All the World’s an Arena

…and all the people just players

puppetmasterLife is a game. At least to me it is. When I was 13 and I got myself into a nuthouse, I realized consciously I was playing a game and manipulating the shrinks to “put me there.” It was like magick. I was the director of a play and everyone else played hir assigned role. But I’m realizing recently how the games I’m currently engaged in play themselves. It’s all very interesting. If I didn’t have this detachment, I don’t know how I could endure my life.

One of my games involves being blatantly obvious. I wear a t-shirt with the word “Psychopath” on it. It amuses me how few people take it seriously. Most of them never actually say what they think. Talk about “hiding in plain sight.”  I think they feel tested to prove how cool they are by not reacting. Good fun.

hisfaultAnother game I only just realized I am playing is me getting all offended by people’s insults to psychopaths. There is a rich abundance of offensive behavior towards us as a group with which to play. I recently engaged a “victims-survivers” blog about how callously they discussed us. I mean, someone expressed glee at the suicide-death of her ex, a “sociopath.” I thought they were supposed to be the “nice” ones and we were the nasty ones who might enjoy the fact that someone killed hirself. But, if they can rejoice at someone else’s death, who are they to claim the high moral road? So I confronted them. Another participant actually went so far as to say, “Its not like rejoicing the death of a human. Who in the hell cares about the death of an sbuser?? CD much going in? If my ex psychopath died tomorrow I’d VOLUNTEER to DJ at the funeral!” Now I had copious grounds for offense. She said we aren’t human and she would DJ at the funeral of “her ex psychopath.” At the time, I thought I was genuinely offended but I realize now it was really fun to claim the moral high ground on them. It was only another game, a very gratifying one. They probably realized this before I did.

garretAn episode of Law & Order: SVU called Game dealt with a guy who made a video game come to life by acting out one of the more outrageous behaviors from the game in the real world. This involved driving up on the sidewalk and deliberately hitting a pedestrian, then getting out of the car and beating her to death while taking her money. What I found interesting about this story was the way he reacted when he was convicted of his crime. Instead of showing any disappointment or consternation, he looked thrilled. It was clear that he was so immersed in gamehis game-life, he was detached from the actual consequences to his own person. I could relate to his attitude. It rang a bell.

Living life as a game or series of games is a powerful shield from pain. In the episode, his girlfriend was devastated by the verdict (she was also guilty). The guy, Garret Pearl, was disgusted by her reaction. “Oh shut up!” he said. “Bang bang, you’re dead.” As he was leaving the courtroom, he turned to the prosecutor and said, “Games over. You won.” I doubt that many people will understand why I found this so deeply thrilling. It reminded me of some of my own best moments, that is, moments consumed by grandiosity when nothing on earth can touch me.

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