I don’t really want to confess this, but I started it. I tried to go to the police and confess. They said that I hadn’t technically broken any laws. Even my ex-boyfriend, a cop, would not arrest me. He says I’m probably too crazy to go to jail anyway. I’m considering barging in on a human rights tribunal, and demanding that I be thrown into Guantanamo Bay.
It all started like this: I was in a bad mood. I was full of hatred. It poured like angry molten rock from a volcano. I was impatient at the elderly lady packing my groceries. I hated her for taking so long. I snapped at her, “hurry up I don’t have all day”. She hated me back with a glare.
My hatred followed me to my car. A young man backed into us. His tires slipped in the icy parking lot. More hatred oozed as I collected his parents’ insurance. My hatred followed him home, where he hated his parents. He planned their demise that night, because they had punished him for being careless. He chopped them up into little pieces fed some of them to his dog. Their remains he scattered in the river—to be devoured by the ancient sturgeon.
My hatred fueled his hatred, and when the cops found him they hated him with handcuffs and threw him into the back of a car. People across the nation read the story and hated youth; they looked on their children with suspicion. They blamed video games and hated the media. The media and video games gave hate right back. They produced more violent games with less consciousness while blood splatter was strewn across the evening news like white on snow.
My mother would watch the news and shake her head. She no longer believed in God, she no longer believed in the good of humanity. “I’ve spent my whole life trying to be nice”, she’d tell me, “and now I have nothing. I’ll end my life with a gun to my head.” When she did, no one cared. “It’s the way things go,” they said. They, the empty, abysmal bastards. People were desensitized. They no longer cared about the people on the television with swollen eyes and desperate faces. “The worlds going to hell-in-a-hand basket,” they said. They shut off the news and went to movies, or shopping. They drowned mewling empathy in a lake of consumerism. “Every man for himself,” they say.
I watched as every day the hatred is magnified. It flowed first like lava: hot and fiery red. Then it cooled into a hard black breccias only able to be permeated by more lava, more ferromagnesian hatred.
Still it builds, it grows, it sculpts, and it leaves nothing in its wake but a dark and twisted landscape. If I could take it all back I would, but time goes forward and never in reverse. All this because I couldn’t be a little more patient, and I didn’t know when to shut up. Now that you know, I’ll let you decide my punishment, but please, whatever you do, please don’t hate me.
Danielle Paradis is a writer who lives in Edmonton, Canada. She has a day job. She also enjoys Post-It Notes.