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Today's Story by Benjamin Wachs

There’s potentially a whole lot of women out there who are attracted to me when they see me bombing major transit infrastructure, and I just miss the signals.

Lonely Nights

In hindsight, the big mistake was probably burning the village.  That’s where it all went wrong.  You think something like that would impress a girl, because everybody says evolution has caused girls to like powerful men.  But she must not have been so evolved, because all she could do was complain that now she had nowhere to sleep.  I thought maybe she was being coy, so I dragged her by the hair back to my operations center, but, by the time we got there she definitely wasn’t flirting with me.  It’s a two-edged sword:  the reason I liked her in the first place was probably her primitive nature … earthy and animal.  But she wasn’t evolved enough to realize that our children would be prosperous and have large servings of meat at every meal.  It was a big village:  I probably wouldn’t have gone through all the trouble if I hadn’t thought we had chemistry.

I wish I knew why I’m not lucky in love.  I feel like I missed something at a crucial developmental stage – that I started trying to date too late, and hadn’t developed the key social skills.  Maybe that was the big mistake, spending so long building my mercenary army that I didn’t socialize properly as a teenager, and now I miss all the signals.  I’d like to think that’s true, because it means that there’s potentially a whole lot of women out there who are attracted to me when they see me bombing major transit infrastructure, and I just miss the signals.  It means that, in theory, there’s hope for me.

I’d kidnap and torture a dating couch for advice, but, I have my pride.  That’s just pathetic.

And the truth is I really thought that doing well would be enough.  Half the lawyers I killed in last week’s courthouse raid were in what looked like pretty successful marriages … and if lawyers are attractive, it stands to reason that a man who kills lawyers is ten times sexier.  The logic is flawless.  But … why am I spending every night stockpiling explosives and torturing informants?  Deep in my heart, I think that maybe there’s something wrong with me.  I’m just not attractive;  I’m some kind of monster.  I’ve got all the externals going for me:  I’m young … ish … and famous.  All my rivals are dead.  I have a massive reserve of gold in a cave, and a sleeper cell operating in the south of France.  It’s got to be me.  I’m just wrong, somehow.  My big mistake was being born.  There’s nothing I can do about it:  I came into this world an unloved monster and I’ll die an unloved monster, and no amount of sarin nerve gas can change that.  It’s not fair, but, complaining never helps.  God never answers, no matter how many priests you kill.

Not knowing … that’s the hard part.


Benjamin Wachs has written for Village Voice Media, Playboy.com, and NPR among other venues.  He archives his work at www.TheWachsGallery.com.

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