Raylan Givens is a TV character from the show Justified, a Deputy U.S. Marshal who has this habit of shooting people, or sometimes groups of people every other episode. They’re always “justified” though, which is why he gets to keep his badge.
It seems telling though that he constantly has to draw down on people because just about everyone in the world seems to want him dead, including his father. Naturally, this makes Raylan a somewhat less than positive and happy person.
The more I watched this show the more it started to dawn on me just how much Raylan and I are alike. For one, we both work in law enforcement. We’re both loners who could count our friends on one hand, and sometimes, just one finger. We’re both content to live minimally (Raylan lives in a motel, of all places, which ironically enough, is how I lived for 6 years, albeit not by choice.)
We both have the worst luck with women, though he tends to lower the bar somewhat by sorta dating one girl who blew away her abusive (but unarmed) husband with a 12 gauge or something, and his ex-wife, who leaves him for a douche of a real estate guy who, to his credit doesn’t kill anyone, he just hires people who do (namely, to kill Raylan.) Good to know women’s propensity for abandoning decent guys for flaming crap heads remain constant even in fiction.
We both have the worst fathers on earth, men who wouldn’t think twice about selling us into sex slavery if it meant getting a buck or two. In one particular scene, Raylan sees his father’s betrayal during a sting coming a mile away, and gets the drop on him before Daddy is able to reach for his own gun.
“When did you know?” His father asked, somewhat surprised.
“Well… Arlo, I guess I’ve always known.” And then he shoots his dad in the leg. Greatest moment in TV history, EVER.
We both live in a town/locale we are intimately familiar with but have desperately tried to run away from, namely because we are utterly and completely despised by everyone around us. Though fortunately in my case, I don’t have to deal with locals constantly drawing down on me just for daring to pollute the air they breathe with my existence. At least not yet.
We both have an outer shell of civility and even pleasantness that belies a tumultuous, perhaps even unhinged rage beneath. There are moments in this show where that shell cracks and Raylan just loses himself in a fit of violent wrath (and yet still justified, as each violent moment is usually triggered by some stupid idiot dipwad who seriously does not know when to SHUT UP.)
For me, that rage is often expressed online, which is why I have a tendency to get banned from generally every forum, blog, Facebook group and whatnot I participate in.
That’s why I sometimes wish my own life were a TV show people could watch, so that in the same way they feel for Raylan Givens and love him to pieces, (despite him you know, shooting almost everyone he runs into), they could also understand me too, witnessing the things I’ve endured and just kind of nod knowingly through it all, thinking “Yeah, I totally get why this guy wants to kill everyone.”
Instead I’ll just have to find some solace in knowing there is at least a TV character out there with shades of my personality proving, if just occasionally, that even the unlovable can sometimes be lovable.