So you say you want to be a raving lunatic.
Here's one way to start: phone the contact person for a job that looks intriguing, intimidating, and ... well ... on the basis of its description, either challenging or perhaps just impossible. Tell the contact person that you phoned because the position announcement, while quite detailed regarding the range and scope of the job responsibilities, provided very little specific information in what they were looking for in a candidate. Chat about the position(s) available and your specific experience for a while. Find yourself agreeing to come in for a job interview in two days' time.
Then: freak the fuck out.
Shop for something to wear on this interview, which is in an environment utterly alien to that which you've been hiding in for the past forty years.
Wring your hands a bit.
Collect yet another diagnosis from your psychiatrist. Ask if they will be coming out with a bobble-head for that.
Congratulations! You are an authentic, first edition, ISO-compliant raving lunatic!
Now on to another topic I've been thinking about: Evil.
I've decided that I don't like evil. Evil sucks. I don't get what's up with the evil thing.
What's so wrong about good and kind? I'll have you know that good and kind are not as insipid and monochromatic as they might seem. Good and kind can be intricate, complicated, exciting, inspiring.
This is all Julie's fault. Ever since I was foolish enough to google 'K4rl4 H0m0lk4',* whom that
twisted ho dear girl mentioned in passing, I've been perseverating on evil. "That one can smile and smile and be a ... seri4l r4pist/ki11er."
Of course what's bugging me is not merely that evil doesn't always wear the face of evil. That is, if 'the face of evil' means 'ugly.' It used to be explicitly outlined in dogma, didn't it, that the good Lord painted our faces into a clear advertisement of our moral state? This could be regarded as a great gift: allowing us, if we are observant enough, to steer clear of the wicked. It would be comforting to think that one could learn how to look and, by looking, know.
So, sure, the apparent truth—that evil can reside quite comfortably in a purty vessel—that's a little bit disturbing; that makes my world just a tidge less predictable. But that's not really why I don't like evil.
What I don't like about evil is that I don't really know what it is. We see its fruits in murder, mayhem, reality television programming. But how does it catch hold on the human mind—what makes some people capable of perpetrating what others pale in even briefly contemplating? I once worked in the cubicle across from a woman who cataloged the UN's documentary collection on the effects of war on children. And she once cornered me and coersively narrated one—just one—horrific episode, a synopsis of the testimony of one child on the slaughter of his family, occurring in his home, before his eyes. I forbade her to ever tell me anything like that again.
But if it happened, why shouldn't I know about it? I don't know, when I shrink from knowledge of evil, whether it's because I fear its visitation on my own doorstep, or if it's because I wonder whether what seems to alien to me is rooted within me, unrecognized.
Something else I'd like to figure out: is shrinking from evil a form of cowardice? Does it do harm, not to look with clear eyes on every truth no matter how repellant? Is it a way of withholding compassion, a way of refusing to know oneself by refusing to know another?
And should I take a Xanax before the job interview, you know, just to be on the safe side?
*Don't be an ass. If you don't know who she is, avoid my mistake. She did a bad, bad thing—there: now you know enough.