Herbert West (herbert_west) wrote,
Herbert West

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What's your favorite guilty indulgence?

This requires some explanation, I believe. My associate, Daniel, can be a bit… how should I put this? He often allows himself to become too emotionally involved in our work. He hasn’t learned to put emotional reactions on a back burner, particularly during an emergency. Thus, when Daniel’s emotional capacities are stretched to the breaking point, he generally goes into shock and becomes completely useless.

Now, this can be inconvenient and, I suppose, unpleasant for Daniel. But I have to admit that I enjoy those times, as much as they can be enjoyed. Most humans, I imagine, may obtain a sense of control from someone else’s powerlessness. In an unresponsive state, he never questions me. I never have to convince him of the usefulness of our task, or of how much better off he is in our laboratory than out with some tart who can see only his good looks and his degree, and not the true potential that I see. It doesn’t matter how much taller, heavier, stronger he is than me; I am unequivocally the leader, the person with the answers. I do not have to hope that he will not argue with me in a manner that I cannot refute; I do not have to worry that he will finally keep his promise to break our partnership, leaving me sans assistant.

Those brief periods when he is incapacitated offer me a rare sense of true… security, I suppose. But, to reach that security, Daniel has to suffer a tremendous amount. I admit it does leave me feeling somewhat guilty at times. It is quite the guilty indulgence to enjoy the suffering of one of the few human beings on this Earth that I find tolerable.

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