Stop Motion Traffic

He’s been staring in the same direction for the past hour without so much as a cursory blink. 

A squashed-looking bald head wrapped in skin so translucent you could almost count the purplish-green veins creeping out from the corner of his eye. The veins webbed across his cheeks. Sort of like a delicate lace doily – but ugly, and a bit gross. 

His watery blue eyes almost disappear into his pale face. They look dead. He reminds me of a soft-boiled egg. Like, if you punch him, the face would fall apart and everything inside would ooze out in slow motion. 

Leaking out at the same sluggish pace the rush hour traffic moves through the narrow “highways” of this glorified slum of a city. 

Lately, I have an incurable urge to break people’s faces in. 

Unexplained bouts of rage are not exactly a novelty for me. Usually they come and go like critters passing through the house. But for the last couple months every time someone gets on my nerves all I want to do is punch them until their face is bashed in. 

I can picture myself doing it. 

I can actually hear the crunch of the nasal septum breaking as my fist crushes into the nose. Blood pouring out. 

Thinking about doing it helps me calm down a little, but it doesn’t really dissipate the anger completely. I still want to physically do it. Beat someone bloody until they lie there in a pool of blood gushing out of the head, face mangled beyond recognition - eyes open in a kind of a silent scream; the eyes being the only part of the face that are left unhurt. 

I’ve always liked eyes. 

I know this is supposed to make me feel bad. The fact that I want to do this to someone is supposed to be unacceptable, even as a fantasy. 

Don’t get me wrong, its not that I don’t feel bad about it after I calm down a bit. But, I never fully regret my thoughts. Instead, I end up changing he fantasy around to disassociate myself from the actual act. I chose weapons instead: a shovel instead of my fist, a shotgun fired at a range close enough to make the whole head explode like a melon - splattering the brains and shards of the skull, muscles, blood and teeth all over the place. Making a pretty pattern on a clean untainted white wall. 

You see there. That’s what’s disturbing. I think the damage is pretty. Not disgusting, horrifying or just terrible. 


In every one of these fantasies, I always leave the eyes intact. A mangled red mess with two unharmed white orbs staring out of it.

Later on, long after the anger has gone and I no longer feel any animosity, the eyes haunt me. 

The petrified expression keeps floating up. It doesn’t necessarily make me feel bad. I feel a little ashamed. Like someone knows what I think about. The kind of shame you feel when you know someone who shouldn’t have has seen you naked, stripped down to the bare basics of who you are. You feel shame, but a tiny part of you sort of likes it. There’s a twisted pleasure you experience in the knowledge that someone knows. And the fact that it invokes emotions as base as ‘horror’ and ‘disbelief’, adds to the pleasure. 

Fear in this case is inappropriate. Would you be afraid of a 4 foot tall kid with a red face coming at you?

“Hey! You asleep? The next one’s our stop!”

June’s enthusiasm cuts through my rather violent reverie. Her face lights up with a huge grin as the bus rolls to a stop.

I can feel his translucent eyes staring as I follow her off the bus.