In the dream, he was beyond help.
In the dream, he was elephantine,
and made larger because of his limitless anger.
Walking towards the house we were hiding in with sure-footed, capable determination.
In the dream, he was hunting us with
and his final impending act of violence towards Her (and us) was
ripe with justifications that we could not reason with.
In the dream, he seemed to be submerged in mental illness, or–perhaps, by just the tiniest margin of possibility—suffering from the inevitable result of a lifetime spent in wholehearted rejection of personal and social responsibility. Getting what he wanted through force. Verbal; physical; shoving, hitting, choking. Shortcuts. Using anger as the quickest way to power.
In the dream, we were incredibly frightened.
Because there is something evil in rabid emotion. And I had to aim the gun just so, otherwise
it might not kill him.
“Her” is a real person.
Who has slid down the slippery, Disney-Princess slope wherein Beauty attempts to reform The Beast simply with her love, existing as an utterly civilized and chromosomally-pacified “she”, marinating in the generations of patriarchy which relegated her to a status in which she had no real power, so she settled for being liked,
Oh, so very Lady-Likeable,
and while attempting to make her way through a culture of aggression with tools unsuitable for a fair fight, she
became pacifists—demure, passive, so very Lady-Likeable—and our perception of ourselves is seen in how others view us. Are we likeable? Beautiful? Youthful? Then he hits “Her”, and chokes “Her”, and she says, “He’s having a good day today,” as if he’s a crabby toddler and it’s her job to see to it that he gets his fucking nap.
And “Her” never used to be like this.
And it’s not a woman vs. man issue because some men are abused too, and so we are all fighting—every subdued group—against a culture which values power over equality, that would rather be irrational or violent than abdicate. And personality types such as ours often willingly ignore our own instincts of self-preservation in favor of being liked, and decline to acknowledge that the Bill of Goods was faulty, and that there is no “Love Story” unless we feel loved too (and—P.S.—”love” isn’t being ashamed and scared shitless). And fall into the Black Hole of Crazy, wherein we internalize a violent insult as if it was the standard by which we should measure our worth instead of how they should measure theirs, and believe we can transform an individual beyond help into somehow being the person of our Disney dreams, while simultaneously rationalizing it all as if through sheer will and the power of love we can force any of the insanity to make sense.
Thereby condoning our own demise.
In the dream,
I wished for the briefest of moments that it hadn’t come to this.
In the dream, I could see the son that he was, the father that he could have been,
saw his desires, his disappointments.
And wished that he had made different choices.
But wishing does not make things so, and I was not being called on to make sense of his choices.
I was only responsible for mine.
So, I raised the gun,
and shot him three times.
And–as the bullets entered his chest—they tore through skin, and nerves, and bone, and power.
And hot, gooey bits of flesh splattered my face.
And–for a brief stretch of time—my face felt warm with the remnants of his potential.
But I didn’t feel bad.
I liked myself.
Because when I declined to be passive, power was restored.
Since, even though he was beyond help,