I think it’s better if I just fess up. No more skirting around the issue. No more scapegoats. Just honesty: I’m evil. Pure, unadulterated evil. I know it’s hard to believe that underneath my wide smile and cheery optimism is a beast of carnal malice and rancor. All the jokes I tell are a ruse. Any altruistic act is nothing more than a wile. For behind everything I have done and everything I have ever hoped for is the aspiration – no, the desire – to destroy the world.
Some people are born great; others have greatness thrust upon them. I, on the other hand, found my greatness, and in turn my tenacity for evil, at East Side Mario’s. It’s not because of the bada-booms nor because of the bada-bings, no matter how fitting such sounds would be for the end of the world. Rather it is because a family restaurant is the hub of all things vile and repugnant. Matter of fact, I’m pretty sure Hitler dined in them all the time.
Like Hitler, then, my plots to annihilate the Earth began with pasta – for any apocalypse without pasta is not an apocalypse worth having at all. Luckily for me, it was also free. Besides the fact that my parents were paying, children ate for free on Tuesdays. So did my parents, incidentally. As it goes, buying twelve kid-sized pastas can feed a family of five. Who knew?
But like all things, there is no such thing as a free lunch, no matter if one cheats the system. There is always some price that is paid. Sometimes, it’s childhood innocence. Other times, it’s indigestion. For me, it was a sobering realization that all babies, despite their chubby cheeks and naive laughter, are evil. It’s not because they cry during airplane flights while everyone else is trying to sleep. Neither is it because they grow up to commit the same mistakes adults warn them not to do. Instead, it’s because of sweet, sweet logic. With tomato sauce dabbed upon my lips and garlic bread crumbling in my hand, I realized that all criminals are evil, all criminals were once babies, and so all babies are evil.
Worst of all, I was once a baby. My mother was once a baby. Even Jesus was once a baby. And as a result, we were all entirely evil. Always.
I didn’t accept it at first, just as you aren’t now. Let’s not forget that logic was made by illogical beings. But then I realized that by not accepting the premises, I was committing my first act of conscientious evil: rebellion. Without acceptance, there is only retaliation. With retaliation, there is only violence. And with violence, there is only the evidence of everlasting evil no matter the temporary good it can provide.
At East Side Mario’s, my violent rebellion was characterized by delicious bread, a hearty meal of sometimes-uncooked noodles, and bitter realizations. I didn’t tell anyone that I was evil nor that they were too. Instead, I planned. I waited. And when it was time to withdraw a toy from the toy box, I chose a plastic nose, a shoddy mustache, and a pair of fake glasses. In short, I became Kac-ner, a super villain who would destroy the world.
With my costumed villainy, I was ready to act as evil as any eight-year old can. As it turns out, some eight-year olds just want to see the world burn. For if a butterfly’s wing can cause a tsunami, an eight-year old should be able to sire the beginnings of the end of times at the very least. So I tried. I drew up blue prints on cardboard. I established an impenetrable lair in a fortress of blankets and pillows. And most of all, I refused to remove my cheap costume. It wasn’t exactly due to a lingering fear of being recognized. Rather like Superman and Spiderman who changed their identities in secret, I was afraid to join my two lives. Some days, I was a super villain. Others, I was normal. To tell the truth, I didn’t mind the side of mediocrity either. In a way, those days were just as super.
Yet as months passed, I continued my perilous journey into villainy. Every day I seemed that much closer to achieving my dream of destroying the world. My blueprints manifested themselves into Lego monstrosities. I read numerous science textbooks, most of which I didn’t comprehend but still helplessly nodded. To the best of my ability, I became the greatest villain I ever could become. That is to say, no actual progress was ever made. Instead, my imagination simply gave birth to creation, and my creation fathered unparalleled passion. In my head not only was I going to destroy the world, I was going to make it a better place by doing it.
You see while eating pasta that fateful day, I learned that it wasn’t just simply the babies, and consequently everyone who has ever lived, who were evil. A second epiphany followed, one which was much more chilling than the first: the world itself was evil.
Unlike many who believe evil occurs because of nonchalance of good men, I realized that evil must always occur. To have good, there must be evil. Not because good must show purity over evil, nor because evil must reign viciously over good, for neither is better than the other. Actions, or the lack thereof, in the name of good or evil are not a testament to the virtues or vices they inspire. A villain views the hero as a villain; the hero views the villain in very much the same way. As it were, even the best man is evil. This is because the words that are used to describe what is good and what is evil are entirely circumstantial, similar to what is fashionable at a given time or in a certain context. Who is to say that in desperation that good is doing anything to survive? Who is to say otherwise? In this way, morals are just a way to tell the time.
By destroying the world, I was not going to simply rid the world of evil, I was also ridding the world of good. Without good, there is no evil. Without evil, there is no good. As a result, life is no longer a place of good and evil, but becomes a place for good and evil – however the two are defined.
Certainly some would argue this point. Others would believe that my egotistical eight-year old mind simply wanted to have its own legacy. To say the least, it is the evil of humanity that is often remembered while good actions are always interred with one’s bones. Some would even argue that I am discussing this secret because the beginnings of good are a confession of the end of evil. Truthfully, though, I believe that I simply wanted world peace – as all crazed dictators and totalitarians promise. Peace from freedom. Peace from slavery. Peace from good. Peace form evil. Peace from all things humanity deems important. For in this world, peace has always been deemed unimportant. If it were otherwise, maybe an eight-year old wouldn’t have to dream of it.
Safe to say though, plans did not follow through. Turns out creating a “Tornado-Vortex-Super-Machine” is harder than it seems. So is getting one’s hands on enriched Uranium. Although I wanted peace, I couldn’t wage the war necessary to fuel my foolish drive.
Now that I am older and apparently wiser, maybe I’ve given up on this overarching goal. Maybe I’ve become complacent with the words, “that’s the way the world works.” Either or, I’ve largely outgrown my secret identity. The costume getup has been thrown out; my dreams and schemes were dashed away when the blanketed liar collapsed. For the most part, I can only remember Kac-ner from a faint reflection in a mirror, where I stared at a fake mustache, a fake pair of glasses, and a fake nose with the hope that no matter how fake it all was, the real world could be at peace one day – even if it required a villain to make it so.