Being a ‘Doug Stamper’

I had an awkward encounter with my ex’s boyfriend this morning on the way back from putting my clothes in the tumble dryer. It was that ever-delightful strange eye contact where two people who sort of know of each other recognise one another across a car park. He gave me – what I can only assume to be – a smug look before turning away which was the point I realised who he was. It was at that moment I felt cheated by the movie industry where the protagonist would have a quip at the ready like John Wayne in a cowboy duel, only instead of bullets I have equally wounding one liners: ‘has she boiled your rabbit yet?’

It made me wonder, if I was truly the protagonist of the movie, if any of us are? I’ve seen it being posed to me before in an online personality test and I’ve always clicked ‘side character’. Reason being the protagonists seem to always get shat on which then in turn, makes them the protagonist. Side characters have their own lives and adventures, whatever the fuck may be, and manage to play a notable yet not wholly intrinsic role in the story. Is that in itself the definition of edgy? Being at the edge of the frame yet remaining avant-garde enough to still have some of an impact on the film as a whole. I prefer that outlook than what is commonly seen as edgy: those who have yet to evolve from posting screenshots of poems on Facebook, collecting typewriters at age nineteen and claiming to only like two things in life: cats and the colour black. From personal experience, I can say those kinds of people are around one-in-eight in higher education and in other news, one-in-eight people desperately need treatment for their addiction to masturbating to sonnets at least twice a day.

So that’s it, I’m the side character, like House of Cards’ Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly) without the strange sexless relationship with the distant woman, with a strange endless loyalty to Kevin Spacey. It’s as soon as I type these words I’m having the terrible ‘holy shit’ moment when I realise that is exactly me – I would follow Kevin anywhere. Unfortunately to avoid a restraining order I’ve yet to follow through on that loyalty to the Oscar winner but I, like the rest of the side character population, need to find my own Kevin. Unfortunately, like most side characters I dislike living in someone else’s weird shadow but find myself far too cautious to be shat on, preventing any possible promotion into the lime light. Reason number one to why this blog isn’t leading with my name on every post.

Yet if it were in this epic movie that is the history of the planet Earth, my ex’s boyfriend is the protagonist and we are all disposable extras would that be a hilarious cosmic joke? The next evolution in the mystery of the chicken and the road. In all fairness to the ignoramus he does look like he walked straight out of an early 2000’s boy band music video with his black jacket and collection of sonnets for those lonely nights away from the missus.

Being a ‘Doug Stamper’

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