I have always wanted to die. I know that sounds pretty gloomy…but its a truth I cannot deny. Since I was young, I have felt that life is -simply- overrated. Growing older, I have held a deep fascination with the darkness of the human spirit ; the macabre. When I worked as an RN, I took a position in an insane asylum so I could work with sociopaths and such. The darkness & horror of humanity. I saw a man brought into the psychiatric ward of a local hospital. I worked as a Charge Nurse on a lock down unit for the violent, mentally ill. The police brought him in 5150- which was a 72 hour hold against his will -and he was manacled into leather restraints…for good reason. He was frothing his insanity & was clearly in a psychotic break with reality. The man thought that the spirits of Cherokee Indian chiefs were inside his head, hissing at him to ‘skin’ people on the streets. A few days of anti-psychotic medications returned him to a somewhat normal state & I had several chances to speak with him at length.
He was quite disheveled & had very poor eye contact. He was a good looking man, but his odd manner was off-putting…you wouldn’t turn your back on this guy, as his violence simmered really close to the surface. His eyes lacked compassion. They seemed older than the rest of him as if they were pregnant with ill-done deeds. Yet, his features were distinct. He stood out. In the ‘normal’ world, I could see this guy being with any woman he wanted. He had that appearance. Tall, dark & brooding. However, when you looked at him & caught his eye, you found yourself wishing you hadn’t. He seemed like a hollow man; a vacuum. One of the female doctors told me that, ” he was-both-repellent & magnetic.” He seemed like a strange new form of heroin, she needed to be around, yet -innately-she also knew, he was the personification of cruelty.
He spoke to me in a flat, monotone voice for over an hour. He was forthcoming about his younger years & family history but showed very little insight. He seemed impulsive; violent. He told me of a nightmare he often had. It repeated frequently over the years & was usually followed by heavy drug use which eventually precipitated his psychosis. This psychotic break would always bring him into the facility. He told me that he had the same nightmare -sometimes -twice a week. He grew accustomed to it after a time, but the very horror of it occurring in his young mind, actually convinced him of how odd he truly was. He shuffled his feet and his fingers drummed nervously on his thigh as he told me of it.
“I worked in an abattoir…a slaughterhouse.” he said softly. Pungent, sweaty, wet; his clothing sticking to his body…he said that “I would see the other workers cutting & carving the animals like they were on autopilot.” He told me that their eyes were dull & lifeless…like wet jewels; glimmering & vacant. He was 16 years old or so. The animals never made a sound as he went about his work. He pushed a cows head over a trough & it began to eat the grain that was in there. He then pulled a sharp steel blade across the cows neck. He spoke very quietly as he peered up at me from under a tangle of hair. His face had a light sheen of sweat & I felt uncomfortable with where he might take the conversation.
He told me that when he cut the cows neck, he felt his pants get warm & for a moment, he thought he had been splashed with gore. Embarrassingly then, he noticed his ‘private parts’ bulging & throbbing ; it seemed he had ejaculated in his pants! This was his nightmare…his pathos. His red flag. The first of many…I would think. Eventually, the staff found out that he had these thoughts regularly & they were not limited to his sleep. It seemed that sex & blood were somehow combined for him. He thought of one & -immediately-the slippery slope sent him directly to the other. Prognosis = Grim. After several days of evaluation & looking into his mental history, I knew that his particular mental problems were firmly-entrenched & would be with him for life. He had -obvious-sexual issues & dangerous fetishes (called paraphilias).
I ended the interviews & wrote my report which I forwarded to the Psychiatrist on the unit. I recommended further evaluation & also stated that I thought it best, he be secured away in a mental facility.He needed monitored very closely, due to the dangerous nature & direction of his thoughts. In the interest of public safety, I didn’t want this man running around creating a ‘dogs dinner’ or a ‘bone house’ out of someone. Fascination. Bloodshed. Impulsiveness. The black, grimy underbelly of life. I don’t know why I tell you these things. I’m not sure anyone wants to read or listen. So, I carry these horrific images & thoughts around in my head …in wonder. I figured that I could share them with you. So, you see? You never have to worry. Don’t be scared of the dark. I will go before you. I am -forever- fascinated with Jeffrey Dahmers’ bounty. I am always ready to discover what makes the Gacys’ & Bundys’ of the world act the way they do. You can count on this one salient fact. I will always be running ahead of you….into the dark! One more thing. Just remember – ” When you look into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you.” -Friedrich Nietzche . Thanks to Brian Walnum for the image. Skate Strong – Ozzie