Marvin, who I am pretty sure is not a psycho, asked use F5ers the following question this week:
What are the five signs that you, yes you, might be a serial-killing psychopath?
Now, here’s the thing. I am pretty sure I’m not a serial-killing psychopath. If I were one, I think I would have cracked by now, and gone and done the thing. But imagine I were one. What would I look back on afterwards, and kick myself, mumbling, “I shoulda known…”?
I mean, okay, they are funny, aren’t they? Even if it’s bloodthirsty and violent and crazy? Wait, no, I think everyone who has a job would enjoy the game about whacking your boss. And the Ants thing is funny because it’s not true. But, still… they’re damned fun games. Maybe that does mean something. I mean, some people would rather be knitting.
Then there’s my fascination with certain historical psychos. Not in a fannish sort of way, really; it’s more of an intellectual fascination. I have read pages and pages upon pages of text about people like Hong Xiuquan, who led the unquestionably psycho Taiping Rebellion in China in the middle of the 19th century. (Psycho? Let’s put it this way: he believed he was the younger sibling of Jesus. Yes, the younger Chinese brother of Jesus.) And I’m writing about this Rebellion. I have written dozens of poems and I’m trying to put together an epic about these nutballs. I like to think that it’s my fascination with the intermixture of Chinese and Western-Christian culture I saw in those books that fascinated me with Asia, and it may be that was a major reason I ended up in Korea, where I live now. But what if my ambitions were… grander?
My ability to focus. I can spend hours at a time just writing, reading something, working at something. This, to me, seems perhaps not a sign that I’m psycho, but a helpful survival skill I’ll rely on should I ever turn psycho.
Also, I love scary movies. I love monsters, I love dark writing like China Miéville’s, and films where we see badness, evil; evil as monstrous, or evil as banal. I find movies like Heavenly Creatures absolutely enthralling. H.P. Lovecraft launching all the imaginable horrors within me at my conscious mind gave me a thrill as a kid, but here’s the strange upshot, and perhaps the reason I got out of horror fiction altogether… I may like horror fiction, horror movies, scary stuff… but none of it scares me anymore, not at all. I haven’t had a real nightmare in years, in a decade at least.
Finally, as a cook, I like to experiment with ingredients. You never know which way that could go.
Nah, wait, I’m not psycho… because hey, man, even I find this a little disturbing. But if you would like to peruse the psychoses of other Friday Fivers, have a look in the sidebar. Which, by the way, I’m going to go fix now… if I can remember how I fixed it last time. Hmm.