Notes from the Dark Places
Posted on October 2, 2010
I picked up a copy of Scientific American Mind the other day during my outing with Monica. The Making of a Psychopath – the cover story – was what pulled me in. Psychopaths have always fascinated me ever since the line was uttered: We all go a little mad sometimes. Some of us, however, like to vacation in our madness, leaving behind normality and sanity behind. That doesn’t make us psychopaths, however. No, psychopaths aren’t regular people. I’m talking about those of us who tend to visit our darkness for inspiration, or as a yearly ritual so we don’t forget where we come from. I’m certain I am not alone in this.
I admit to you that my dark place isn’t as grandiose as other people’s. My dark place is a little more subtle. It’s filled with those I’ve lost along the way and those who’ve wronged me, as well as, those who I’ve wronged (the latter two are still very much alive, as far as I know). I call the last two groups my ghosts. Mostly because they tend to haunt my mind from time to time, making appearances in my world frequently.
But the other day, I summoned the ghosts myself. A thing I rarely do willingly. I was chatting online with a friend from Tumblr – go figure that I’m more comfortable being an anonymous than to actually talk about my past with a person I know. I decided I wanted to do some storytelling because I was bored and our conversation was threatening suicide.
I started to flip through the photographs* from my past, recounting several images that flashed through me in a second. The girl in chemistry, 10th grade, who flashed me her right breast as the class watched a film – she called it my Christmas present. The kid who’s younger brother died of an overdose a year or so after our graduation. Or the kid who wanted to kick my ass in Junior High only to have my back in High School, but happened to die our senior year. The last one still gets me even to this day.
There are not violent thoughts – well, there are some violent thoughts, but nothing that would promote me from regular crazy to downright Bates crazy. Rather than thoughts of rage or acts of violence, my dark place feeds my urge to write what I know. And what I know isn’t anything of violence or rage – though rage and I have been bosom buddies since I was a kid.
While I’m not the best person in the world, I do attempt to salvage my faith in humanity by doing random acts of kindness for others. People think I’m wasting my money when I hand over more than a dollar to a homeless man on the street. And while I do know he’s only going to spend it on booze – well, most likely anyway – at least I offered him some compassion compared to the man dollar-lined pockets who just passes him by. I’m not looking to change the world – as the t-shirt would say, “Be the change you want to see in the world**” – so I’m attempting to make the change with me.
Crap. This wasn’t supposed to be about change. This was supposed to be about my dark place. My dark place isn’t a happy one. Oh well. Too late to change the title. I’m far too lazy to revise this. I’ll just publish it and get back to the dark place at a later date. Note to self: Be in the dark place when you write about the dark place.
**this was a joke, I clearly know it’s Ghandi who said that.
- Is Dexter a Successful Psychopath? (psychologytoday.com)
- Profiling Student Cheaters: Are They Psychopaths? (healthland.time.com)
- Economic status, genetics together influence psychopathic traits (sciencedaily.com)
- The Situation of Psychopaths (thesituationist.wordpress.com)