Power, Control, and the Illusion of Authority
13, Jan 2015
It didn’t matter. Joseph was angry. In fact he was absolutely livid. He spent almost five months trying to get with this married woman who was having relationship issues with her husband. She was upset, distraught, and deeply depressed.
Her relationship lasted more than a decade before she began to understand something was wrong. She didn’t know when it would end. All she knew is that she wanted it to end and she refused to let it end. If it ended she would be wrong. And yet while her relationship persisted she was trapped. He husband could do no wrong; only her.
That knowledge didn’t matter to Joseph. He wanted her for his own. To him she strayed and led him on. She didn’t intend to. She wanted an ear to talk to, an open mind to help ease her suffering, a friend. What she wanted didn’t matter.
He wanted her and the fact didn’t matter that he was still married himself. It didn’t matter that he was in love with the idea of having a new woman in his life and not an actual woman. What mattered to him was having control over something that made him feel important.
So I knew what I was in for when he pulled a revolver on me just outside of the Great American Ballpark in downtown Cincinnati by the fountains. In the middle of the afternoon with a few hundred people looking on, he pulled a gun on me. For him the few seconds must have seemed like an eternity.
“Damn you! Damn you! She was mine, you bastard!” Joseph screamed with a shaky voice. “I’m going to kill you for taking away my woman! Do you understand? I’M GOING TO FUCKING KILL YOU!”
I just stood there. No increase in my heart rate. No extra breath drawn. I just stood there looking at him, directly eye to eye. We held eye contact the entire time. At maybe fifteen feet away and his revolver trained on me, it was a sure hit.
“I didn’t steal anything from you,” I said.
The moments seemed to drag on for him. I could see it in his eyes. His thoughts were racing.
To help the conversation along I asked, “How do you know about me?”
“That doesn’t fucking matter! What matters is that you destroyed my life. You took my woman from me! You FUCKING STOLE MY WOMAN FROM ME!”
He was intent on ensuring I knew that I was his bane. “Joseph, I’m not your enemy. Rebecca left her husband because he was abusive. And she showed me the things you wrote to her. I was her friend first before anything else. She confided in me because I showed her compassion, because I let her be who she wanted to be. I didn’t ridicule her, threaten her, or make her feel any less than an equal to me.”
At the sound of his name he suddenly stopped shaking. He lost his focus and his revolver began to lower ever so slightly. “H-How…what? THAT FUCKING BITCH! I knew she was a mistake. I knew she was a God damned mistake! You’re both going to fucking pay for this humiliation!”
Joseph raised his weapon at me again with a look of surprise on his face.
“Go on,” I said. “Pull that trigger. Shoot me right now. Don’t hesitate. You can shoot me or you can lower your weapon. Which will it be, Joseph? We can walk away from this right now and go sit and have a meal and discuss things or you can shoot me. Which will it be?”
Every ounce of anger in Joseph turned immediately into concentrated fear, pure terror. “I-I-I, I can’t. I-I can’t st-stop myself. What’s happening to me!? WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ME?!”
“So do you really want to shoot me now that you have set things into motion? Are you scared now, Joseph?”
Again, he just stood there unable to move. His face turning from flushed to pale. “Control is an illusion, Joseph. You thought by pointing that gun at me that you would have control. You thought perhaps I would succumb to what you wanted. Maybe you even thought I would leave Rebecca and let her choose you. What amount of violence did you think would be enough to secure that goal? Did you really think I wouldn’t retaliate? Did you stop to think about what you don’t know about me? Did you stop to think about what you don’t know? Did you think if you killed me that she would want you then?”
Joseph continued to just stand there. He was terrified. He was being controlled by something other than his own motor functions. He knew exactly what was going on, though he couldn’t explain it. He could absolutely feel it.
I continued on. “Pull that trigger, Joseph, and you will find out very quickly how little control you have here. You won’t kill me. So let me ask you a question. We are in the heart of a Cincinnati. Don’t you think it strange that there are no sirens yet? After all, we’ve been standing here for several moments with a couple hundred people watching us. Has it not occurred to you yet that someone must have called the police by now because you are pointing a gun at me?”
There was nothing Joseph could do at the moment but try to muster the strength to calm his self. I wasn’t actually holding him back, preventing him from acting. I merely took control on his arms and hands and fingers in the moment to give the illusion of power over him. His fear of not being in control is what paralyzed him. It is what caused him to believe in the moment that he had no choices.
This is the problem with so many. People are adamant about controlling others to ensure their own security while almost always failing to recognize that control is not what everything is about. How we react is what every action is about. All Joseph had to do is calm his self in the moment and realize he still can pull the trigger. But he doesn’t want to since he doesn’t believe he has the control to. I’ve only moved his arms and hands and fingers from the outside. He still is capable of moving them from the inside.
So I pressed him a little more. Perhaps in hindsight I was wrong. I was frustrated with him too. “I love Rebecca. She grew to be my friend before anything else, my best friend. We didn’t search one another out to start a family. We didn’t search one another out to spite anyone else. She came into my life just a few months after she had her falling out with you. When she and I met I was still involved with someone else. I had no intentions of wanting to be with her. I admired her skill as an artist and that working relationship turned into a friendship.”
