I met him first in the campus cafeteria, his head down and sunglasses on, dreaming dreams violent and intense. Then I just watched for a long time. I watched as he didn’t answer the white shapes floating around him, and I watched as the hours passed on and on into the noon and into the dusky fall of the sun and he didn’t move a muscle. Head down and sunglasses on he was unaffected by the ghostly vacillations of happier people. It was then I knew I had found a good one.
He moved and I moved too. He pushed aside the infantile light blue plastic stool and raised his begloved hands from the surface of the cheap white cafeteria table. Then with slow deliberation he stood tall. Of course he didn’t see me. The laughing asses around him took notice of his dark body for the first time, just then.
They stopped Haw-Hawing through their thick southern accents and for a second, and experienced a flash of tiny doubt. The were possessed of an idea that perhaps this comet, this asteroid, this burning flame from outer space would land on their planet and end their age too. They took notice of him all right. The freak that horrified the white beautiful blonde was here, terrifying in outsider power, part barbarity, part mystery – the appearance of a crude and menacing loner. For a second he was both King Kong and a nether shadow. The white girl to his left moved aside for a moment. Her boyfriend moved his right hand to her shoulder, shielding her weakness with his own. Now they were silent. He turned his back to go, and they blanched.
I was delighted with my choice. A bold fierceness so wonderful one rarely finds. I rose too, unseen. We simply had to meet.
Along the halls he passed alone. The merrily laughing half-drunk dough faces of the others reflected off his dark glasses. And through those glasses you could see the whole world reflected, though twisted with dark intent and scowling hatred. Out of that building he passed with deliberate strides like a foreign object into the night and across the natural plain that separated the dormitory houses. His small frame was hidden under layers of dark, rough, cheap cloth. Now twilight was come. Its shadows spread and hid him well, and all seemed to fade into the gray.
He glided past lovers in sheltered glades whose bodies were reflected and changed in his glasses. He saw their bodies mingled and favours of drunken college boy-girl love exchanged with mouths and genitals, favours he himself had not yet enjoyed and a surge of envy coursed within his veins. His veins surged like the storm; they were suddenly too tight, screaming for space.
I know very well this is how it happened, and this is how he felt, because I, following along with likewise darkling step, felt the flood. I felt a red tide of envy seethe within him and saw his shoulders crimp feeling pain, then I felt a silent boiling that threatened impetuously to crash over the horizon, but not today. No, he was not yet ready to become what I wanted him to be.
Still there was something to keep it in check. A kernel or seed of hope, a bolt across the door of his wounded heart that kept pain from spreading into action. It was then, too, that I knew my work. I would throw open the doors of this one; so that into the world his hands would fly and do my work and commit swift enormities against his varied and numerous enemies.
Lovers in glades take note now, for you are no longer safe as my shadow follows his.
He stopped and stared at those lovers, and he dressed as dark as the night and as a result was not seen. His eyes were fixed, bulging, hidden. He was surrounded by shadow. He reached downward on himself in his envy. That envy aggravated by pornographic lust conjoined a violent, secret fantasy and resulted in a bliss. He watched the male cum, his cock like a pistol shot her in the face, once twice and again and he was gone. Gone before they even knew he was there to watch it all and wish he could join in. All they heard was the zip of his zipper.
And then he was off. The campus was huge, twice as large as Central Park, so there was a long way to go. He had already had a little fun at least, though tainted with poisonous spite, so he was in a mood to watch those rich white animals play. Play they would for him, animals in a zoo, trash, whores, skanks and hicks. Next he saw a group of young men, their bodies golden yet dimmed in the night, and the last weakling rays of the sun reflected on the clouds in a brilliant red, and shone them up like creatures not of the soil. He saw them playing with a ball, some game.
One took notice, and immediately like a shadow before a light I had to flit away like a leaf, and blown by the wind I found temporary home in a faraway tree. With eagle ears though I could hear what passed, and as since the moment I had first seen the image of my young man’s eyes through those dark glasses, I felt the sea of his feelings as acutely as my own. I saw as he saw, felt as he felt – hand in hand we experienced this world.
The one who took notice, walked up slow and graceful with sweat all the while moving slowly across his sculpted chest, evidence of his active friendship and interest in the sane and social world. His face was obscured by the shadows, but his words were clear enough.
“Hey man, you wanna play?”
There was a long pause as my student, over there, faced by an outsider went through silent crisis. He was brave as a shadow but when confronted would shrink. This was important. I would not only have to build his stature, but also build his will. From this meat soup of a coward boy I would make his mind into a fang of venom to sink deep within the bodies of others, and make them his. Through a storm of steel and blood he could be purified away from the scared and frightened slave fearing his own creeping inferiority. Paradise for him was possible, and in my hands, the gift.
My student stumbled. “Stop. . .FUCKING ME!”
The ball player was profoundly confused for an instant, but responded nonetheless, “Dude I just asked if -”
“FUCK you.” Said the black glasses, with a gut full of fast defiance, and turned. In that second retort was none of the shy pants-wetting self pity of the earlier panic. It was the taste of fear that quelled his own; that was one good thing to notice also.
I was pleased. I knew that my student, black glasses, though he lacked his own reserve of fast and ready power could at least draw the strength of others and in so doing become strong and steady – able like a rolling ball of earth to gather more and more until reaching a certain point. I was gathering this information of him to make him unstoppable. I needed a plan, and I would soon apply to him the alchemy that I knew so well, to transmute pain into power, my only gift. I flew down from my perch now to rejoin his side, silently. We walked.
He passed the jocks and they dropped away, as they twittered mindlessly over his inappropriateness, and entered into the woods, which enveloped him. Yes, they surrounded him, but did not touch him. The night trees swaying in the breeze could not move him; nor any birdsong did he hear. Only rage filled him, something hard, tight and deep down always pushing tight skin, wanting to break through. As oil on water, he oozed by, unaffected by all – a time-bomb which could but listen to its own tick. My assignment was to nurture this, to bring it to fruition.
END OF PART ONE of TWO