Monday, 26 February 2007

Last Night I Was a Serial Killer

Last night I dreamt I was a Serial Killer. I wasn't actually doing anything, just wandering around being a Serial Killer. No violence, just this awareness that I was a bit of a homicidal maniac.

Not that my mind is opposed to violence in dreams. When I was flatting with a dear friend, many years ago, she was driving me quite batty. I had a very vivid dream of whacking her over the head with a frying pan, repeatedly, while Queen Elizabeth II watched. My subconscious was quite violent towards her until I got the message and moved out of the flat.
My dream brain doesn't reject hideously gruesome dreams either. After all, more than once I have dreamt of having sex with icky gross men. And if my dream state can withstand that then I'm pretty sure a little active serial killing wouldn't have traumatized me too much.

What has obviously been playing on my mind is the book I'm currently devouring: My Life Among the Serial Killers by Helen Morrison.

Of course, being the type of individual I am (Not A Serial Killer!!) I have already taken issue with some of her assertions. Because of course, as a know nothing lay-person, I'm totally qualified to question expert opinion.

You see, she once got John Wayne Gacy to do a language test, asking him to characterize what was happening in a particular passage.

"Arthur threw the ball into the woods. Barbara was very angry."

Gacy's response went like this:
"It seemed to me that Arthur and Barbara were playing ball and that arthur threw the ball into the woods. She may have thought he did it on purpose. The [sic] again it may be that she was his mother and thought he was being disobedient. She may have told him not to throw it in the woods and he was showing that he was going to do what he wanted. There is a lot of things a person can take from two sentences. Maybe is Arthur was too young to understand, that it was an accident. I can't see why she became very angry, unless she was drinking or not feeling well. Everyone is not perfact and can make mistakes.
Barbara was very angry, maybe she missed the ball herself, and that's why she was mad. The question doesn't tell if Barbara was angry at Arthur, it just an assumption. Maybe they are both older and the ball came into there backyard and instead of throwing it back he through it into the woods out of spite, and his wife got angry at his action, because he took such action."

The author then goes on to claim that his response was somehow abnormal.

"Although Gacy had an above-average intellect, he lapsed into a very primitive mode of thought. His sentence structure disintegrated into thoughts propelled by such sheer impulse that they were disjointed. there was not focus, just a series of unconnected thoughts. A normal person would come up with a structure beginning, a middle, and an end to the story...."

And I just thought; 'well Fuck Me!'

Other than his appalling structure, which is worse than even mine, I don't see what's so wrong with his response. I thought it was an analytical response, trying to explain the possible scenarios the passage could suggest, etc. Which is something I may do. In fact something I definitely do, at various times. And this author is implying that it is not only Abnormal but something important in regards to a serial killers character.

I was, and am, suitably pissed off.

And now I have two primary thoughts running through my head.
1) 'Normal people are boring.' Beginning, middle, end? Meh!
2) I'm going to have to talk to my therapist about this because that damned book likened one of my modes of behaviour to that of a bloody Serial Killer. And there goes another session, another $85 of my therapist trying to convince me that I'm not really that fucked in the head.

Stupid books. I probably shouldn't read at all. After all, when I read The Bell Jar I spent the entire time terrified that I was going to end up trying to hide under my mattress and end up getting electroshock therapy.


David said...

That is the kind of response I would have made, the kind of response that would have failed me exams in the past, the kind of response I seem to be making right now in fact!

I've had some pretty unusual dreams in the past, like when I was being chased by the three blue men from the old intel ads, or the time I lost my jumper down a bottomless vat of hot hokey pokey. I thought I might try to drain the vat to get it back, but then I realised that was impossible since it was bottomless and would take all of eternity... then I was sad. Very sad.

Mrs Smith said...

I too, think Mr Gacy's explanations seem entirely rational and sensible, and indeed, he came up with far better reasons for Barbara's anger than I could have.
Does that make me normal, or even more abnormal? What a dilemma.

Ms Klake said...

Mrs Smith: We're obviously both budding serial killers.

We must just lack proper motivation. Which may make us worse than serial killers, because at least they're properly motivated to be homicidal maniacs.