The crowd began to thicken around us. I was encouraging it. I was soothing the crowd with my abilities. I was protecting Joseph and myself. It seems strange to others, I’m sure. Though, sometimes hiding in plain sight with others is the most efficient way to remain concealed.
“Joseph, I didn’t steal her from you. She chose me. We fell for each other. You and I don’t have to be enemies. We don’t have to be brothers either. But we do have to respect one another’s consent. And that includes her choice of partner. I won’t cower to you and I won’t reject no from her either. So go ahead and pull that trigger.”
He stood there and started to shake again.
“PULL THAT GOD DAMNED TRIGGER,” I yelled at him, angry for his shortsightedness and failure to self reflect. My whole life it seemed as if I was the only one who was made to self reflect. I was wrong my entire life and now I have the ability to assert authority. Sure it was right and moral of me to stand my ground. Perhaps I was wrong for being angry.
I tweaked his finger with just a nudge of telekinesis. The revolver fired a single round.
Fifteen feet away and I could feel the bullet press into my chest. I was good and well exercised in my abilities. Unfortunately, I let a moment of anger wash over me. The bullet didn’t break my skin, though it would leave a nasty black and blue bruise on me for a good while. I had that bullet in my mind’s eye the entire time, though Joseph or any of the onlookers didn’t know what was going on.
The act of actually pulling that trigger sent shock waves through every aspect of Joseph’s being. He dropped the revolver in a state of panic but didn’t run. I was pushed back a step and dropped to one knee holding my left breast. The crowd remained awkwardly silent still under the effects of my soothing.
Joseph finally came around and ran towards me blathering apologies and frustrations about the entire incident. His eyes told the story of how he just lost every chance of seeing Rebecca again, how he would never be free again. And as he approached I stood.
I extended a closed hand with the bullet he fired in it. He looked down at my hand as I opened it to see the bullet he thought he fired. “wha-h-what?”
“I told you control was an illusion. If I can stop that and encourage all these people around us to not call the police, what else do you think I am capable of doing?”
Joseph stood there with flashes of anger, fear, curiosity, shock, and surprise trading places on his face.
“No, you didn’t pull that trigger. I did. But now you know the truth about such hostilities. Don’t tempt me to cross the line. This small display is only coming close to that line. I will kill to defend myself if necessary. And I don’t want to. So please, go build your own life. Leave me and Rebecca alone. Please.”
He stood there for several more moments. His mind was working hard to process the entire event. And then my mind began the same. He wasn’t ready for this lesson. I probably wasn’t ready for it either.
Joseph ran back to his revolver. He spun quickly around with it pointed directly at me. “Control this you arrogant son of a bitch!”
One shot I stopped. A second shot I stopped. A third shot I stopped.
The recoil of his gun was impeding his aim. I had to move to follow his sight, to prevent others I gathered around from being hit. He fired a fourth shot and it went high. I was able to stop it and let it fall harmlessly to the ground, maybe five hundred feet behind me.
Then he fired the last shot in his revolver. The same amount of time it took me to stop the fourth shot was enough time for him to refocus his aim. He refocused and I took a pro’s fast ball to my stomach.
I fell backwards onto the concrete. He charged me with gun in hand to beat me with it. As he leaned forward to dive onto me, I planted my foot onto his groin grabbing his hands and pulling them down so his momentum and sudden shift in center of gravity would carry him over me and land him shoulder first into the concrete ground. I stood with difficulty.
I was losing control of my emotions faster. I had to end this now before I was ended. I stretched out my left arm and made a hand gesture of grabbing his throat.
In one motion he was lifted sitting up, then hoisted into the air a good three feet off the ground, and given only a few seconds to beg. His last words were indicative of the anger he let fester in his heart for years.
“I hate you all!”
With that, I squeeze my hand into a fist and his neck collapsed upon itself with broken bones piecing some of his throat.
I held him there calming down and shifting to a logical state of mind. I allowed no blood to spill and pulled all bullets to him, depositing them in his pockets with his revolver. I sat him on a nearby bench leaning up again a large tree planter. From there I disappeared into the crowd and allowed some to call emergency services before I was too far away.
I was never seen in the vicinity of that incident. Witnesses heard gunfire more than half a mile away, but none in the area knew what happened. My wife would know. Rebecca would always know.
I told her everything. Many would be abhorred by such a display of power and anger. Not Rebecca. She loved me as much as I loved her. She knew I was just as human as anyone. My only difference was that I was more alone in the world than any other because of what I learned.
As far as she as I both knew, I was the only telepath and telekinetic in existence. I often feel guilty for what I am capable of doing. I work a warehouse job and utilize my abilities to out produce so many others. I’m fast at my jobs. And I earn double the pay of what others do.
Rebecca thinks I’m a hero for doing this. The rest of the world will surely believe me to be a thief, coward, or villain because I don’t fight crime with my superman like powers. And that is why I hide.
Because the world isn’t ready yet.
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