What greater fear is there, than self?
There he is again, staring at me with those dead eyes, a knowing look in his glare. This man is a perfect stranger, and yet he knows me more deeply than I know myself. He looks inside me, through my own eyes, and he sees my wretched heart pumping its tainted blood through my weakening body. He sees what I try so hard to hide; He sees the beast that I am.
I let the bathroom taps run hot and fast for several minutes. I let the steam rise up all around me, fog the mirror and obscure my view. I don’t want to look at him any more. I don’t want those eyes to see.
The simplest of things turn to blood in my eyes. I can be walking down the street, unhindered by deviant thoughts, until I catch sight of a smiling face and the content smile of a deeply happy existence: a couple in love, or a family warm in each others arms. Suddenly a rift appears within their very hearts and the blood rushes forth. I see that joy ripped apart, the love torn from among them and replaced with mourning and weeping. A bitter ache is all that remains and, though time heals the wounds, still blood drips, slowly but relentlessly, never to be cured.
A walk among the crowds leaves me awash in blood. It swirls around my ankles, drips from beneath my ragged fingernails and the scent of it fills my nostrils, teasing me with the promise of its taste.
When I lose my senses and forget what I am, I am in the greatest of peril. Often I wander where I shouldn’t: wide public streets that team with bright faces; and popular bars where couples embrace by the soft light of scented candles. Even the humble park is a frightful place to venture. If I linger too long on a bench, watching the children play in that uninhibited and fearless way that is lost to their parents, all too soon I am lost too. Before my eyes their laughter ceases. Their games are cut short in less than a heartbeat and all that remains are their broken, brittle bodies, strewn callously across the ground.
I clear the mist from the glass in one sweep, and there he is again, still staring. If he can see, with just one look, the monster that lurks within me, can others see it too? Is it so clear that I am full of sin? That I am beyond control and even beyond redemption? Has the beast so overtaken me that, even as a man, I have no humanity? I fear the destruction that I create. I weep at the thought of the blood that I spill – but I have no say in the matter. I am bound to the bay of the moon and under its spell I exude no compassion. I am malevolent in my frenzy.
There is no hope for me, any longer. No cure exists for this wicked creature. It is in my eyes, constantly, and everyone can see it clearly, knowing I deserve no love or sympathy.
He sees it in me and, I am sure, he is sneaking around behind my back telling everyone what a loathsome creature I am. He is turning them all against me, leaving me alone to face this nightmare. No one will come near me, because his eyes tell them to fear me. His eyes tell them to run from me.
I have become a leper to them, even when I am of no danger. No one will help me, but they will surely kill me once their numbers have surmounted. I know they know. He tells them everything. He will tell them how I came to be and he will tell them how to rid themselves of me. He will have me killed, though he once promised me a cure. I cannot escape him, or his eyes – those eyes that see blood in smiling faces. He has so many allies in those that walk about me. Who can I trust? Who will help me?
When the moon calls once more I will turn. I will lose all that I am and be at his mercy. He is what I have become, by moon or morning, but he is not me. He will have me killed. I fear that promise in his eyes.