The Reason

I suppose you want to ask me why I did it. It’s the question everyone asks, but I don’t think they really want an answer. You don’t want an answer. You just hope to hear something that confirms that I am crazy, that I am alien. That way you can feel safe in your own skin. Safe from whatever sickness drives me.

We got this same question from our parents: Why did you break the lamp? It’s a question without an answer. The truth is, you didn’t set out to break the lamp. You were doing something else and got careless; it was an accident. The question assumes we broke it on purpose, even though there is no reason for us to have done so.

I don’t mean to imply that it was an accident; the trial settled that. Rather, I am pointing out the folly of the question. Your parents already know why you did it: carelessness. Just so, people already know why I did it. You’ve already made up your mind, and anything I say will seem self-serving. Maybe you hope I’ll say something that confirms the idea that I am evil incarnate, that I’m not really human. You don’t want to hear the truth.

The truth is, I am a normal human. I am you. I did it for all the same reasons you might do it. Don’t kid yourself into thinking you would never. You would. And if you were honest, you can probably even imagine the circumstances that would lead you here. So don’t ask why I did it. Be honest. You just wish you had the guts to do it, too.

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