…and I’m not discouraging this belief.
I mean, really, I was going to write about an oratorio in which I recently performed–tenor soloist–but this is far more interesting.
It started, I think because Marcus and Alex and I had been listening to far too much First Podcast on the Left. After a time, Marc begged the Facebook question, ‘Who is be more like be secret serial kill, Elias or me? We are be talk about for four hour and can non decide.’
Alex declared, definitively, ‘Jesus you’re weird. Also, 100% Elliot, how was this even a question’.
‘See, I am think so, too’, says the husband, ‘but then Elias is convince me I am be equal like to be serial kill. Which is like…so serial kill thing to do, shit’.
That’s fine, I think to myself. But curious. I ask for clarification: ‘ I feel like Marc would be so much more successful in this endeavour—he’s charming, seductive, and lethal’.
‘I am mean, I am think you are be exact same. AND you are coach young model for total murder. AND you are be super nice so no one is expect. AND you are be kind of creep sometime, #shrug. Now we are need police name for’.
He thinks about it…
‘THE MODEL KILLER’
I admit, there was a split second where I was a bit miffed. I would never, never in a thousand years, hurt anyone who wasn’t an immediate threat to me or my family. And I take the mentoring of my models very seriously—in an industry where it is so easy to feel unsafe, unwanted, I think it is massively important to have established models looking out for your well-being and showing you the ropes.
But of course Marc and my mates know this, which is why the irritation only lasted a split second, quickly morphing into a desire to prank the Good Christ out of them all.
I spent the rest of the night and morning trying to google ‘Creepy Victorian’ to pick out a new serial killer profile picture without unnerving myself. Jesus God, it really was an odd time.
This was a trend. Fuck me…
Next evening, a mate texts Marcus—has Elliot killed you yet?
‘Non, but he is keep look at me weird’!
I sigh over his shoulder at the text. ‘This is my normal face. This is the face you see every day, you’ve just convinced yourself I’m a serial killer. You neurotic crazy person’.
‘Face of serial kill. IS BE SO FACE OF SERIAL KILL’. He turns back to his mobile. ‘Elias is total have dead model in basement of townhouse’, he texts. ‘Like for take bath in blood for look young’.
‘That is absurd. I’m a ghost’.
‘So is be absurd because you are be ghost, non because you are non kill anyone’?
I take a sip of wine. ‘It’s absurd for both reasons’.
‘IS WHAT SERIAL KILL IS SAY’. He’s texting furiously ‘…he is so serial kill me’.
Now was the time, I decided. With that panicked set to Marc’s shoulders, the grimace on his lips while he texted, the wariness in his eyes as I slid down onto the couch beside him. He was ripe for the pranking.
‘First of all, I can’t serial kill one man’, I explain. ‘That would have to be a singular kill’. He shakes his head, as if to say, you are not making this better. Which is entirely the point. ‘The name you came up with for me is enticing, I’ll admit’.
His fingers freeze up like claws around his mobile. ‘OMG, you are total be kind of serial kill who is write police and be like, good show police cop, try again, here are be detail of where I am bury model and who they are wear at time of death’.
I laugh. ‘And the police say, dear god, he dressed them in human skin suits’!
‘WHY YOU ARE EVEN THINK OF’
I blink at him, the very picture of calm reason. ‘They’re police. They wouldn’t be inclined to know the phrase ‘who are you wearing.’ They would assume I had skinned someone alive, and dressed someone else in that skin. For Heaven’s sake, have a glass of wine, you’re so jumpy’.
The phone dings, and Marc starts and looks down at it in flashes, trying to keep an eye on me as he does. ‘Does Elliot have any rooms you’re not allowed to go in’? he reads. ‘OMG at townhouse! There is be room’!
‘Oh for, that’s the boys’ common room! I told them I wouldn’t infringe upon it. I don’t go in there either’!
‘You can non spell serial kill without LIE’.
‘Profound’. I fetch wine for Marcus, and slide it into his hand. He doesn’t drink from it. ‘The fact that you find this even slightly possible is hilarious to me. You could murder me in your sleep, and have, in fact, tried to do so’.
He relents to my statement with a careful sip. ‘Like one time, before I am be used to sleep by someone again and I am think you are be wild animal attack’.
‘Also the beheading, which wasn’t in your sleep. And I think you’ve ‘accident killed’ me a third time’.
He thinks about it. ‘Non, you are fall off roof’.
I nod sagely. ‘Right. Anyway. Come on, let’s have a bath. I promise I won’t strangle and drown you’.
‘I said I won’t! I WON’T drag you under the water and watch the life leave your eyes, Jesus’.
The look on his face clearly states that he never expected me to say such a thing.
Naturally, I spent the next few days deepening his psychosis. It’s actually not hard to do, once you have your significant other on eggshells.
Step One: Begin complimenting them in an entirely clinical fashion. ‘What a nice torso you have,’ you say, running your hand across their shoulders.
Step Two: Calmly sit by the bed and wait for them to awake. Smile wordlessly and walk from the room. As though you watched them sleep all night.
Step Three: Do chores, as usual, but make sure to pick the creepy ones—the ones that involve time spent in basements or sheds. You must return from these chores with some small amount of blood on you, that’s key.
Step Four: Disappear entirely from time to time. When you return, to flying accusation, recommend some yoga or meditation. That goes over reaaaaal well.
Step Five: Decide on an M.O. and casually work it into conversation.
For instance, I suggested that a mate deal with a problem at work by making a bullet point list for her boss and then feeding it to her. And when Marc gave me the up-and-down, I clarified, ‘Don’t worry, honey, I’m not recommending she murder her boss. My modus operandi is to fill people’s lungs not their stomachs. Although, I suppose I could buy up all those devices for soaking up industrial spills and just feed them to people until they exploded like seagulls’.
‘What. in. Fuck’.
Pat their leg reassuringly.
Step Six: Give in to cute aggression. It reads entirely differently when your S.O. thinks you’re a serial killer. And for that matter, act on all those smothering, squeezing, biting urges that would otherwise seem totally normal. Offer to help cut up the vegetables for supper. Decide that now is a good time to sharpen the knives. Indoors. Remark on the strength of your shoelaces or your new workout routine. Do you keep a journal? Start keeping a journal.
Step Seven: The caveat? You love your partner, or you wouldn’t be teasing them thusly. So make sure to spread out the above steps over time so that they don’t toss you over for less serial killer infested waters. And let a month go by here and there without any activity. It’s about the long game. And about the possibility of a love life during these trying, prank-filled times.
Quoz, I think I might be a horrible man?
But I won’t tell Marcus, as psychopaths don’t feel remorse.