The Divinity of Murder
I’ve killed. I’ve murdered. If I'm honest, I enjoy it. It’s my art. Call it what you will; bloodlust, psychopathy, not being loved enough by mommy or daddy, inborn evil, or demonic possession. The truth is you don’t have the guts to see it for what it is; you’re exactly like me only less honest. You don’t care as you think you do; underneath that thin veneer of civility is millions of years of evolution driving your every decision. You need the blood, the death, the thrill that let’s one know they’re alive and that there’s more beyond the meaninglessness of one’s hollowed-out shit existence. It’s there in the movies you watch, the games you play, how you can’t look away from the woman who leapt to her death, the way you sit glued to the news taking in the car crash you call civilization. You reek of it but cover yourself in the cheap perfume of half-truths and lies. It’s there when you reach for your cell phone with the coltan screen, when you sit staring into the nothingness of your bottomless bowl for hours, when you post about pollution from machines linked to coal-fired power plants, when you buy the made-in-China dress because it’s 20 bucks cheaper than buying from a country or company that pays a living wage. Your pleasure, your very existence, comes at the expense of another, you’re just too much of a coward to admit it.
You wear your self-righteousness on your sleeve. You’re not part of the problem; you recycle, you drive a hybrid, you donated to that thing you saw on Facebook! You’re a pescatarian for Christ sake! How could you be part of the problem!? You’re a liar and a coward. Fuck you. Look into the mirror with a fucking modicum of honesty and tell me what you see? You don’t care; you’re a selfish piece of shit just like everyone else. If you truly cared about the things you say you do, you’d put a gun in your mouth, better yet put it in someone else’s then your own. A walking bag of meat trying to convince itself of its benevolence while it consumes and destroys everything in sight. Fuck you. Get off your high-horse. You laugh at the ancients atop their ziggurats; you’re appalled by their rivers of blood, only you’re secretly not. You know, deep down they were onto something. They were out of the closet, full bore human-fucking-beings, hearts pumping, sucking the marrow out, communing with the cosmos, living until they died.
There was a time I needed to believe; then I wanted to believe. That’s over now. I chose to kill my fictive self instead of my actual self; I could carry on with the glaring cognitive dissonance no longer.
My earliest memories of killing are probably like yours. Burning ants with a magnifying glass, a squashed spider here, the legs ripped off a cricket there, a centipede and a wasp in a cage, a twitching mouse in a trap. The bb gun my brother got for his tenth birthday led to larger prey. Crows and squirrels mainly. They had it coming, harassing songbirds and stealing food from the bird feeders dotting my mother’s gardens.
You’re probably imagining I come from a terrible home, have some kind of hellish tale about drug addled parents, eating out of dumpsters, being molested around every corner before being sent off to an orphanage where I’d face another string of endless molestations. Such things are entertaining for you, aren’t they? But I’ll have to disappoint. I could be you; maybe I had a better upbringing, more opportunity, staunchly middle class, the oldest daughter of a professor and a high school history teacher. I had a big yard full of walnut, apple and oak trees, a membership to the local tennis and swim club; I played around the neighborhood in the friscillating dusk light on soft summer nights until the street lights came on.
My second year of middle school, I killed my first big mammal — a German shepherd that snapped at my friends and I when we passed on the way to school. Its chain was rusty and constantly threatening to snap, to me, it was a matter of time. I loaded some leftover lasagna with different kinds of pills from my parents’ medicine cabinet and tossed it to the dog on the way to school. All-day I fantasized about its death: the convulsions, the foaming at the mouth, the seizures and death throes. Disappointment struck on the way home when the dog simply wasn’t there.
I’ve always asked why. Not why I kill. Why are we here? What happens when we die? Where are we, really? In high school, I found Jesus, then unfound him. My intellect won out over my faith. In university, I took up philosophy and took a shine to existentialism. Our existence precedes our essence. Simple but profound. We decide. We define who and what we are as individuals, as a society, as a species.
In graduate school, I earned a Ph.D. then got a tenure track job lecturing in a university. Shortly after that, I killed my first human. He came in through the kitchen window, noisily, swaying side to side as he rifled through my cabinets. I could smell booze and filth. I stabbed him between the shoulder blades, withdrew the knife, and stabbed him twice in the neck when he spun around to see what hit him. The fear and disgust I’d expected never materialized, only excitement and wonder at the thick geysers of arterial blood spurting and running in rivulets. I watched the life leave his eyes, and it was beautiful.
I was in commune with the creator, one with the divine. I’m sure you’d like to believe I’m a worshiper of Satan or a nihilistic atheist, but I believe in a Creator filled with love and beauty. I see It in the eyes just before they die, souls sucked out of bodies, hurled into the void. It comes after the terror, after the acceptance; this is my death; this is how it ends. I don’t know why I didn’t call the police; perhaps I already knew the path I was to tread? I wonder if things would have been different had I called? I can’t imagine another life. Thanks to me for making this happen, for making sure there was no turning back.
I know, dear reader, you’d love to label me insane, but the fact is I’m not. I’m a productive member of society, a stand-up member of the community, a professor, a woman you pass on the street and say good morning to, someone who instills feelings of safety and comfort. That’s what you refuse to face, I’m normal, your life is the lie, a wad of illusions held together by glue, tape, and cognitive dissonance.
The first man I killed was named Grant Hillcrest. He had long, slightly greasy, blonde hair, and wore a Slayer T-Shirt, black jeans, and a backpack containing needles, white powder, a half pack of Camel Wide Lights, and an issue of Men’s Health he’d stolen from my neighbor's mailbox. After I buried Grant under a compost pile behind my garage, I read about the Paleo Diet, Ten Ways to Beef up Your Biceps, and How to Project Confidence at Job Interviews. Fucking men. Can’t live with them, can’t kill them all.
Several months later, I became curious about Grant. I’d lay awake at night wondering who he was and how he looked under the compost pile. At first, Google slaked my curiosity. Facebook let me know Grant Hillcrest’s favorite band was Insane Clown Posse, and he did amateur (read shitty) tattoos out of his crummy apartment. There were several posts about tattoo parties(?) he was putting on in the area. I learned what Grant probably looked like at this stage of decomposition and what kinds of things were eating him. There was a moment of sorrow when I thought about his upbringing, the poverty, the circumstances, the wrong choices that probably led him to where he ended up. It seemed he lived an angry, loveless life, the product of a society that doesn’t give a shit about the poor, one of the last groups it’s still alright to ridicule. One can still shit upon(or even murder) the less fortunate and not get called out. Hate is ok if it's directed at a group everyone agrees is truly worthless. It doesn’t excuse what he did, doesn’t make it safer for his victims. I was glad I’d killed him.
If you’re wondering, dear reader, I did exhume his body. I had to see for myself. I dug him up in broad daylight. It seemed the most natural time to be digging holes. He looked much as I’d expected. It wasn’t shocking, something a fan of the Walking Dead might be familiar with. You want a description, don’t you? See, that’s exactly what I’m talking about. You're just like me, only less honest. Sucks to your assmar, Piggy. Fuck you.