The Secret Curses

Say it’s early in the morning and my dog shits on the neighbour’s lawn. If I’m pretty sure there’s no one half-hidden behind drapes watching me, I won’t pick it up. Would you? Maybe, I’ll bend down and pretend to scoop it into my inside-out shopping bag. Just in case. Just for show.

If I’m in a grocery store and the clerk forgets to ring through the case of root beer on the bottom of my shopping cart, then too bad for her. I’ll just load it into the trunk of my car and, Bob’s-Your-Uncle, I’m off and away.

I don’t recycle anything anymore; unless I’m worried that someone is checking my garbage. Glass and plastic bottles, tin cans, used toner cartridges — I’ll usually just throw everything straight into the trash. Sometimes, I’ll pour dirty motor oil or solvents down the kitchen sink. When I burn leaves in the back yard, I sometimes put plastic bleach bottles on the fire, so I can watch the acrid black smoke curling up into the evening sky.

If I hear someone in the night calling for help, it’s easier to just turn over and pull the covers about my head.

When one of my friends has some minor success, like winning some award, getting a promotion, or buying a new home, I’ll pretend to be happy for them. That’s what you’re supposed to do, isn’t it? In reality, though I feel miserable. I’ll think to myself, “Why should they have something that I don’t have? It’s not fair. It’s not right.” I’ll secretly hope that whatever this good fortune is, it will somehow slip through their grasp, or that it will somehow end up being the ruin of them. I want them to fail, miserably and spectacularly, so everyone will realize how fortunate I am.

On the other hand, if something bad were to befall them, I would feign sympathy (in order to get all of the juicy details), but in reality I would be glad. Truth be told, I like to hear about friends and acquaintances losing their jobs, filing for bankruptcy, and morbidly dwelling on mysterious skin conditions. And when the woman who works in administration questions my expense account, I secretly hope she dies of some terrible disease.

At night, when everything is quiet as the grave and I can’t sleep, I make voodoo dolls out of wax candles. I pierce their hearts with hatpins. I brew dark potions filled with unspeakable ingredients in bubbling saucepans on the top of my stove. I pray to shadowy deities for infestations and plagues, pernicious droughts and weeping boils to be visited on my enemies.

When the evening news comes on, I like to hear all those stories about bombs going off in crowded markets. All those earthquakes and derailings, those cities wiped out in seconds, are delicious entertainment beamed in from thousands of miles away. I sit back and sip my rye-and-seven and smile while I watch the world coming apart at the seams. I do a little jig whenever I see a beautiful archival image of a mushroom cloud swelling up above the ground.

The hypocrites always say that everybody should do their part to make the world a better place. But I say “You First!.” I say, it’s every man for himself. I say, “Let it all come crashing down around the bastards’ ears, because it’ll serve them all right.” I say, “You can’t fight human nature, so why bother to try?”

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