Art of Being Samuel XbySamuelx©
After a long hard day at work, Stephen finally came home. Ah, the trials and tribulations of a Black man's life in this world. Born in the town of Cap-Haitien, Republic of Haiti, and raised in the City of Brockton, Massachusetts, he never imagined he would find himself in the City of Ottawa, Province of Ontario, of all places. The Confederation of Canada was definitely not high on his list of places where he thought he would end up. And yet, here he was. Driven out first from the island of Haiti then from the United States by the enemies of his kind and a series of unfortunate events.
Sighing, Stephen told himself to keep on trucking. For some reason, he had a target on his back. Always. And it wasn't for the usual reasons. Unlike his 'blood brothers', he couldn't say that he was eternally targeted because of his race. Or the fact that he was, well, technically bisexual, though his sexual experiences with either sex were limited at best. No, it wasn't because of that or any other immediately recognizable factor. Rather, he was a victim of his own uniqueness. Fate chose him to deal with those without conscience. What psychologists call the Sociopaths. It was his lot in life. Buffy gets vampires. Mongooses get snakes. And he gets Sociopaths. Yay.
At last he lay on his bed, thinking about the events of the day. So many Sociopaths out there. First, there was his immediate supervisor at the security company where he worked, a French Canadian guy named Jack. Oh, and also his old roommate, this Haitian prick named Lentz. A lousy, mean-ass guy whom he never would have met if it hadn't been for his conscienceless cousin Nicolas. Oh, yeah. Sociopaths plagued Stephen's experience. There was absolutely no escape from them. And the funny thing was that only he knew what he was constantly surrounded by.
To other people, the Sociopaths often seemed like the most normal people they knew. Sometimes Stephen wondered if there were other people out there born with what he called The Gift. Not that it did him much good, really. Having the Gift meant being capable of detecting the most undetectable predators in the universe. Men and women born without conscience. Of course, like any true predators, they instinctively knew those capable of detecting them. They wouldn't be predators if they couldn't spot real threats to themselves. Pretenders always know the real thing, after all. And they hate it on sight. Sociopaths pretended to be normal, decent people. And loathed the only human being capable of seeing right through them. This marked him as their prey. And he was always outnumbered and always outgunned.
In his twenty six years upon the earth, Stephen seldom felt lucky. He didn't feel at home among ordinary human beings. Their ways simply weren't his ways. Human beings with their strange ways and customs. They pierced the ears of their daughters. They circumcised their sons and sometimes their daughters in the name of obscure customs and ancient religions. They tattooed their skins. Also, they slaughtered their own kind over ridiculous notions. Christians versus Muslims. Hindus against Islamists. Islamists against Pagans, Christians, Jews and basically anyone who isn't an Islamist. Stephen couldn't understand them. Why couldn't they simply leave well enough alone?
Shaking his head, Stephen rolled on his king-sized bed. Posters of his favorite celebrities adorned his bedroom walls. Mahatma Gandhi. Jesus Christ. Martin Luther King. Malcolm X. Bob Marley. Christopher Reeve. Serena Williams. Barack Obama. Oprah Winfrey. Bruce Willis. Tatiana Ali. Nicolas Cage. Laila Ali. Michael Dudikoff. People whom he admired for different reasons. Something about what they accomplished and what they stood for actually inspired him. He was all for taking on overwhelming odds and not only surviving but also thriving. Events and people like that were an inspiration to him.
Stephen thought long and hard about the events of his life. Escaping from his cheerfully Sociopathic aunt Gabby and sister Alex in Brockton, Massachusetts. Coming to Ontario, Canada, in search of a better life. Brockton, the town where he spent half his life. Living the life of an undocumented immigrant because his parents left him with his aunt during summer vacation, when he was about to start high school. Living in that house with her for almost ten years was a nightmare. How he emerged out of that with his sanity intact was a miracle in itself. He thought he'd be free once he moved to Canada. The only country where an undocumented immigrant like him would be offered safe haven.
