Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Fatal Flaws

Some memories are better left lying dormant. Although we wish to believe we’re in complete control of our mind, make no mistake, we are not. Occasionally unsavory things bubble to the surface and demand to be dealt with. One such memory from many summers past now begs to be recorded, and so it shall be.

It escapes me as to who was responsible for the invention of the game, perhaps it alludes me for good reason. In all likelihood the creation was mine, but my best friend was only too quick to oblige me in playing. A foregone conclusion now, it was foolish to have taken such pride in being naturally adept at that game, but as a youngster analyzing details was unimportant. The world isn’t just about fun and games and the simply fact we called it a game didn’t alter our actual intent.

“Flaws” as we so aptly named it didn’t have many rules. There was a single objective; come up with as many physical defects in a person’s appearance as possible and record them on a notepad. The player listing the greatest number of flaws was the winner. It was a simple but devious game and somehow the intriguing subtleties consumed me. It would not be overstated to say the game became an addiction, just as ugly and demanding of a compulsion as any other.

The public arena seemed to provide the greatest number and variety of unsuspecting victims. For this simple reason we frequented the local malls and county fairs, as they seemed to be a rife with distorted individuals.

The very first time we played was at the fair. Once inside the front gate I immediately sensed the experience would be different from years past as these paltry amusement rides could no longer hold me captive. The temptation to play increased as the number of people comprising the crowd did also. My mind donned its shining mental armor, shifted into predator mode, and prepared for the ensuing battle. With a quick glance, like two addicts looking for an out of the way corner to get their fix, we weaved our way through the crowd and found a comfortable bench. This, my friend, was a target rich environment and that was all that was required for our secret game.

After finishing several rounds our eyes danced with a mischievous glimmer and our faces were painted with smiles of satisfaction. Somehow this small dose of cruelty was enough to quench our desire—but only for now, both of us realized it wouldn’t be long before the urge came calling again.

I suppose for several reasons, brevity being the least important and my sanity being foremost, we’ll roll forward to present day. Where my mind sits imprisoned and sorts out the details of the game.

At some point the private realization dawned on me; this had become more of a lifestyle rather than merely a simple game, but this revelation didn’t begin to slow my deep-seeded love for the game. Deriving indescribable pleasure from innocent people’s pain seemed to come natural to me. In my mind I had become an intellectual Jeffrey Dauhmer, able in short order to strip any human being of their dignity. Only a pile of chalky white bones remained in the wake of my wrath. The fact the victims were unaware of the invisible grief they had been stricken with began to haunt me. Perhaps it would be beneficial for them to realize their obvious flaws?

Over the next several months we continued to play, with only slight variations. Although we could no longer allow our victims to roam free because instead of writing down the flaws we physically began to ‘correct’ them. My preference was for the scalpel, it’s ever so sharp blade always cognizant of only removing the offending area. Suffice it to say we had crossed a ‘not so thin line’. It was a gradual transition, mind you; prompted by the voices that continually began to accost me.

Perhaps a fresh perspective on things would be appropriate now, allowing my best friend to tell some of this story from his point of view. Sadly that is no longer possible; his vicious and sharp tongue was unfortunately one of his glaring flaws. Regretfully this ‘correction’ required my steady hand also. Years have washed away the clarity of those images, too graphic and numerous to count, but the ‘correction’ of my friend’s flaw remains my single regret. Perhaps it was haste on my part, but he was weak and would certainly be unable to keep our secret. His sarcastic tones will be missed, but the risk was too great. Now I have the best of both worlds, carrying his sharp and forked tongue with me at all times.

Those of you reading today might incorrectly assume that I perceive myself as flawless. Outward flaws only mar your appearance to the world and are easily remedied, yet the ones that plague me in multitude, are hidden from view. The doctors here believe they have convinced me to refrain from cutting myself any longer, in a futile attempt to release the spirits. Not by their requests has the cutting stopped, but only in my own admission that these demons have found a dingy domain, breeding undisturbed in the dark corners of my soul, and have no reason to seek refuge elsewhere.

These perceived horrific actions have not come to me by conscious choice; rather due to my affliction of special insight and a great responsibility. Only the padded wall between myself and the guards restricts me from acting upon this obligation even now. I refuse to release the belief that all humans seek perfection. Why would our society waste millions of dollars on diets, plastic surgery, and the like if it were not so. The professional licenses they hold to do similar work, albeit inferior to my art, seem inconsequential to me.

Perhaps long after my scheduled execution, instead of being considered mad, society will hail me as a visionary. Only giving those poor flawed humans what they so desperately desired—perfection.


Bubba said...

Excuse me, what was that? Dan, I've got Edgar Allan Poe on the other line... he'd like to speak to you.

What? You've already picked his brain? Okay... never mind.

Well, this one definitely piques the 'creep' curiosity, doesn't it? No wonder I like it...

Dan said...

Certainly not up to Poe status, but I enjoyed writing it.

Anonymous said...

Oh, oh, oh I loved this! Right now I'm reading Uglies by Scott Westerfeld and this was a wonderful complement to that book.

Dan said...

Thanks bibliomom. "Uglies", huh? That sounds interesting.