Let me start out by making one thing absolutely clear. I like Chird, and consider him a friend. We share some common interests, have similar passion about some issues, and I just find him to be a generally decent guy who even helps me out when he can. Now that that’s out of the way…
Chird (birth name: Richard) is without question the weirdest dude I know. He’s the type of guy that doesn’t mind his story being told, so I won’t feel bad about talking about him here. We met in 6th grade at Ridley Middle School and initially bonded over our mutual appreciation for bands like Dangerous Toys and Guns N’ Roses. Throughout High School, and later I think, he got pretty heavy into drinking and drugs. Needless to say, it took over and fucked him up in a serious way. For many people, drugs fill a certain void in someones life and personality. If/when a person manages to get off the drugs, there needs to be something else to fill that void. In Chird’s case, he fills it with recovery programs, and Jesus. Yes, he is one of those. In some ways, that makes him pretty much the opposite of what he used to be, but in other ways it is very much the same; he found one, completely dominating thing that fills his thoughts and actions every single day.
See, with Chird there is no middle ground. As I tell him all the time, he lives on the extremes. Totally thrashed on drugs passing out on a railroad track, to saying prayers on people out loud as he works on his masters degree in Divinity, none of it is “average Joe” type of stuff. Lots of people do some drugs or like some religion, but few do it with the all-encompassing tenacity that he does. And that’s fine, but at least one area of his life where I find that to be a negative is the effect that his job has on his whole life. Without having the official job description in front of me, he basically evaluates people with problems. Drug problems, sexual abuse, mental issues of all kinds, stuff like that. To be clear, 100% of the people that come to see Chird at his job have serious problems going on. That’s his full-time job, but it doesn’t stop there. It also fills his personal life as well. I would go as far as to say that 99% of the people he spends time with are current or former drug addicts and/or people with other serious issues going on. Now when I say “serious issues”, I mean that if my shit is a 4 on the serious-issue-meter, these folks are an easy 10. The effect it has, is that it severely skews his view of society in general. Imagine if 100% of what you experienced all day was deeply damaged people with horror stories to tell. It doesn’t take long before it feels like that’s all there is.
When an issue like the “adult entertainment industry” comes up (which it has recently), his view is that all of it is bad, because the entire thing is abusive and comprised almost entirely of weak-minded women that are merely victims. Men who view it or support it in any way (porn, exotic dancers, etc) are basically committing a crime against these poor souls. No bullshit, he went as far as to compare it to actual slavery! My stance is this: yes, there are strippers with drug problems and other problems. And YES, there are grocery store cashiers with drug problems and other problems. And McDonald’s burger-flippers with histories of sexual abuse, and every other combination of fucked up shit you can imagine. Does that mean ALL strippers, actresses, models, etc. are damaged this way? Of course not. People are so diverse, it’s just impossible to oversimplify that way. Well, Chird disagrees.
He also claims that he “doesn’t understand” the idea of sex before marriage, and finds it “stupid”. But for the sake of complete reporting on the issue, let me say that Chird has had sex before marriage, looked at pornography and visited strip clubs. I know this stuff is more than common amongst Christians, but I just wanted to get the facts in there to more completely understand the source of these views.
If he were being honest (which he usually tries to be, I think), I’m pretty sure that Chird would agree that he’s led a sheltered life. All that started with his parents as he was growing up, and it just sort of lends itself to where he is now. He’s branched out a little bit in his search for further education, but his sphere of experience (both emotional and geographical) remains very small. I wish for his sake (and my own) that he opens up to some new experiences and some new people. Since I’ve not limited myself to any one faction of the population, I feel like I’ve come across a pretty good mix of what modern day folks can be. And yeah, we’re all damaged in our ways, but shit man, we’re not all that friggin’ damaged. I know he’ll never admit that, no matter how obvious it can be, but I’d like for him to experience it anyway. I would LOVE for him to hit it off with a strong woman who’s never been a drug addict or been fucked by an uncle, and loves having wild pre-marital sex with her current boyfriend. I’d love for him to see the amazing metropolis that sits just 15 minutes away from his apartment. The friggin’ BIRTHPLACE OF OUR INDEPENDENCE is a stones throw away, and when he wants some culture, he hits up open mic nights in Media! It kills me.
Like I said, I really like the dude and if I have it my way we’ll hang out more in the near future, and meet some of the interesting characters that inhabit my world. Just not in Media.