Sunday, January 02, 2005

North by Northwest

Our Moral Compass. We all have one, for better or worse. Gives us our directions of Right Action. Mine usually shows up as that little voice in the back of the head that tells you when things aren’t quite right. Is it the voice of guilt? Sometimes, but like those cliché angel and demon that pop up on your shoulders, every little good voice in the back of your head has a little bad counterpart that thinks it would be a good idea to take the last cookie, throw a party while Mom and Dad are away, or institute a plan of ethnic cleansing across southern Europe.

I will admit that I have been under a fair amount of stress lately. Though admittedly the “things that blow up really good and throw fast moving sharp pieces of metal” quotient has diminished, the inverse of that is more of the ones that would send those things our way are waiting for my inquisitional skills. They’re off the streets and I spend much of my time sitting in a small room with people who would just as soon see me bleed, asking if they can tell me where their bad guy friends are. As a result of my stress, I have found my mind wondering to places I freely admit I am not comfortable with it going. Nothing to do with torture and such, I’m just not the guy to do that, and I really don’t entertain thoughts of it. Times though, I just want to kill folks.

Easy now, I’m not sharpening my knives and making victim lists, but as abhorrent as I find killing I just sometimes run into people that in a cold dispassionate way I think would make the world a better place by leaving it. Then, the guilt sets in for thinking that way. I don’t really want to kill people says saintly figure on right shoulder, and let them taste their own blood says horned figure on left shoulder. Yes I belong to an organization that kills people and breaks things, but in my career I have yet to confront the first one of those. I’m hoping I don’t have to, I really hope I don’t have to.

So, dealing with the death dealing, I go looking for solace elsewhere. And what goes with violence? See, my life mate is well chosen. Pretty much perfect for me. And she is my solace: in heart, in soul, and certainly in body. There is nothing that cleanses my demons better than kind words, acceptance, and physical contact. It can be as simple as a hand on mine, or hours of sweat-drenched, breath-taking… well I’m sure you get the idea.

But what do I do when she’s not here? I can’t tell you how happy I am the darling of my life is not in Babylon. Yet I yearn for her touch and her love. Without her here, the yearning doesn’t stop. The need for that acceptance and touch is just as strong, perhaps stronger because there is no release. And there comes the guilt again, the warning signs that keep us all members of society or families. But as with the other issue the thought is there. The little red guy with the horns telling me what to do and how to hide it. The guy with the halo though, sets him straight. But…

What if my moral compass pointed South? What if I could slaughter my way across Babylon and fuck whoever was left? What if for a single day I cast aside every compunction, every ethic, every little shred of moral decency that keeps me on the majority of people-I-like’s good sides? If I actually held down that Babylonian and used my ballpoint pen to do major cerebral adjustment through an eye socket? If the glance young girl-soldier gave me was pursued to the creative use of an empty tank? What happens then, when I become one of the bad guys? Do you come back from that, can you?

I really need to go home. I am tired of being this way, tired of contemplating how much I would be satisfied doing the wrong thing. The Negative surrounds me, and I feel it pulling my compass needle away from north, away from the Right, away from Her. Without her, I am another one of the masses that make the world worse instead of better.

I don’t know what takes one charismatic leader and allows him to become Jesus, and makes another Adolf Hitler. What makes a brilliant leader Gandhi, or another Napoleon? The things around us? Jesus got Mary Magdelene, Adolf got mustard gas. God gave me Her. I have Her. Except right now I don’t. I have mortars and rockets. I have…

…to hold on. Just a little while longer, I hope. Before everything goes South.

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