“For you are the children of your father, the Devil, and you love to do the evil things he does” John 8:44 NLT
“God bears the wicked – but not forever” Cervantes
It was the eyes the sent the first fingers of cold climbing up my spine. The airs on the back of my neck stood up, as of they were now on alert, cautiously observing the presence of something sinister that was being projected through the two small circles swimming in those pools of pale blue that were devoid of any warmth at all.
He appears harmless enough at first; a short, slightly stooped pale man of about 40 with shoulder length, greasy looking hair that he usually wears pulled back in a ponytail. He strides when he walks, always making me think he is angry. His voice is moderately deep with a pronounced drawl reflecting his upbringing in Kentucky – in the backwoods of Kentucky, not the bluegrass.
He wears prison-issue glasses which is, I suppose, why I didn’t get the full effect of his eyes at first. The glasses have thick brown plastic frames and – due to his poor eyesight – the lenses are very thick as well. Adding to the distortion is the bifocal bottom portion of the lenses.
The first time he took his glasses off and looked at me, I felt myself tense as I shivered inside, feeling like icy fingers clawed their way up my spine.
If you saw Jurassic Park you will remember seeing the eye of the Raptor through the door window as he peered into the kitchen where the children hid, trembling in fear, consumed by terror. Those are the eyes I speak of. They are his eyes and I cannot shake the feeling that they are the eyes of a predator. Eyes that are pure evil.
It is true that the bible tells us not to judge other lest we be judged. But I shall quote H.L. Mencken here, who once wrote “it is a sin to believe evil of others, but it is seldom and mistake.”
Tomorrow I will ask the Lord’s forgiveness, but for now I am compelled to tell you a little more about this face of evil.
I have known this individual – let’s give him a name; I’ll call him ’Billy’ – since I first arrived here almost a year ago, and my thoughts about him never progressed beyond a queasy discomfort whenever I found myself in his presence, until he acquired a new ‘cellie’ about 6 months ago who turned out to be a rather likeable fellow. In the course of extending friendship to the new guy, time was unavoidably spent in the company of the other.
We try not to probe too deeply into the other people’s business unless encouraged to do so. As far as Billy was concerned though, I was curious because I had heard a disturbing things about him, but nothing directly from him. So, one day I asked him point blank (I have been called ‘blunt’, I prefer straightforward), “have you ever admitted to being, or been diagnosis as a pedophile?” ‘Billy’s’ response was nothing more than an eerily steady gaze from behind those thick lenses. After about 10 seconds of silence I told him I took his silence as an answer. I told him we are very different and, like it or not, he was the reason myself and others were so hated in prison, and in society.
It was just a statement of opinion, not an emotional or impassioned discourse, but I was met, again, with the silent stare.
After this “exchange”, beyond common courtesy, we didn’t have a lot of contact. He shared a room with someone I like so a certain amount of contact was inevitable. Life went on, as it tends to do, until a few months later when he got in a scrape with a couple of D.W.B.s. All 3 went to the hole. None of the 3 were missed.
Almost 4 months later – only a few weeks ago – I was walking through the unit and someone informed me that ‘Billy’ was out of the hole and was visiting in the room of someone else I knew. Out of courtesy, I stopped to say hello, and – again – out of courtesy I said “glad you got out”, and automatically extended my arm to shake hands.
The affect that simple gesture had on me was astounding. It was like I had grabbed hold of death itself as a feeling of pure evil rippled through the damp, icy chill of his soft hand into mine, and spread rapidly through my body, leaving a trail of unexplainable and indescribable fear and loathing in its wake.
Later that day, in speaking with others that I knew, I described the sensation I had when ‘Billy’ and I shook hands. No one was surprised.
No more was said or thought about the incident or ‘Billy’, until the wee hours of the morning – probably around 2 or 3 AM – when he invaded my sleep in a dream (nightmare?). All I remember of it with any clarity is that we were in a struggle, and I was trying to handcuff him to prevent his from doing something horrible. As I pulled on his wrists, he suddenly slipped my grip and my arm actually flew backward in my sleep and struck the bar covering the narrow window next to my bunk. I awoke with a start and cried out as the impact hurt. I was breathing hard, as if just actually going through a struggle and I was slightly damp from sweat and totally weirded out by the dream.
Apparently I hadn’t disturbed my ‘cellie’ for I listened and his soft snoring appeared uninterrupted.
‘Billy’s’ actual charges are no different from my own, and perhaps it is wrong for me to presume him capable of anything worse than what he has already done. I possess no powers of prophesy or clairvoyance – I have no way to ‘see’ any future evil on his part, but he has served most of his sentence and will be released sometime in March.
Whatever makes me feel the way I do, I just have a very uncomfortable feeling that he will be heard from again, and I am already sad for whomever is involved in his return to notoriety.
In the novel and movie “The Green Mile” there was also a ‘Billy’ and when he reached through the bars and grabbed John Coffey, John recoiled in horror as he ‘saw’ in his mind who ‘Billy’ was and said “you a bad man”.
Again, I make no claims of clairvoyance, but surely someone somewhere got a chill – some feeling – some sense of evil or horror from coming into contact with a face that was evil.
Hopefully, I’m wrong, but my feelings are shared by others.
May we all be proven wrong.