The Evolution of Monsters In My Life - Part 1

The definition of the word, monster is; 
1.)  An imaginary creature that is typically large, ugly, and frightening, and            
2.) An inhumanly cruel or wicked person.

Most get through life without seeing the first definition of the word and if one is really fortunate they never see a monster at all.  Although not seeing the latter definition is very rare.  The world has its fair share of cruel people.  Many seem to go out of their way to be cruel and wicked towards others.  This has always baffled me.  I have often wondered what has happened in their life that has caused them to only want to create grief and suffering in others.  I have always assumed that it was because their life was in a miserable state and thus they needed to ensure that others around them were just as miserable.  But after some thought, does that really define them as a monster?   I think the key word in the definition is the word "inhuman"  When you consider this into the equation that their cruelness is without any sort of human qualities, that then is truly a "monster".  And thus, many of us get through life without seeing this type of monster as well.  As for myself, I have seen them both more times than I care to remember. 

As a child,  I remember seeing the movie monsters.  They were always larger than life, often times larger than the buildings around them.  One night, my mother and father were going next door to play cards with the neighbors.  Mom allowed me to stay in the house and watch television, but only if I promised not to watch King Kong that was showing on the TV that night.   I promised and within minutes of them leaving, was watching this giant gorilla chase this helpless lady through the jungle.  I was enthralled.  I would become too scared and would change the channel. But, of course, before long my curiosity would get the best of me and I had to watch more.  Now it was breaking free of its chains and terrorizing the city.  Pulling the same lady away from her friends and climbing to the top of a huge building.  Laying her there at that dizzying height.  I jumped as the front door opened and I quickly changed the channel.  Of course, from the look on my face, my mother knew in an instant that I had not obeyed.  She however didn't say anything about it until much later that night when I came running into their bedroom and screaming about the giant monkey trying to take me away.

As a teenager, the thought of a giant gorilla or lizard was just absurd. There was no such monster to be afraid of.  Now the movie monster took on more human features.  The monster was some strange man wearing a scary mask that covered his face and was carrying a very large, sharp knife.  He terrorized the teenagers of a neighborhood or summer camp and would only appear just as the scary music would start to play.  Many times the poor victim didn't even see it coming. They were too busy making out with their girlfriend or boyfriend to see the monster sneaking up behind them, or they were in the shower washing their hair, eyes closed to prevent the soap from burning them.  Unaware that the monster was on the other side of the shower curtain poised to attack.  I always wanted to be that victim, unaware and not seeing it coming.  I certainly never wanted to be the poor thing being chased through the woods, tripping over branches and dead friends lying on the ground.  Running for their lives.  But in the end, the monster was always killed.  The few  that were still alive were relieved and would begin to gather to look upon the face of the monster.  But then, in a terrible,  awful twist, the monster had vanished.  Saved for the sequel sure to come.  Of course, once again the nightmares would begin.  But eventually, I realized that to avoid such a monster, I would not go to any more summer camps and I would never, ever wear high heels while in the woods at night. 

As a young adult, the monster was still scary and of course I still went to see every sequel.  But this kind of monster was also only in the movies.  The product of someone's very strange, twisted and sadistic imagination.  I finally thought that monsters did not exist.  How could I have been more wrong. 

I was twenty years old at the time, I was just starting to frequent the gay clubs and hang out with more of a gay crowd.  There was a city park that on weekend nights, after the clubs had closed, everyone would gather in the parking lot of the softball field.  Everyone was hanging out, drinking, listening to music, and having a fabulous time.  The drag queens would eventually show up, jump on the hood of a slow moving car or in the back of a convertible and before you knew it ... we had a parade. The endless stream of cars would circle around and around until the sun rose.  This one night, I stood with my group of friends, laughing about who even remembers, drinking God only knows what and all of us having the time of our lives.  Once again, car after car driving by, except this one car had a young man hanging out of the window, sitting on the window well of the door and in a voice that drown out the dozens of car radios blaring dance tunes, he shouts "FAGGOTS!".  In an instance, the park went silent.  Everyone stopped and turned to see who this person was and what on earth was he doing in "our" park.  In the silence, a young man about my same age and standing no more than 15 feet in front of me and probably the same distance from the car in question, shouts back "MOTHER - FUCKERS".  Suddenly the brake lights on this car seem brighter than normal as it comes to an abrupt stop.  The man sitting in the window swings his legs out and is standing beside the car as the car door opens and two more guys get out. The man pulls knife out of his coat pocket and is facing the man who had shouted back and from my vantage point, he is looking straight at me.  I am frozen in fear as the man with the knife runs towards us and in less than 5 steps is  face to face with the man.  In mere seconds, the knife rises and is plunged into the guys chest.   People scream, scatter and run.  Everything is moving in slow motion.  My eyes are locked on this guy as I see him grab his chest and crumple to the ground.  I see this monster walk towards me as his swings his knife at another person who is running by, blood splattering as it slices through a flaying arm.  I am now walking backwards unable to take my eyes off this monster.  They do not exist.  This cannot be happening.  The monster takes 2 more steps towards me and suddenly a beer bottle, thrown by I do not know who, shatters against the temple of his head.  He screams out in pain and blood pours down his cheek.  He turns and runs back to the car as his buddies jump in right behind him.  I feel a pull on my arm as I am dragged across the parking lot and thrown into a car as well.  I went back to my apartment and sat on my couch for the rest of the night and most of the next morning.  Unable to comprehend how and why this had happened.  I had stared into the face of a true and living monster.  There were no credits rolling, no lights coming on and bringing me back to reality.  This was reality.  This was my life.

{The biggest monster is yet to come ...   Look for part 2 of this series in the very near future }
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