An interest blossoms like a flower until it reaches full-bloom and dies. -Intellectual Shaman
Like all of my unusual interests and varied obsessions, they became extreme, until they were dangerous and I had to stop. When I was finishing high school and going to community college, I was interested in serial killers, and as a consequence, when I talked to girls, they were interested at first and then they were terrified of who I might be. When I realized I had creeped them out, no amount of convincing that I was “a good guy” could undue how they felt about me. In fact, it made things worse, because that’s how a serial killer would act. My obsession was escalating. I was interested in evil. I already knew a lot about what it meant to be good. People called me a “nice guy” and as a result, I finished last with the ladies. I watched all the movies about depraved minds, read the books that would’ve given me nightmares five years earlier, and analyzed the interviews conducted by the FBI. I even frightened my parents when I told them I wanted to be like Hannibal Lecter and I quoted Ted Bundy. I decided to take a break from serial killers, when I started killing people in my sleep. No, this is not a confession. It was happening in my dreams, where I would off someone with a knife or a shovel, and I wouldn’t feel a thing. I was a pure psychopath. Then, I would go back home and sleep like a baby. Invariably, the police knocked on my door, and I lied so well, I could’ve aced a polygraph test.
Then I got interested in Jean Claude Van Damme who I believed to be the greatest martial artist and actor of all time. I collected all of his DVDs from the 90s and memorized his movie titles. I started practicing round house kicks on a heavy bag, and I wanted to be a kickboxer. At the same time, I got interested in Charles Bukowski, who was a great poet. He drank and smoked and had sex with whomever he liked, and he wrote about it. How I came to love this man, is anybody’s guess. My friends were horrified. I was classically mistaken to be a Mormon because of my conservative dress and proper speech. I didn’t consciously try to be this way. I just spent a lot of time around my parents, and it rubbed off. My friends were horrified because they were conservative evangelicals. I talked to them about sex, and how if I drank, I would drink wine like Bukowski.
“What do you see in that man?” They asked.
“You have to get past his whoring. Wisdom is found in the most unusual places,” I said.
So, while I was doing roundhouse kicks and reading poetry, I developed an obsession with philosophy, and decided I wanted to be the wisest man in the world, which made me sound like an egomaniac, which pleased me, because many serial killers were narcissists, and I liked to pretend I was bad, probably because I was so good, and I couldn’t stand being good.
My interests turned to psychology and Sigmund Freud who proposed a question he could not answer. “What do women want?” I did some research online and the men said women don’t know what they want, they only think they do. So, I got interested in intersexual dynamics, and female psychology. I probably read some sexist sources, which muddled my mind and will make it impossible for me to reproduce. I read quotes from a book about philosophers who failed in love. One said, “You can understand women, or you can love them.” I feel that thinking can ruin a person, and that has already happened to me. What sources can you trust, and is truth, only a perspective on the truth?
Anyway, I am getting away from the heart of this story. While I was learning about women from the internet and books in the library, I was attending a small bible study group. It was like a social experiment where I could study women up close. And yes, I know that sounds creepy, but I had purely scientific interest in mind and the best intentions.
At the same time I was learning about God, I made friends with the librarians, which is no easy task. If you seek their approval by being quiet and saying the right things, they won’t respect you. If you break the rules or act-out in a deliberate way, they’ll call George, who is the enforcer. He’s a tall black man who wears maroon sweaters and a black suit. He looks like a hit man, and he’s well-educated. I never wanted to tangle with George. Coincidentally, his last name is Washington, and he is from a long line of librarians. His mother was a librarian, and his mother’s mother before him. She was the first African American librarian in the county. George has dignity and toughness that makes you want to do right, but there were forces inside me that always wanted to do the extreme. If I got arrested, it would be because of my curiosity.
On one particular morning when the library opened, I walked to the poetry and philosophy aisle. There was a big bin filled with books. The librarian responsible for the bin had pink hair and piecings in her upper lip.
“What are you doing with those books?” I asked.
“These books are misogynistic, homophobic, racist, patriarchal trash. The library finally got permission to remove them. Now, nobody can read these bad ideas.”
I was horrified. I already knew all the good ideas, and I was desperately curious to learn about the bad.
“Do you mind if I comb through your trash, seeing as you’re going to get rid of them?”
“Why? Are you a misogynist?” She asked.
If I answered “No,” I was answering with a negation, which automatically made female psychology suspicious, so I decided to answer a question with a question, “Do I look suspicious?”
“No; you look like a Mormon.”
“Well, I want to help the depraved thinkers. The best way to reach someone, is to empathize with them. I will need to read these books to help evil men with bad ideas.”
I could tell she thought I was weird, but she let me read the books. Most of them would go into my private library for later, but one stood out.
The Misogynist’s Book of Poetry.
I read the disclaimer on the front page. “Read these poems with an open heart, and women will give themselves to you.” A man is tempted by power he has never had. I read the first poem and I knew it was more than just aesthetic art; it was magic. Some magician wrote this book, spelling words that would control female consciousness like a spell. I couldn’t wait to try it out on the women in my bible study group.
I put the other books in the trunk of my car. I had rescued Nietzsche and Bukowski from the flames. On Tuesday, the girls were waiting. I had done an improper thing by joining their group. There were men’s bible studies, and men and women’s bible studies, and women’s bible studies. I was a genius and pretended to be confused when I went to an all-women’s bible study. This way, there was no male competition, and I could feign ignorance, which was my greatest weapon against feminists who wanted to dominate men. I allowed them to think I was ignorant, while simultaneously being charming.
“Does anyone have a verse from the bible they would like to read that spoke to them this week?” Anna asked.
“Not from the bible, but God has been speaking to me through literature. Wisdom comes from the strangest places,” I said.
“You’re not going to read us Bukowski, are you?”
“Oh no…no… this is poetry though.”
“Oh, we like poetry. Are you sure you’re not gay?”
“No, I’m not gay, but I do seem to have more qualities in common with women, than men.” I started reading, and a trance washed over them. They were all hypnotized, and I started asking them to do things, and they did it. I was an animal, an evil animal; and the power in my hands, was the power of God. Man was not meant to have this power. If Satan wrote a bible, it was this one. I never showed it to anyone and I keep it hidden. Every so often, I decide to go to bible study and read the girls a poem. I feel bad afterwards, giving myself over to the flesh, and I have to repent. But none of us are perfect, no, not one; only God. I blame my sinful nature, my curiosity interested in evil. I read the bible and I read poetry, and I hope that one balances out the other.