When I was a kid, I had a vivid imagination and was convinced that there was a monster in my closet. Reason being was that there was an a/c suction vent in that closet and it would cause the door to slam shut. I had thought about it many nights, that it was some evil, dark, scary thing, that was going to eat my heart. Like I said vivid imagination.
I would have never guessed, that the thing I dreamed into life would look like the tooth-fairy compared to what I keep locked up in my chest and in my mind. There are days when I accept the fact that I am an animal. I accept that there are days when I just have to let the beast run its course for fear that I may fail to stop it the next time. I let him lift weights until his arms bleed battery acid, let him punish a punching bag until his knuckles bleed my blood. I let him swim until he can find some peace with what he is and then I find myself in control again.
Strange how, a couple months of intense life and death removes years of societal rules and social norms. Once the beast is out of the bag, it is near impossible to put him back again. Sometimes I feel like Heracles wrestling with Cerberus (two headed hell hound), constantly trying to subdue him before he escapes from hades and kills everything. In combat, being Cerberus was the second greatest asset I possessed other than the love for my guys. It made me swift and efficient most of all it made me lethal. Such that many of my early team leaders held me back or established rules to keep me calm when I was a young soldier. It was incredibly useful and probably is the reason I and some of my friends are still alive.
Fast forward to today, I am a threat, a ticking time bomb with a victim operated trigger. One glance, one incorrect body movement, one misplaced hand and I will send you to the floor and worse yet perhaps to the morgue. It is not something I have control of. I go to a bar and have a few beers but all the while I solve simple addition problems or study the people I am talking to, so as to dampen the beast’s response to somebody mistakingly pressing one of my triggers. It scares me, because I recognize just how out of my control it really is. I don’t want to be that veteran that kills a guy in a bar over nothing and spends his life in jail for an instinctive response.
Have you seen the new Rambo flick? Where Rambo is monologuing about accepting what you are, its in your blood, you’re a killer. What a bunch of crap. Look, it sounds hard core and you think yeah, Rambo’s old ass is gonna go mess up those guys with lots of pyrotechnics. Real life, that doesn’t fit, that doesn’t mesh. If I just accepted what I was when I go to that place, I would be in jail and probably be alone. Society and all its rules can be a bit abrasive sometimes but it has come about through the progression of humans living closer and closer together. So if I don’t fit, I am wrong. I can’t kick out people’s knees and crush throats. I can’t use the kung-fu junk I learned as a kid on the waiter when he gets my order wrong. I can’t power-bomb every dude that looks at my girl friend. I can’t remove those, that disagree with me or hold unintelligent ill-advised opinions publicly. And yet there I am holding my Cerberus back. Trying to keep my hell-hound from surfacing and really effing up somebody’s day. I wish I could find the key to the closet so I could lock this beast away for a little while. At some point, I get disgusted with myself. The lack of mental control. I can control my physical reactions but my mind continues to press at it. Punch him in the face… do it… see the red blood, feel the warmth. Punish this idiot. DO IT! Why do I think this way, why can I not limit this to only when it is necessary to defend my family or friends. Through all of my frustration with myself, Cerberus lives there just beneath the surface waiting for a chance to rear its ugly head and bring hell with it. My monster in the closet now lives in fear of the beast that sits in the room. I leave the light on for him now, lol.
Do you keep a monster beneath the surface? How do you control it? What would happen if you didn’t?