A few weeks ago I witnessed a horrific accident. A person was driving in an unwise manner and ended up taking a concrete wall head on at 110 km/hr. I suspect he did not survive as the front of his auto looked worse than a folk accordion and his steering column appeared to be displaced in the person’s chest. I was driving behind this person when it happened. My heart raced a little bit as I swerved through the minefield of debris, but once I was clear of the debris field, my heart quickly slowed back to normal and I smiled.
I’ve always had a sordid fascination with death. I’m terrified of my own, but seeing other living things die makes me happy. This just isn’t limited to death, but also to suffering. This always confused me growing up and into young adulthood. If I myself am not violent (in action), then why do I get such a kick out of violence being inflicted on others? If I won’t let myself inflict pain and suffering than why do I have an admiration for others that inflict pain? I realize that I will die one day and it could come at any moment. As afraid of death as I am, I accept that I will die. So this smile was not invoked due to the contrast between life and death. It was something more. I eventually came to realize that I am inclined to be a sadist (not in a sexual sense), but that I will not allow myself to ever act on that. Why? The price of admission is simply too high.
I do not claim to speak for every psychopath or even a majority of them. I can only convey the experiences and perceptions that I have. So I do not know how common sadism (even if unrealized) is within the psychopath population. I do know that many sadists are not psychopaths. There is simply something godlike about knowing that I could inflict such pain and suffering. It is the ultimate in control. But, it is not feasible and not something I will ever, consciously, allow myself to do. I remember hearing from acquaintances back in my early 20s about a time that some friends and I were coming back to the loft from a bar. We were crossing a street and one of them said some inane comment to me. I think they called me ‘Fluffy Fluffenstein’ or something. I had a little too much too drink, and I was in a brownout when this happened, but apparently I threatened to kill them and had to be restrained. This was not a random stranger that I was going to assault; this was one of my best friends at the time. There have been times since that people have pissed me off to the point where I was going to assault them, but not being a complete drunk I can show restraint and quickly walk away. Being transgender and in prison is not a combination that I want to explore.
None of this particularly bothers me. Maybe there does exist some universal spectrum of good on one end and evil on the other. It does not concern me in the least where I fall on that spectrum. As I’ve mentioned before, I have no god to report to when I die. My obligation to society exists only insofar as my desire to stay out of jail exists. Without those pressures, all that is left is my own perception and my own life, and I make no value-judgement of my own morality. I am amoral and very little of what I do is personal in nature. If you anger me however, yes my inclination is to pursue vengeance, but I realize that such, simply, is not practical. Do I still do wrong? Yes. However, I am constantly evaluating the risk and reward of anything I do.
So what does this have to do with the person I saw who had a steering column replace their chest cavity? I think events like these let me live vicariously through the actions of others. That person had no one to blame for their presumed death but themselves. But, honestly, it is hard not to admire the carnage that another force wrought. To me it was like looking at a fine work of art or hearing a pleasantly haunting requiem. Mere appreciation, that is all. One can can have an appreciation for the dark side of life without being a catalyst in making it a reality.