Reality Bites by James A. Norton


 Seems like the same old same old – only different. Whatever.


You know, life is funny. I run into people here and there and get the “hey where ya been?” or “what’s going on with you and those idiots?” or the best and most often heard one is “why haven’t you been around?” To say that it’s frustrating is putting it mildly. I haven’t gone anywhere – just because I don’t live within the city limits of Somerville and maintain a very public life anymore doesn’t mean I’m not here – I had two meetings in Somerville this very morning. Around, I am.


Oh don’t get me wrong, the frustration doesn’t affect the day to day of my life like it did a couple of years ago – I have much bigger fish to fry these days and quite frankly more business related things going on than I could have ever dreamed of five years ago. It’s sad really that the people who work so hard to make your life more difficult can’t bother to work that hard to make their lives easier or make the community better – you know, to practice what they supposedly preach. Sad really doesn’t do this type of behavior justice.


Recently, my wife Lynda and I stopped by a mutual friend’s home who was having a yard sale not long after the passing of her husband. I have known this woman since I was a little kid, and my wife Lynda has also known her since she was a little kid. Of course we both got big hugs and kisses and started talking and not even three minutes into being there I got the “oh I wish you two weren’t fighting – can’t we make some peace?” line. She was of course referring to one of the people intent on spreading outright lies and making me look like a real piece of work. So, I begrudgingly did the ten minute short-version explanation of the real story – and completely changed this person’s perspective on the situation – but I walked away feeling very frustrated because I shouldn’t have to dispel rumors and lies and conjecture about myself. There’s something very wrong about needing to defend yourself for no reason.


For years, I was encouraged – Hell, I was even egged on – to write about delusional people, liars, cheaters and real socially inept and morally corrupt scumbags who seem to have always ruminated just below the surface of life in Somerville. People thrived on it – they got the biggest kick out of it. Well, of course they would – they weren’t painting a big bulls eye on their back by calling out people on their shenanigans – at the end of the day, I was. It was, after all is said and done, my own choosing – but I never made anything up about anyone, I always put my own name to what I wrote and I never hid behind a false name online. Ever. I owned it, and good or bad, it was what it was and if I was wrong about someone or a situation, I always stepped up and made it right. That’s what good people do.


Too bad that very basic sense of decency has long since gone – and there will be those who read this and think that they’re not part of the problem. Bullshit. If you know people who do these types of things and you don’t reprimand their behavior then you’re just as bad as they are. You give them silent approval to continue to do what they do. Then you laugh at the fallout. Well, why wouldn’t you – you don’t have any skin in the game. Again, so sad.


So listen, if you think I am a bad person or that I have it all wrong or even did anything wrong – step up and call me out – email me, text or call me – I’m easy enough to find – and I promise that I will set you straight. But if you dare to do that to me – then do the right thing and also call out the assholes amongst you who do the really nasty stuff around town and show some consistency in your morally righteous behavior. Either that or just take a seat and grab some popcorn and watch the real show – where the good guy takes the prize and the bad guy, well he just eats shit. #GMK


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