In the United States of America, while living the life of an undocumented immigrant, he did his best to stay out of trouble while also pursuing what he felt was his natural path. He graduated from Brockton Community High School with honors. With a little help from his parents in the island of Haiti, he attended Bay State College in downtown Boston and successfully studied Criminal Justice. He earned an Associate's degree there. Something which would definitely come in handy once he moved to Canada and opted to continue with his education. He enrolled at Carleton University in the south end of metropolitan Ottawa, Ontario. To earn his bachelor's degree in Criminology. One day, he told himself, he'd go to Law School.
Although Stephen had trouble admitting it to himself at first, he came to love Canada. How could he not love the country where he earned for himself those things which he never could have acquired as an undocumented immigrant in the vastness of America. A licence. A health card. Access to higher education. Yeah, his life definitely improved once he got to Canada. He felt independent...and free. Also, he was free of his Sociopathic aunt Gabby and his twisted sister Alex. Unfortunately, he wasn't free of the Sociopaths. He could never be free of them. The same way a mongoose could never truly be free of snakes. Nature had a way of putting them together. Well, nature and cruel, sadistic human beings interested in blood sports. Looking at the sky outside the window of his apartment in the Vanier sector of Ottawa, he wondered if there was a higher power out there laughing at his fate.
In the beginning, he enthusiastically educated himself about the Sociopaths. It wasn't enough that he had a natural aptitude for detecting them. He read up what many of the modern world's foremost psychologists, criminologists and scientists had to say about those men and women born completely without conscience. He once heard them referred to as intra-species predators. Stephen taught himself about them, and began fighting them. Sometimes, he confronted them and let them know that he knew WHO and WHAT they were. Usually that surprised the hell out of them. Enough to give him a form of psychological momentum over them. Well, some of them. Others weren't fazed by his ability to spot them. And they began hunting him. He was being hunted by numerous inhuman predators and there wasn't much that he could do about it. He was trapped. His unique circumstances pretty much dictated so. Sooner or later they'd figure out who he was, where he lived, and they'd get him. Hell, his own sister and aunt were Sociopaths. Fortunately, they didn't know he regularly went out to battle their kind.
Ultimately, he ended up on his own, in Ottawa of all places. Free from his aunt and sister. Free from a tragic past as an unwanted brat. Freed from the pariah-like status of the undocumented immigrant in America. Now he was studying Criminology at Carleton University. Surrounded by young men and women who had no idea what dangers lurked out there. Of course, there were just as many Sociopaths in the City of Ottawa as there were in the City of Boston, if not more so, percentage-wise. Yeah, it was an inescapable fact of his existence. Still, for a long time he denied what he was and his true calling. He dated young women, went to movies, joined a fraternity at school, volunteered to help people. He tried to lead as normal a life as possible.
Meanwhile, all around the world, the Sociopaths continued to do their thing. Sociopaths preyed on women in the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti Earthquake, a painful event which he watched from afar. Later, they continued to do terrible things around the world. In the aftermath of the Arab Spring, Sociopaths hijacked the revolution which swept Egypt, Libya, Turkey and Tunisia. Radical Islamists replaced dictators. And instigated massacres against non-Muslims, especially Christians living in the Middle East. Arab Christians in places like Egypt, Iran and other predominantly Muslim nations found themselves hunted like never before. Do ordinary men and women need Sociopaths to hate each other for various reasons? No. However, the job of the Sociopath is to pour oil over the proverbial flames.
