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Machiavelli said that you should keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. He meant that you should always surround yourself by people you know and trust, but you should also keep an extremely close eye on your enemy, to limit their ability to hurt you.

The corollary to that rule is, it's your friends who can do you the most harm, because you don't see their betrayal coming.

Those who have met me casually may not believe it, because my public persona is a pretty gregarious guy, but I'm actually fairly shy. Ambulance Driver is a magnification of Kelly Grayson's personality – the good parts and the bad parts. The guy you see speaking at conferences is gregarious and entertaining, because that's what he's paid to be. I enjoy doing that stuff, and I'm fairly good at it, but when I want to relax, away from crowds and people I don't know, I'm just… me.

I don't try to be particularly entertaining, and I don't try to hide who I am. I'm also fairly passionate about my profession and my personal beliefs, and I'm not shy about expressing that. To those who don't know me well, it sometimes comes off as arrogance. My true friends know better.

And that circle of true friends is a surprisingly small group of people. Not many people do I trust implicitly. To the rest, I'm polite and gracious, but the humor is a mechanism to keep people from getting too close. That's a character flaw on my part, and it has caused me grief on more than one occasion, but occasionally I am reminded why I find it difficult to trust people.

Recently, I discovered that one of my circle of friends violated my trust, and the trust of several other close friends, over a period of years. Not only that, but in the course of discussing and investigating the depth and breadth of this person's betrayal, it came to my attention that this person has waged a clandestine campaign of character assassination against me specifically for several years. Part of me isn't surprised, because we've clashed and argued before, but apparently what I thought was water under the bridge only fueled this person's enmity and resentment.

Or hell, it might have nothing to do with anything I did at all. This person never really needed a reason to be angry. They were perfectly willing and able to imagine an insult and run with it. I should have seen the signs long before, rather than chalk it up to my philosophy that every friend should be permitted one major flaw.

Delusions, hypocrisy and a fucking martyr complex a mile wide are not just one fatal flaw, however.

And if it were just directed at me, I could ignore that. But this person also deliberately tried to sabotage my personal relationship with my girlfriend, as well. That, I cannot forgive nor ever forget.

So, flush one toxic personality, and I'll sleep better tonight knowing they're gone.


Oh, and "Lily Price?"

I know who you are now. Did you think I'd never find out? If I hear my name has passed your lips ever again, I. Will. Ruin. You.

Comments - Add Yours

  • Michael Hatfield

    Some people are not worth the effort of carrying a grudge against them…….;)

    • Ambulance_Driver

      I’m not a grudge holder. I’m a lash out in a murderous rage and sleep like a baby afterwards kind of guy.

      But as long as this person stays away, I’m perfectly content letting it go. It’s when/if they show their face again that I’ll let slip the dogs of war.

      • Kent

        And if they ever do Kelly, you know I’ve got your back!

  • Kenneth Reed

    Sorry to hear about this Kelly. I also agree with Michael Hatfield, this person isn’t worth the effort of carrying a grudge against them. hang in there. Always know I’ve got your back,

  • lilspiceoflife4u

    It sucks when someone shoves a knife in your back unexpectedly.  I am sorry you have to deal with this type of betrayal, AD.  

  • Jay G.

    I know some guys in Jersey.

    Just sayin’.

    (Sorry to hear, buddy). :(

  • Mini Medic

    The corollary to that rule is, it’s your friends who can do you the most harm, because you don’t see their betrayal coming.

    I never saw mine coming, but my dog went back-and-forth between “tail-between-legs” and “angry barking” around my (former) best friend and maid of honor.

    I failed to remember that my dog is a most excellent judge of character. 

    Perhaps I can convince my parents to loan you Pudgy Puppy for future friend selection? He’s 25 pounds, but he will perform well as a “dog of war.”

    • Sigivald

      Woman I know won’t let people her dog dislikes into her house.

      Fortunately her dog seems to love me.

  • LL

    That makes me sad because you have one of the biggest hearts I know and you’re a good man.  Move on, they’re not worth your smallest thought.  Focus on the girlfriend and your baby girl and the joy you take from your job and writing.  THOSE are the things that matter.

  • Matt Landry

    I hope and presume your GF knows better than to take such things at face value.

    But yeah, it’s something we’ve probably all faced. And it sucks. Not sure I know anyone who deserves it less than you.

  • Bob Agard

     “Delusions, hypocrisy and a fucking martyr complex a mile wide are not just one fatal flaw, however.”
    I’m glad you wrote about this. I’ve got a similar post lurking down in the depths. Maybe some day I’ll let it out.

  • Gerry N.

    I think it was Mark Twain who wrote that your enemies will rejoice in your mistakes and misfortune, but it takes a friend to spread the news to all the world.

    I had an enemy in High School, couldn’t bear to be in the same county with the a$$hole.  Then we encountered each other about twenty or so years ago, niether one of us could remember what it was over.  We discovered we had some interests in common, among them camping, fishing, shooting, hunting, shooting.  We”re pretty good buddies now and fairly often try to figger out why we wasted all those years being mad at each other.  Life can be weird.

  • Bernet5

    the smear campaign didn’t work. and karma is a bitch. <3 Although going through the list of who you might have offended enough to spew that much venom was interesting;)