I find myself lying awake, my sleep too troubled by haunting images of past injustice to be able to slumber peacefully. I am wired and agitated, playing Blues and Rock music, listening to angry guitar riffs and wailing harmonicas. I hate living. I hate myself. But, damn, I love the music – a soundtrack to my misery, which I rarely ever play.
When the beat kicks in and the scrape of gravel-dry vocals starts to chafe against the warning, urgent drums, my soul rises like a dragon to exhale fire. Soon, I will be choking on my own acrid smoke.
I am toxic.
I have been circled and attacked like prey for most of my adult life. The irony is that there is no monster on this Earth more fearsome to myself than my own suppressed being. I know the actions of which I am truly capable. We are all capable of the same diabolical deeds. The beast within wouldn’t hesitate to cast aside duty and whip a blade across my throat. It wouldn’t hesitate to sink a galleon of pills – a cargo promising sleep and freedom. It wouldn’t hesitate to claw off my own skin and carve my heart from my chest until my torso looks like a badly carved totem pole. The monster within doesn’t care about others; it lives only to protect me.
So why do I find myself suffering repeatedly like wounded prey?
I have always contained my predatory instincts and never consciously allowed myself to unleash the evil within. It is there; I have felt its presence become increasingly powerful in recent weeks; carefully forged chains and restraints are slowly breaking and the beast now stirs in anticipation.
Therapy is not helping; it’s too soon, and the limited progress achieved thus far has served to unlock thoughts that were perhaps better left alone. I have been forced to think deeply about things I wish to forget and I know that my life is a lie. There is nothing real within my existence – I have ignored too many negative things in a bid to make myself feel better – particularly about The Forgiven One’s behaviour and cruelty. I do not feel better. I feel angry.
I am angry.
Yet I remain wounded like easy prey. Is it so wrong to set free a predator with the raw strength and hunger to seek justice – not revenge – but the very thing upon which civilised society recognises as integral to democracy and freedom? Is it so wrong to release a dragon to deliver overdue justice and raze the past into acres of ash?
Predator vs. Prey; is that Evil vs. Goodness or Justice vs. Injustice? I do not know, and I cannot promise that I will never find out.