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31 October 2008 @ 06:06 pm
Theatrical Muse: Week 255: Question 255  
Name: Dr. Sid Hammerback

Fandom: CSI: New York

Word Count: 991

BOO! How would you go about scaring someone?

Creating suspense is a careful art that must never be predictable. And, even if it can have an air of predictability about it, it must twist and turn and end up somewhere else that is not entirely the same as what was expected in the first place. That being said, not all suspenseful situations follow such a lack of being able to guess their final destination, but when I create my own form of suspense, I like to do such a thing. To never be able to guess a final end is always one of the biggest surprises to another person, and, I think, one of the most delightful. That is, is it not, what suspense and surprises are all about? Not being able to guess where you will end up, with only the vaguest inkling about what is happening to you, but not really, why.

When people talk about marriage nowadays, they speak endlessly about the correct matches, personality types, preferences, likes, dislikes, all this drivel and malarkey which, although useful in forming a good relationship, is not entirely what makes up love. If you love someone, if you know, really know, that you’re meant to be with them, whoever they are, then you forgive their misgivings, and whatever parts about them that you might not like in someone else, you do not mind. I married for love after all, love in its purest, wildest form, so my marriage worked out. Other people marry for different things, money, status, power, superiority, and sometimes, without love, these marriages don’t work out. I’m not saying that all marriages are doomed without love, but I am saying that not all of them happen for the right reasons and because of this, not all of them work out. Things change of course, life is constantly fluctuating, and what might have once worked just fine, now, will not work anymore.

But back to surprises. Successfully scaring someone, is in itself, a successful surprise. To scare is to frighten someone suddenly with something scary or of a nature that they don’t like, or so my thought processes go. To scare, you either have to lack suspense entirely, in the case of leaping out from behind a door, or create suspense gradually, culminating in a terrifying moment, as in the case, let’s say, of a haunted house. Either way, you must pinpoint exactly, the moment and the actions that contribute towards making that tick in time a period of exhilarating excitement. Don’t just go, boo, leap out from somewhere, scream and look terrifying. However, be careful, because what may scare someone may not scare the next person and so on.

Halloween, that most fabled of American traditions, allows for the art that is scaring someone, to be intentionally done without much consequence, as long as you don’t break the law, of course. In years previous, I have trick or treated with my school friends, then Marianne, and we pushed it a little after we were married by continuing still. Then, for a time after that, as grownups, we delegated ourselves to wild Halloween parties, and creating costumes of macabre delight, to scare those that chose to come to our front door. While it was just a once a year thing, and for one night only, we were viscous people during that time, indulgent and fully aware of the sense of terror that a certain powder or makeup slash here and there, could create in people. When our children came along, it was very much the same thing, except, as they got older, we introduced them to trick or treating, to silly costumes, cowboy hats, and yes, even on one occasion, fairy wings. And so, that tradition was born again, and it continued, as it did, until they died.

Nowadays, I still make a costume each year, or something of it, and if I feel like it, I’ll go to a party, perhaps bring someone home. Sometimes, I have worked, or am working, and I see the influences of the day, the night, in the morgue, and I am left to wonder, as I sometimes do, about the mysterious forces and decisions that drive one person to murder someone else. What kind of action or thought puts into motion one of the most irreversible deeds known to man, and beast? Then I move on, and as always, I am moving forward, and once Halloween is left behind, it is finished for another year to come, and that is that.

What scares us, what terrifies as, as individuals, as human beings, is a subject matter made up of a wide variety of things, from spiders and snakes, to dirt and enclosed spaces. What scares us, has helped, and still helps us, to survive, in one way or another, and even if our fears are silly, based on things that can not harm someone, the fear can still be there, be present and imposing as anything else bigger and more dangerous. Whether it is clowns or people in hockey masks, knives or someone sneaking in through that door or window you think you’ve left unlocked, fear is a personal thing that not all people can understand when they look at the fears of someone else, compared to their own.

Fear is a personal thing, and scaring someone is an exaction of knowledge about someone else’s fears, a pinpoint of knowing in a decision of a particular course of action. Of course, I used to fear losing my family, but then I lost them. I used to fear, somewhere in my heart of hearts, that one day they would be ripped from me and I wouldn’t be able to get them back. And that happened, and now, being that one of my worst fears was realised in exact motion, I take to scaring people nowadays, on Halloween, or otherwise, with a significantly larger amount of compassion than I used to have.
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