Since joining his ‘journey of a reformed man’, David has given me countless reasons to be proud of him.
Yesterday he made me proud, because he did absolutely nothing. He just walked away and came home.
I won’t sugar coat it. David was a nasty, violent career criminal. In and out of prison for four decades, he served multiple sentences for armed robberies, firearm offences and even more time for violent offences. Let’s just say he can be quite persuasive, he doesn’t suffer fools gladly and has little tolerance of uninvited opinion.
His final conviction, in 2015, was the armed robbery he had planned with military precision to guarantee his return to prison. A plan to be executed without causing physical harm or significant financial loss to others. David was a homeless crackhead who’d just woken up from sleeping in a puddle of the church doorway. He covered his face with a scarf, threatened the shopkeeper of a local store with a knife, demanded money and secured his return to prison. (Sorry, Mum, but it’s the truth. Love him for the man he is, don’t judge him by the actions of the man he was.)
Five years later and David’s in our local store. He pops in there three or four times a week; ties the dogs up outside, goes straight to the counter for baccy and “a bit of chocolate for the missus” and straight back out again. During lockdown, he has been covering his face with his t-shirt or a scarf to ensure compliance. Yesterday, another customer decided to take exception to David not wearing a mask and “started giving it” and squaring up to him.
Please bear in mind, I was not an eyewitness to the event and cannot repeat verbatim what was said. The general gist was that the other gentleman, also over 6’ tall, was quite vocal and in addition to sharing his opinion on the definition of face covering, he made personal assumptions about David and walked towards him pointing at his chest. Yes, that. Yes, really.
By the time David got home, five minutes later, he was literally steaming with anger. It took at least an hour for him to stop pacing up and down. The poor dogs didn’t know what to think, so they just paced with him. He was literally stopping himself from going back out to look for the man. And that is all that happened. Nothing more and nothing less. He eventually calmed down and his anger subsided.
So, yes. I am really proud that it came to nothing and he didn’t knock the guy into next week. I really am.
BUT, what makes me sooooo proud is his attitude to the whole incident.
He didn’t walk away because he was scared of going back to prison, he wasn’t thinking about the three strikes rule and the prospect of spending the rest of his life behind the door, he had no concern and having too much to lose. It wasn’t until he’d calmed down much later that he had his first thought about prison and the consequences of not walking away.
He walked away because when he looked at the idiot kicking off at him he realised that there would be no winners. That is what I am really proud of.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is my reformed man.