Haphazard Explorations & Experiments In Fiction
It’s hard to say what defines someone as a monster. The dividing line, if I were pushed to draw one, is that some really just aren’t ‘monstrous’… and of the ones that are, like me, a few of us have decided to stop lying to ourselves. Most are among the last kind I mention, having come to terms with their true nature, embracing it so that they can live up to their full potential and thrive.
A few even learn to wear their true face in front of everyone out in the open, brazen, unafraid, uncaring, regardless of the consequences. Some of them are strong enough in the right ways to do so, their strength – when pitted against the preferences and desires of other – allowing them impose it, in all of its grotesque glory, on just about anyone they please with little thought to their own safety; and others are more inclined to be selective in their transparency, freely embracing their more secretive nature.
The Latin word “monstrum”, one that ‘monster’ is derived from, is a term that in many respects describes me well. To use the words of Suetonius, a Roman historian, it could fairly be said that I am “…contrary to nature – or exceed the nature – [people] are familiar with, like a snake with feet or a bird with four wings.” Seneca, a philosopher of Rome, described it as “a visual and horrific revelation of the truth.” Beyond this, I believe the meaning of it speaks well to the misconceptions of self-deceivers, monsters in denial, and the ones that aren’t monsters. To people such as this, I might seem abnormal, strange, morally reprehensible, a malfunction of nature. And I can understand that, from their eyes, a monster is something to fear.
Hence the need for either strength or subterfuge. It would be neglectful not to point out that I’ve found both are desirable, but sometimes – and some people – don’t always get what they want… or, for that matter, what they need to survive. Let alone thrive.
Light, dark, shades of grey, and all the colors of the rainbow, and which of these a person chooses to align himself with or pretends to believe in… couldn’t tell you definitively whether or not someone is a monster. That’s true. It would be a waste of time to attempt cataloging and categorizing all the different kinds there are, and it would take more time and effort than it’s worth to try telling you how to spot them. They come in all shapes and sizes.
All I know is that I am one.