Anniversary Post: Émile Henry's Bourgeois Attack - On this day in 1894, the anarchist Émile Henry threw a bomb into the Café Terminus, killing one and injuring 20 more. At his trial, he was asked why he k...
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Excuse me. The flight is pretty packed, and I don't think there will be empty seats. Believe me I hate doing this to people. I almost never fly for this reason. Because eventually I will have to board a crowded airplane and force someone to sit next to me for several hours.
You seem very nice so I'll be honest. It might help. Within fifteen minutes you'll notice that even though I am extremely friendly and polite there is something off about me. You won't be able to put a name to exactly what's wrong. Maybe you'll fixate on my face -- tell yourself that I am somehow sinister-looking. You might make yourself believe it's the sound of my voice, or something strange about the way I smell, or the way I try too hard to please... You might even begin to think I remind you of someone in your life, someone unpleasant. But whatever the cause, you will become absolutely terrified of me within one hour. And underneath the explanations you tell yourself, you won't really know why.
I just do this to people. I am the kindest guy you've ever met but for some reason I will make you feel worse than any nightmare you've experienced. Meeting me is nice and bland at first, and then it gradually puts you on edge, and that sensation will increase and increase until it's almost exactly like you're being buried alive. Scratching at the inside of the coffin as you feel the thump, thump, thump of shovelfuls of dirt hitting the lid and covering you forever. My therapist said something like that to me during our first session. There wasn't a second.
Call it ESP or dark magic or something else about the human mind we don't understand. But I have it. And I can't turn it off. In fact, right now I am concentrating as hard as I can to hold it back, because if I didn't... Well, let me put it this way: If I waited until we reached cruising altitude and then relaxed even for a second everybody on this plane would be screaming and desperately trying to storm the cockpit and pop open the emergency doors. The aircraft would depressurize and dive into the ground. And that final gut-wrenching descent would be the second most terrifying thing you'd feel.
My parents left me a lot of money when they died so I've never needed to work. But I've been alone my whole life. Alone with this horrifying power inside me that I'm always fighting to control even though no one will ever treat me with the slightest kindness. I often wonder why I bother. I live like a freak right now. Hated. Abused. But if I used this thing I could force people to do whatever I wanted. Couldn't I? It just wouldn't be right though. It's tempting, but it wouldn't be right.
Even now I can tell you're starting to change. It's really, really bad, isn't it? You'd give me anything to make it stop, and all I can do is make it worse. Life's funny.
You want those pretzels?