Is anyone else as excited about the upcoming season premiere of Dexter as I am? Probably not, seeing as it is one of the only shows my husband and I agree to watch with equal enthusiasm (the other being Breaking Bad, which is nearing its series finale way too rapidly. I may have cried a little over it).
I know this doesn’t really mesh well with the I-love-Jane-Austen-and-Shakespeare-and-other-representations-of-cultural-pinnacles side of my personality, but I have the most unhealthy fascination with serial killers. Probably because I saw The Silence of the Lambs at such a young age. No, I’m totally lying about that; I think I was just born with that particular sensitivity chip missing, the part of normal humans that causes them to recoil in horror over something as heinous as serial murder.
Normal person’s reaction to serial killers:
My reaction to serial killers:
Without the gun, though. I’m sort of scared of guns in real life. But you get the point, right?
Abnormal psychology and the attendant gravitation towards serial killers has always been the strangest and probably most white-trash branch of all my interests – the secret shame I hide along with my fetish for collectible Irish Barbies and loudly singing along to Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals in the car (which is not very white-trash but just as embarrassing). In fact, the very first research paper I ever wrote as an impressionable sophomore in high school was on the top five serial killers in recent American history. I did a lot of things for the sole purpose of being shocking in high school, but this was not one of those things – I was genuinely fascinated with lunatic murderers. Sometimes I wonder what my high school teachers thought of me. I think I probably scared them. Thank God all my friends had known me far to long to be frightened – they just shook their heads and said, “Oh, that’s just Natti.”
Now before anyone gets too judgey on me and writes me off as a sick-sicko, let me remind you all about the prevalence of true-crime novels on the best seller list and the fact that people are still checking Helter Skelter out of libraries on a regular basis; I must not be the only freak show interested in the subject, eh? Although I know, I know, just because everyone else does it doesn’t make it right. Like wearing neon and reading trashy tabloids. Let’s just say that this is my version of trashy tabloids, the one decidedly un-highbrow amusement in which I indulge (okay, okay, I also *sometimes* watch reality TV too. You guys are relentless).
I’m not proud of this, guys.
I wish I could justify this interest and make it sound more noble than it actually is, like, “I’m hoping to find a way to bring these rats to justice through all my casual study,” but if I’m being honest, there isn’t anything noble about it. It’s the same sort of Freudian fear-drive that causes people to watch horror movies and go to Fright Fest on Halloween – I like to be freaked out. And the complexity of a psychopath piques my curiosity about human nature and just what a scary place the mind can be (can you tell I was almost a psychology major? Good thing I wasn’t, I’d have made the worst psychologist ever).
Also, it’s nice to know that I’m not as crazy as some of the freaks out there. I don’t generally approve of the term “freak,” but in this case it’s applicable. You murder someone, you earn a degrading identifying terminology. And life in prison. Maybe more. I’m no criminologist.
That’s just how justice works.