Pain as Passion

His eyes were sad in a way that made you think he’d done things he wasn’t proud of. His hair was cut just the tiniest bit uneven. I imagine it was done at home, alone in his cramped bathroom with the toothpaste splatter on the mirror and a pair of clippers he bought on sale five years ago. He was the kind of man a woman knew to stay away from but often didn’t. The smile that was nearer a sneer wasn’t quite charming, but it drew them in.

He let his long-gone Alabama drawl slip through sometimes. I think that helped. It made his admirers feel safe like maybe just being born south of the Mason-Dixon made him a gentleman. He spent a few years up north, though; that’s where he got the ice in his veins. He doesn’t talk much about what happened there but, if he lets you stay the night, you’ll hear him wake up whimpering.

Those agonized moans on the darker side of midnight always made me wonder what sins put that sadness in his eyes. The ghosts that waltzed there were old and wizened — they knew just how to torment him. It should have been a warning, but I never thought I’d see fire in the depths of the blue. Never thought he had a spark like that in him.

He was a plain man, handsome enough, but not outstanding in any way. Until I witnessed it for myself, he didn’t strike me as particularly ardent. I wouldn’t have thought he would make a good lover or advocate or any of the things you need intensity for.

A certain set of circumstances bring it roaring to life, though. A woman with tan skin and a short skirt walking home from a concert, a coed with blonde hair and big, doe eyes darting across town to see her boyfriend at another school, a young rebel girl sneaking out of her overbearing parents’ house. He sets his sights on them and the spark is ignited. A passion is lit, one that’s so bright and burns so hot that to look upon it is terrifying.

It seethes beneath his skin and his laughter becomes a sick snarling sound. A mouth more suited to smiling twists into something grotesque. The sorrow in his eyes becomes fury and a shiver slides over your skin. Some prehistoric instinct screams Warning! He looks at you and you know without a doubt that he’s going to do something horrible to you.

When he does you’ll be able to feel his joy alongside your agony. Pain is his passion. He loves it the same way your diabetic grandmother loves hershey kisses, with guilt and disregard for consequences in equal measure. It’ll become a palpable swirl of happiness in the air, rising up like a baby’s laughter. He craves the smell of your fear and the way it mixes with the scent of excited sweat on his brow. He thrives on the way your body quakes as he brushes his hands across it. He wants to capture your screams with his mouth and replay them in his mind late at night like a sweet lullaby.

A strange, cold light will flicker in his eyes. It will scorch the sadness to ashes. All that will be left is his rage, and it will be directed at you.

  • Sometimes a writer. Typically a romantic. Occasionally a cynic. Likes flowers, pretty things, guns and getting dirty.

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