straight people, false allegations ruin lives. I’ve known people to kill themselves because of it. For once, I have no pun, no joke and no cocky little wordplay to convey that this is no joke. The only funny thing is that some would argue domestic violence is a gendered issue. I’ll let you decide if that’s a joke or not.
Let’s lighten the mood with a joke:
What’s black and white and hated all over?
Johnny Depp in a Tim Burton movie.
What’s black and blue and spread all over?
A false allegation
False allegations are like archaeologists, they dig up the past. This happened to Depp. Now, I know that the Tourist is unforgivable, but shouldn’t the punishment fit the crime?
Regarding my own past, I’ve made mistakes, who hasn’t? However, as a concept, forgiveness very much depends on what side of the baseball bat you’re being hit with. For example, my ex-wife refuses to forgive me for exiting what became an abusive relationship.
So what have I learnt? I’ve learnt that if a crime is committed often enough it eventually becomes a norm, and society learns to accept it without question. So anyway, I’m going to need you all to believe domestic abuse is a gendered issue. Don’t ask why. I know some may be offended by that statement, but just like my abusive ex-wife, I just don’t care.
My ex-wife used to tell me “Lee if you want to succeed in life never take no for an answer”. She was a terrible wife, but one hell of a narcissist.
Originally published in Medium publication The Swipe, 17th February 2020.