Why oh why is the world like this? I was listening to the bizarre account of the two little girls who where stabbed in Illinois. The suspect/culprit is the father of one of the two. How could it be? How could a person become so enraged that they would kill their own child. Obviously the answer is that this person is broken, a broken human, aberrated and twisted by a lifetime of apathy, violence, and despair.
What is it about our society that crafts these wackos? They are works of beautiful twisted art, perfectly shaped from babes to fulfill their seeming lifelong purpose to go out in a blaze of violence and destruction.
Remember the runaway bride? It was so long ago now, and I don’t give a crap what her name was, I don’t even remember much about her particular case. It is lost to me lo these many days. What I do remember of the incident was that I’m sure she was mad at somebody. There was anger, displaced resentment against, I can only imagine, her parents and their relentless pressure for her wedding to be perfect, her husband to be perfect, for her to be perfect. She had been arrested and convicted twice for shoplifting. Her family was wealthy, upstanding, but they’d demoralized her, belittled her, drove her insane with their control, her church’s control, her community’s control. "LEAVE ME ALONE!" She acted out in the only way she didn’t know how. She flailed and writhed to cause them pain in the way that gave her control. I want to hurt them, she screamed to herself. She didn’t care about consequences. She was not thinking. She just wanted to hurt them because it was the only thing that she felt she could do.
Fight or flight. Let’s do both, shall we?
So back to Zion, Illinois. Let’s paint a picture of this guy Mr. Hobbs and his life. He was born into poverty, possibly lower middle class. His parents struggled all their lives. Dad was an abusive type. He worked long hours at a menial job. He resented his lot in life… these damn kids, this damn job, and his meager life of anonymity. So he drank. The alcohol helped him not care. When he’d smack his son around, he didn’t feel a thing. Damn kids, clean up your goddamned room! Pick this shit up! Your mother’s too soft on you. And he’d whack ’em, whack ’em good. When he wasn’t hitting his kids he was just gone.
Sooner or later, Jerry started getting into trouble in school. First he’d just pick on those littler than himself. He was the classic troubled bully. As he got older, he got into more and more trouble with the authorities, both school and otherwise. He dropped out of school.
You should be able to figure out the rest from here. When he got into a dispute with anyone or anything, he lost it. He’d start lashing out with whatever was handy. He didn’t care. His rage flooded his senses, brought back his powerlessness. Somewhere deep down he remembered the lessons of his father.
They are bringing it on themselves. Bitch doesn’t listen to me. She’s a fucked up bitch, telling me what to fucking do.
She screams that she’ll kick him out, or she’ll leave him, or call the police. She used that threat a lot. She used it like a blunt object. I’ll call the fucking police, she screamed. She doesn’t deserve to be treated this way, she’d say.
Goddamnit… treat HER this way. What about how you’re sucking the life out of me. You – you’re doing this to ME, fuck you, bitch, I don’t give a fuck how you feel you deserve to be treated. You’re a whore and bitch, and – and.
He was cooling down in county lockup. He wasn’t so enraged now. The bruises from his tussle with the cops who responded to the domestic disturbance were starting to throb. Four of them had piled on. They seemed to take pleasure is roughing him up. "Hit a woman, didcha, tough guy. You’re a big fucking tough guy, hittin’ a woman. You hit kids too?" He rubbed his shoulder where they’d wrenched his arm high up on his back in a chicken wing. They’d clubbed him in the kidneys too. Damn, that hurt. He couldn’t sit comfortably. Was he still mad? He hurt, but he’d calmed down. It was out of his hands now. Remorse started to creep in. Damn it, he didn’t mean to lose control. She was just – doin’ it again. A twinge of rage lit off like a spark plug.
He was sentenced to 18 months in state prison. This was the final straw. The judge could see where this was going. This guy needed to know that society was serious and that he’d done wrong. Justice decided that he spend some time outside of the boundaries of society, an adult time out, so to speak.
Jerry, fully intended to change his ways. He thought about it every day. He wrote crudely spelled sentiments to his wife. He loved her and looked forward to turning it around. He saw all the good in his life. It was modest, but they had a little house, a beautiful daughter, and he could always get some work. It’s not like they needed much.
The day came that Jerry had waited for. Here was his big chance to start over, to take control of his life and live it. His wife accepted him with open arms. She’d fallen in love all over again, mostly. Jerry, it seemed, was a new man with a new outlook.
Mother’s Day 2005
"Jerry, don’t worry about it. It’s okay. It’s Mother’s Day. I don’t want to fight about this. I’ll punish her tomorrow. Can’t we just have a special day without yelling?"
"No, she took that money, she’s got to answer for it. I won’t have any daughter of mine growing up a thief."
"Look, can we just drop it?"
Little Laura pranced out the front door with a nahnahnah to greet her friend and scamper off to play. There it was again. His blood began to boil. She’d sassed him. They’d all sassed him, made him feel powerless., revealed his impotence. Nahnahnah, there’s nothing you can do, you stupid son-of-a-bitch with your limp dick and ugly face, they seemed to say. His face twisted up almost unrecognizably and he charged out after her. I’m going to drag her back to the house by her hair if I have to. She’s not going to get away with this. I’m the man around here. She’s the kid. She’s got to listen to me. He flew down onto the path where the two girls were laughing and giggling. "Come here," he yelled. "You’re going home."
"Mom, said I could go out," she retorted.
"I say you can’t, now get over here."
"I’m not coming and you can’t make me. Mom said I could stay out. Leave us alone." and the girls turned to leave.
First he slapped her, then grabbed her hair and threw her down. Her friend had a small pocket knife and stabbed at Jerry to protect her friend. She didn’t know any better. She thought she was protecting her like on TV. A knife?! raged Jerry’s mind. You’d try to stick me with a knife you little bitch. What the fuck kind of parents do you have. And he grabbed her wrist twisting it unnaturally. She yelped in pain as Jerry snatched the knife and stabbed it back at her. Stick me, will you! He slashed and slashed and slashed. His daughter’s horrified face looked to him like contempt. SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP!! He silenced her disdain. That’ll teach her.
As soon as it was over, the rage left him and the weight of what he’d done came down. It was only a matter of time, but he was strangely calm. It was all out of his hands now. He was free.