01 Feb Unsettling Creatures
Not so long ago a new student came to join my collective group of friends. We are a quiet and quaint group and this newcomer was controversial in terms of whether or not we wanted him to join our clique. His name was Lyle and in our reviewing of him, we found he had history in breaking the law in regards to sexual harassment and the barriers of consent. Still, however, he was graciously accepted into our group under the notion that people change, and that everyone deserves at least one second chance. I’d love to say I was able to trust Lyle right away but with this news and his own humble acknowledgment of it, not to mention a continued pattern of loose, perverse behavior I had witnessed of him myself, I found myself consistently wary of what I feared may be a monster.
But as it turned out, Lyle isn’t a monster. Lyle just comes from monsters. Like me.
Today Lyle told me of another kid at our school. As we looked at him from across the benches in the outer quad, a medium-height fairly athletic guy in a deep red cut-off shirt and freshly slick haircut, Lyle told me that he knew the kid from court-mandated therapy. Lyle told me that this kid, this pathetic excuse for a human being, had openly admitted to having molested his baby sister. Apparently therapy for minors has been reduced to sitting in a circle and having the offenders show and tell their crimes, bragging about the youth or size of their victims while they remain slaves to their own perverse infatuation.
This same kid came over near my group a little later and gave Lyle a firm jock handshake while smirking to the rest of us. Unsettling. That’s the only word to use in regards to men like that. Whether or not any human being can truly be qualified as good or evil will forever be up for philosophical debate, but the principle of one thing will always remain the same: Bad men–truly evil, depraved, wicked men–are unsettling creatures.
I thought to myself for some time what someone like me should do with information like this. Was this an indication that it was time for me to deliver justice? To decide or not if he is worthy of punishment…Is that even a human right? Still, I know the unsettling creatures of this world must be rid of. By taking such a matter into my hands, I would very much rise above the human level. I would be the absolute decider of his freedom or his slavery, of his death or his torture. And maybe that’s why I’m here at all.
Maybe other people don’t get unsettled like I do. Maybe I can tell for a reason.
But as I hold his bloody clothes in my lap, his limbs half-sawed and strewn along his own white carpet and beige bed sheets, I think that maybe this kid wasn’t a monster either. Maybe he just came from monsters. Like me?
No. Not like me.