In places like South Sudan, Nigeria and Egypt, Christians and Muslims fought one another. And placid Western governments closed their eyes to the carnage. Men and women living in the European Union, North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, parts of the world which were predominantly Christian, closed their eyes as their Christian brothers and Christian sisters in Arab countries were slaughtered like sheep by radical Islamists. All because of the Sociopaths revving up the radical Islamists. Watching the carnage on television or reading about it on the web, Stephen shook his head. Although he didn't see himself as particularly religious, he considered himself a Christian. He respected the Muslim faith practiced by Somali and Arab friends of his at school. However, the thought of Christians being killed in Muslim lands for their beliefs irked him. Not for the first time he wondered if the world might be better off if everyone were atheist. Hmmm. That would be the day. Two billion Christians. One point something billion Muslims. Almost a billion Hindus. And a whole lot of other people following Paganism, Ancestor worship, New Age religions, Agnosticism and other faiths. Yeah, religion wasn't going anywhere.
Stephen closed his eyes, his thoughts suddenly more personal. This past year, his life changed. While he lived under his aunt's roof in Brockton, he was celibate. Absolutely no sex. When he came to Ottawa, he definitely made up for lost time. The local ladies were friendly. Really friendly. He enjoyed a good number of them. Unfortunately, he discovered that relationships weren't his forte. He just wasn't good at connecting with human beings. Not women, or men. Inside of him, something was missing. He simply was...different. Not that he looked it. He thought of all the people he helped. All the lives he saved. All the humanitarian campaigns he fought for. All the risks he often took on behalf of strangers. Surely all those things spoke of his humanity. And yet he was denied the most human thing of all. Love.
Lying in his bed, he noted that it was midnight and he still wasn't asleep. He scanned the stars, wondering if he would ever find that special someone he could truly connect with. Walking through the streets of Cap-Haitien, haunting the streets of Boston and wandering through the streets of Ottawa, he saw lovebirds of all kinds. Men and women. Men and men. Women and women. Black, white, Hispanic, Arabian, Asian, Native, interracial and everything in between. Pretty much anything you could imagine. He saw them...and envied them. Sometimes he saw Sociopaths, these remorseless men and conscienceless women prowling about with their unsuspecting victims. Sociopaths couldn't love, of that he was certain. They used people and discarded them, but not before latching onto their next target. He wasn't like the Sociopaths, nor was he an ordinary human being. He was simply...whatever in hell he was. Alone. And unloved.
Big and tall, ruggedly handsome, smart as a whip. That's how many have described him. In his time he joined fraternities, clubs, activities groups and social movements. Always seeking to find that which he called Kindred. Someone who could relate to him, and embrace him. Someone to love him and let him know that he wasn't alone. He thought of all the wars being fought across the globe by Jews, Christians and Muslims. All because they thought their way of praising God was superior. All because of a few differences in their respective faiths. They focused so much on details that they missed the big picture. God is love. God is peace. If you're a Muslim killing a Christian or a Jew, you're offending God because you're killing your brothers and sisters. If you're a Christian who hates atheists, agnostics, Jews or Muslims, you're doing your God a disservice. Hatred does not come from the Almighty. Only love does. How he wished he could have shared these pearls of wisdom with the Christians, Jews and Muslims.
In his heart of hearts, he knew that things were only going to get worse. The fools would continue to be the pawns of the Sociopaths. The Supreme Council which is the true power behind the King of Saudi Arabia is made up of Sociopaths. The Princes of the Vatican are Sociopaths. The United Nations leaders are Sociopaths. The warlords of Africa, the guerilla leaders of South America and the bigoted cops of urban America, they're all Sociopaths. Men and women without conscience. Eternally dedicated to making the world worse. And someday, they'll manipulate the humans into destroying each other. Unless they were stopped.
Stephen sighed, and silently told himself that tomorrow, he'd rejoin the good fight. Help the forces of good defeat the forces of evil. Well, it's not like he had anything else to do. How he'd love to have a normal life. A wonderful woman to love and cherish. Sons and daughters to call his own. A house in the suburbs. A boring but occasionally rewarding job. Yeah, a normal life. Sadly, it wasn't meant to be. He might as well fight the good fight. Hopefully, someday he'd pick a fight to remember against a force of true darkness. And at last, in the blissful oblivion of death, he would find peace. He looked forward to it.