Could I Be a Murderer?
I’ve been fascinated with good vs. evil as long as I can remember, so I’ve watched a couple hundred serial killer documentaries. The sane people, the cops and especially the victim’s families, always want to know ‘why?’ Why do they all want to know why? Because if we could just figure it out, we could stop them? That’s the illusion of control we cherish, isn’t it?
I remember one interrogation, in which the detective asked a suspect’s friend, “Is you’re friend capable of murder?” Now friends, spouses, and certainly mothers almost always say, “Absolutely not, he wouldn’t hurt a fly.” This friend answered, “We all are.” We all are capable of murder? I’m sure we would like to deny that, but what do you think?
Yesterday I went to the deli to get some take out. This is a retirement village of 800 souls and the pandemic lockdown is at it’s height. It would wipe out half the population here, serious stuff. Nerves are frayed, the inevitable handful of Aholes are being particularly Aholish.
An old lady was fussing at the counter. Technically, I am also an old lady, just atypically strong and able-bodied. Fussbudget had a mask over her mouth, but not over her nose, so the mask was useless, but maybe it made her feel more secure. She was ragging the poor teenager taking orders.
“I got soup here two nights ago and it didn’t have any onions.”
“Oh, sorry to hear that.”
“I had to go back to my apartment and put onions in it.”
She was a spoiled, fussy, condescending old B and she was making me mad, picking on the poor kid. She was obviously angling for free soup, and not because she was poor and hungry, but because she was rich and arrogant and the kid was her servant.
She stood and griped for several minutes and I confess I was thinking, “Oh shut the F up and move on. You don’t own the world.” Then she turned on me. “And YOU,” she pointed her bony finger at me, “You are supposed to get six feet away.” I wasn’t always a Christian and an urge arose from my BC days to walk up and smack her onto the boring beige indoor-outdoor carpet. I dared not move, I did not trust myself. “OH…AM I supposed to be six feet away?” I asked sarcastically (I WAS six feet away.)
My internal dialogue was raging: “No, don’t hit her. You think lockdown is boring here, imagine how boring it is in jail.” Apparently my withering tone got through, because she concluded her bitching and left, glancing somewhat furtively over her shoulder at me as she departed. The kid was flustered by the nasty old bag so I was especially encouraging to her; even made her laugh and relax a bit.
But that urge-it was powerful. I can still feel it when I think of her. What if I was carrying a hammer… and she had slammed her walker into my shin? Would I have cracked her skull and landed a couple extra blows to make sure she never hassled a fast food kid again? Maybe, maybe. Maybe I am capable of murder, and that scares the crap out of me.