Thursday 30 June 2011
There are people who stand out from the crowd because of their appearance. I am not one of them. There are people who stand out because of what they do. I’m not one of those people either. There are people who stand out because of who they are. Again, that’s not me. I don’t stand out in any way, shape, or form. I am exceptionally ordinary. That’s what my father always told me: ‘David, you’re a damn nobody. Nothing you do will ever be of any consequence. You’re so average that you’re exceptionally ordinary. And that ain’t nothin’ to be proud of.’
My childhood was spent trying to earn his love; my teenage years trying to earn his respect; early twenties trying to impress him; thirties I spent trying to forget him, and the damage he caused me. There’s no doubt that he screwed me up.
I was a late bloomer. It wasn’t until my late twenties that I found something that I was good at, and that I enjoyed. And the only reason I had that small success was because by then, my father was dead: brutally murdered by a psychopath. Had it been any other member of my family, I’m sure I would have grieved for the rest of my life for them. But for him, I mourned and moved on. It oddly comforted me that very few people attended his funeral. As it turns out, I wasn’t the only one who had suffered, in one form or another, at his hands.
His death signalled my . . . metamorphosis, my awakening, I guess. Once he was gone, everything in my life started making sense. I found my place. I became a success – I had media recognition, my peers admired me, and I enjoyed the fame and spoils of being, essentially, a wanted man. Very few people in the world wouldn’t have known my name. It was truly beautiful, that first moment when I saw my name in print, and my face spread across newspapers, and magazines, the Internet, and the television. It was a buzz and a half. I’d felt nothing like it before.
It became a sort of addiction, all that media attention, and the goal became getting better coverage and publicity each time I did a job. So, ultimately, the jobs had to get bigger, grander, more stunning. At first, I found that deplorable and I despised myself for allowing things to head that way. But then, as I said, it became an addiction and it took over.
I got good publicity on about fifteen jobs before I was forcibly retired. By that I mean that I was arrested, of course. There was no use denying what I had done. I didn’t want to deny it, because for once I was something more than exceptionally ordinary. The bodies attributed to me were works of art, and I was most definitely going to take the credit for them.
And the old man was my first.