Thursday, December 04, 2008

Best of: "Call Me Judas; On Sociopaths"

From 9/6/06:

For those who did not read or don't recall the preparatory information for today's epistle, you might want to read my August 30 entry first.

Today the circus came to town. Three cops, one with gun drawn, 4 vehicles and a U-Haul truck.

The sergeant with the piece first knocked on Mike's door, our harmless neighbor. Mike saw the gun and was startled, but directed the police to the other tenants, my friends Bill and Darcy. (These are, of course, pseudonyms.)

Afterwards everything in their house was catalogued and photographed, while the police let friends of Bill and Darcy's former landlady repossess her goods, which included a Morris antique chair, an antique bureau, a plasma television and objets d'arte, including a large handmade quilt they had hung above their bed.

So the chickens came home to roost. Our landlord had heard through the grapevine how this couple had scammed other landlords; they rent for six months, avoid the deposit and leave the tail of the rent owed. The landlady of their previous residence had been in Hawaii when they skedaddled with her stuff. There is another line of secondhand information which claims they were evicted. Both may be true.

I slept through all of this and got the news from Mike, who has Albert Einstein hair and hails from Manhattan. He's worth at least three blogs but I like to hoard my material.

The goods were hauled back to the former landlady while Bill and Darcy were hauled to jail in handcuffs, an experience with which I can sympathize. (Dr. Chaffin has been to jail more than once, and not only for manic episodes.)

And who did Bill place his phone call to from jail? And whom did Darcy call? You got it. Yo.

If you read the August 30 post, you'll know that it was on the strength of my testimony that a warrant was issued. But I was always cordial with them, and we watched the NBA playoffs at their house (which gave me an eyeful of stolen property, though I didn't know it).

The cops took this long to move because ours is a county with a small population and a large expanse of land, so arranging for three officers to take a house took some doing.

As for the phone calls, both Bill and Darcy were unconcerned with their incarceration; they would be discharged soon, they assured me, it was all trumped up charges. Hmmm...

What most concerned them was their stuff and whether it was secure. Darcy told me she had $800 in a drawer towards the rent (strangely, they're behind in the rent, the worried landlord informed me.) They wanted to know if their furniture, television, yada yada, had been conserved, and they asked me to go over to their house and make sure. Darcy is going to call me back to find out. Unfortunately I will have to report that their stuff has been taken except for a bed, which apparently wasn't stolen.

Darcy made up a string of incredible lies on the phone. The landlady "was crazy. She had it in for them." The goods they had taken "she hadn't wanted when she was in Hawaii, then she changed her mind when she got back." Darcy had been to civil court "three times" over it and it was all "bogus." Every question I asked she had an answer for. But what is most significant is what Bill and Darcy were first concerned about: How was their stuff? Was their stuff OK?

This is always the first concern of sociopaths. Not their freedom, their defense strategy, whether they'll be released today, but their stuff. In all the times I visited e.with Bill as he drank a beer in front of me, he never offered me one. I wasn't valuable stuff. I did notice he offered his pot dealer a beer. Why? Because he wanted some stuff from him. Obviously it's all about stuff, and people are objects, and if they stole something, it wasn't stealing, they merely took stuff the landlady didn't want.

Understand this about sociopaths: To them, people are things. People are the means by which to obtain more stuff. I’ve had sociopaths in therapy before, usually court-ordered, and they’ll mimic any behavior that will lead to an earlier release from the hospital. They’ll dissemble “progress” in therapy, and when they leave they tell you how much you helped them. And they don’t change one iota.

You may say, "You are convicting your neighbors before their guilt has been proved." But I know a sociopath when I see one, and I had no illusions about Bill and Darcy from the beginning, when I told Kathleen they were scammers.

Now for the Judas factor. How does it feel to be a double agent? To be the person responsible for the warrant and also the first person said miscreants call for help? Strangely, to my surprise, I can play both roles without difficulty and Bill and Darcy suspect nothing about me except that I might be another easy mark. Darcy began to talk about money on the phone, but I steered the conversation elsewhere. I asked her if vegetarian meals were available in jail and she assured me they were. They advertise themselves as "vegetarian gourmet cooks." I've seen their repasts and can confirm this boast. But I also remind myself that Hitler was a vegetarian, lest anyone confuse morality with preference and habit.

You may ask yourself, "How can Dr. Chaffin come up with a poem for this event?" I have one, believe or not, unpublished but I'm fond of it.


If we lived in a police state
you might inform on me.
"Yes, officer, it pains me
but it's for his own good."

A tear falls in your Mocha Mix;
the citizenship plaque
goes above the coffee maker;
patriotism is hard.

When our children ask about me,
you say: "He's too sick to visit."
How noble it feels
to comfort them!

They send cookies, books
and drawings to hang
above the stainless toilet.
The guard tears them down.

You said you loved me.
You said I was a "good man."
It was not enough to feed
the worm inside you.

As the wife of a political prisoner
and his patriotic jailer,
you have secured
both pity and admiration.

How does it feel, if it does?

Thine in Truth and Art,


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