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“But I don't want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.”

― Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

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The Laws of Insanity

November 9, 2019


    Blood pooled under her still picturesque body. I knew I should leave, but she was so beautiful, and I couldn't bring myself to cry. I felt I owed it to cry. I was compelling myself to feel a drop of remorse as I saw her life draining from her body, and I noticed the blood staining her milky white skin. 
    It's not fair. She was mine, she didn’t need to die.
    When I was a child, I lived by a forest. There was a broken log in the very center of it, and sometimes when my mind got cloudy I would sit there and listen to the black birds. If you were really still they'd watch you through curious black button eyes. If you came back often enough you could learn to mimic them, and if you won their favor, sometimes they'd repeat a tune after you. 
    Sometimes the echo just reminded you of how lonely you were.
    Etched into the tree just an arms reach away was “J hearts P” and on the opposite side was “J hearts M”. I had spent a long time thinking about J, his strategy at keeping love obviously failed him. How desperately we as the human race try to possess people. Much ado to desire and lust than true love, the real stuff that thrives inside you like a ravenous parasite. Love in its own kind of mania, I believe, could be truly beautiful.
    The birds express love, they build nests to prove it. Yet they have no morals.
    Mark Twain believed that humans are the only truly evil creatures because of our ability to choose between right and wrong. A bird can't do anything immoral because it has no moral sense. It is our ability to choose to be evil, then, that makes us the only truly monstrous creatures.
Though love could never be the choice between right and wrong. 
What happened to her was never a choice between right and wrong, not merely an accident either however. 
    Lovely long fingers stretched to the moon as if at any moment a star could fall from the heavens, and she could steal it. She was poetic in her movements, her gestures. In those movements is where I found my love for her. Or the only love I could truly feel; obsession, possession. If only to have her as no one else could, I could feel whole again. She would make me okay again. 
    I have never taken a cat into the woods and torn it apart just to feel the satisfaction of its life fleeting, something that I had control over. I have not slashed into my skin, drawing back layers as if to “feel something”. This wasn't supposed to happen.
    It starts with cats right? Or is it rabbits. That’s where people trace the crazy back to. A neighborhood pet goes missing, the lunatic kid is the one to take it and its head is found severed from its body or its rib cage is ripped open. That's what you want to believe, right? You want a source, a reason for all of this. I am no more than a tally mark on collegiate textbooks explaining how an insane person's mind works. The laws of insanity dictate I know not of my actions or their consequences. 
    My plan, as it were, was that she would love me. I would find a way, her heart would be mine, she would belong to me. I studied her of course. Gained her affection through idle conversation of Shakespeare and literature and poetry. I learned she enjoyed pressed lilacs, two shakes of cinnamon in her coffee, and through some kind of miracle, hates being left alone. Heavily relies on a shoulder to cry on, needs personal attention. Then on and on the list went, I’m a bit embarrassed to say I kept a notebook. Though at this point, what does it matter. 
    I can’t say that she didn’t change me. She did. Taught me the names of constellations through meals and sang in French under her breath whenever she was nervous, I wanted to care. Now even as the moments of her life has passed her by, and she cannot think to be afraid, I still feel the need to care. 
    She became akin to a possession in my eyes. Came over quite frequently and as time passed, my habits became less cautious. I left bedroom doors open, forgot to put away the notebook as she persuaded my train of thought to leak information:
    “How come you never talk about yourself?” She spoke softly, cautiously persuading me through cups of coffee in a stuffy café.
    “I find myself incredibly boring. My mind is no more interesting than that of a pigeon.”
    “Hey, pigeons are actually highly intelligent, and can understand complex concepts such as time and space.” 
    “I'm not sure I believe that,” I countered. She had giggled at that response. She giggled a lot.
 Since we met she interpreted my stagnant gaze as simply being shy, my observant nature as introversion. She wanted to prove to herself that I was what she wanted in her life, that I would help her through her anxious habits and constant overthinking. It was the submission of those manners that led to her tragic downfall.
    In one vivid movement, she slipped slightly from her pedestal. 
    I was drawing her close, grabbing her hips and mimicking what seemed romantic, when her shirt skimmed slowly up her body and I could feel the scars. God those wretched scars, tracing all the way along her ribs marring her perfect physicality. The anger practically writhed through my chest. 
    My hands moved from their attentive position at her sides onto her shoulders, and I squeezed. I squeezed and squeezed and watched as she dropped to her knees in pain. I wanted her to understand why she was wrong, why she wasn’t allowed to do this. The anger clouded my vision until she let out a soft yelp like a wounded dog. Sitting on her knees leaking tears into her palms, she reminded me of my forest, of my little log in the center of freedom.
I had made dad angry, he held a broken lamp in his left hand and with his right, grabbed my hair and slammed the back of my head into the door behind me. I clumsily reached for the doorknob, ripped the door open and sprinted. I had lost composure. I cried into my knees for hours until my head felt dizzy, then awoke the next morning on my log in the forest feeling numb. No longer sad nor angry, I had completely subdued myself. 
    In those instants as she wept I felt the gentle peace that came with my hollowed mind again. The painful thoughts that once echoed through my chest softly replaced with a void much like the space between stars. 
    Her fear filled eyes met my empty ones, and she looked to me as if I had once held all the stars in my hands for her to see but in one cruel second, crushed them. Her weak demeanor had simply sickened me, but then she had begun insistently apologizing. I was taken aback by this, I thought her fear would cause her to leave me at once, yet it only seemed to draw her closer to me.
    After that day, she became a bit more quiet, her mind buzzed with slight caution. I became wary, she started hiding things from me. She became distant and passive, not wanting to see me often. I checked her phone as she was in the bathroom. Looked through text after text for any sign of cheating or lying and found absolutely nothing. At coffee shops, stole every last glance at her laptop. I looked through restaurant windows in the pouring rain at her talking with her friends.
    That is, until this evening, when a dark vehicle completely unknown to me dropped her off. I sat on the sofa, kitchen knife firmly in my left hand behind my back- just in case. 
    The door lock slid out of place, and she entered, laughing with a tall figure behind her. She took a moment to notice me, but when she did, she screamed and a man came into view in front of her. I recognized him, they worked together.
    “Ed. I need you to get out of my house.” She spoke softly, as one would to a child. She looked so beautiful, I almost forgot about the other man, but as he reached up and touched her shoulder my grip on the knife tightened. She was visibly shaken.
     “Darling, who is this?” I tried on my sweetest voice, she was already so scared. 
    “That is not important Edmond. I need you to leave or I will call the police.” She became braver now, stepping slightly in front of her partner. 
    “Honey, are you really going to throw away all of our past for this man?”
    “Ed, I need you to remember that you and I broke up months ago. I still have a restraining order on you and you need to leave right now.”
    Her words reverberated through my head as I withdrew the knife. They repeated as I plunged its silver blade deep into her stomach. As the man ran out the door. As her blood pooled under her. Even now as a ruby red soaked knife rests in my palm, and I no longer remember our past together. A sob rips through me and tears finally find their way down my face.
    Something wet runs down my side. My eyes find a deep gaping wound, just below my ribs. Behind me is the man. The man is holding a gun. I breathe in deeply to recite her poetry, to calm her in her death. 
    “A man can die but once.” Shakespeare, her Shakespeare. My stomach ignites in flames as I laugh to myself. Why is this funny? There's no answer within my mind, I can no longer think. I can no longer breathe, my mind is truly numbed now.
    The laws of insanity dictate I know not of my actions or consequences.


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