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Animalism: A Watcher’s Tale


It’s true.

You caught me looking.

I peeked in, just for a moment.

I wanted to see what the hype was all about.

To see what exactly drives us humans to this hot, wild, feral animalistic instinct.

So I watched, for a long time.

Turns out, it’s nothing in the environment.

It’s nothing tangible, nothing see-able or touchable.

You can’t breathe it, or hear it, or sense it.

I watched, my nose pressed up against that cloying filth, my eyes wide open and tearing up, my hands cupped around them.

I watched, and felt, as you turned into animals.

woman watched on public transport

Image Source: CNN.com

Continued to observe as you pressed up against helpless girls, their eyes rolling up in their sockets in sheer terror. Looked on as you grabbed at young children with your clawed hands and tore right into their minds and bodies for your perverse pleasures and benefits. I watched as you smiled and slithered your way into others’ hearts and then ripped them out of their chests when they weren’t looking. I saw you play out every single farce and every single mind game until I was spent and breathless and broken.

But I was amazed to see… You weren’t. You were invincible, for just a moment there; powerful and mighty and so, so, so beautiful… And then I had to shake myself because I could feel myself getting sucked into that terrible beauty. I had to step back, my nose and my eyes and hands all tainted by your refuse. Once I stepped back and shook myself, I saw.

I watched as you turned back; your chest puffed out and your eyes wickedly glinting but there was something missing.

Something was definitely amiss. Maybe it was the fact that your pupils weren’t quite all that dilated anymore. Perhaps the slight tremble of your hands clued me in, so slight that only I who had been watching with eyes transfixed could see it. Maybe it was the fact that as I continued watching from afar, watching you go home, getting ready for bed, pulling back the covers, I saw something else.

daily sexual harassment

Image source: The Daily Star

I didn’t see your redemption or your remorse. Neither did I witness a possibility of salvation.

I just saw that, like an animal, you also hibernate. I saw you retreat into your shell and curl up into a ball, and shut your eyes tight. I’m pretty sure I saw your fear. I’m positive I saw you shaking from it.

Maybe it was that fear that drove you to your most primal urges. Maybe you were so afraid that life would outrun you and trample you beneath its pounding feet that you lashed out instead. Perhaps you just wanted to be the winner. But what can I really say? How can I really be a judge?

I’m only human. I’m only an animal. I saw the urges after all, and I felt them. I wanted them. So maybe, probably, definitely… That is the scariest thing of all.

So perhaps what I want to say is… You are not alone in your perversity.

I see flashes of it in my reflection. Catch glimpses of it in the eyes of even my most loved and revered ones. I watch as jealousy clouds their eyes, cruelty twist their thoughts and angry lust trembles just beneath their skin. But only for a moment, because the people I know have bought their decency along with their degrees; ingrained it is in them to practice restraint because apparently, they learned that in the classroom.

“Apparently” is a powerful word: you don’t know if I’m encouraging you to question or assuring you it is all right to remain complacent.

Let me tell you though, I don’t know where you went to school, but education does not guarantee decency and restraint.

sex education cartoon

Source: YouTube/RockingMrE

I’ll tell you what guarantee it definitely does provide, however: it gives birth to a fear of appearing animalistic in front of our similarly well-educated peers. And it is that fear that might make us step back, distinguishing us from a street urchin, a cruel and mindless deviant, who would just keep on going.

However, an urchin, a beggar, does not have the same colorful variety of options. What else can he do, really? What else has he been taught? He might think; to sate myself is the only luxury allowed to me, so why not take what little has been offered and enjoy the ride? You, on the other hand, had better options. But as I soon learned, these urges do not discriminate against the rich in favor of the poor, or the decent in favor of the debauched, or the educated in favor of the illiterate.

The flashes of depravity I catch sight of all around me cannot be ignored. I have witnessed you in the throes of it. I have been witness to the battle against it; sometimes the strongest and most decent of men have been forced to bow down and accept defeat in the face of it.

sexual harassment by known people

Source: TED blog

I have to admit I was leery of you at first. I still am.

My own reflection was curiously immobile compared to your whirling, voracious visage. Pale with privilege, I found I had nothing much to fight for. Once again, I looked on for days. The beast inside of me is still leashed; but I sense that if I let it, it can do great, terrible, horrendous things.

Like I said, I was leery of it at first. But I now know that fear feeds it, and fearing it will get me exactly where I do not want to go: straight into its clutches.


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