Have you ever seen a leopard run? Have you seen each muscle, every fibre work in conjunction perfectly? The ultimate combination of nature and power. That is what perfection is, the beauty of the aesthetic.
That’s how I was, smooth, efficient. Deadly, practised, almost like a wisp of smoke or a breath of air. I had many names, L’Ange de Mort, The Great Obsession and of course, Beautiful Torture. I was essentially a con-man, a schemer. But I wasn’t the brash, obvious broken-car salesman or even the “It’s a fool-proof scheme” kind of man. No, I was the con-man that didn’t go for money, I didn’t give a damn about gold and silver or the jewels of normal people. No, I made people’s hearts my objectives. You see, I was the furtive glance across the crowded room, the warm breath on the back of your neck, the feeling of someone else’s hand in yours.
And you know what? I was good at what I did, real good. I never lost a mark and I never, ever missed my target. You all know me of course, if you haven’t met me yet, you will soon and you will hate yourself for it. My con was the long con, and the short one too. It was belief at first sight and the burn that starts as an ember then builds to a fire.
Some people talk of me as if I am a torture, they speak loudly, to crowded, jeering rooms. Some talk of me as a deity, a drug or even a necessity, they talk in the hushed secrecy of a dark corner, or in their partner’s ear. But I am none of these things, I am the scars on each person’s heart, beautifully drawn by the softest of hands in the most gentle of ways. I dance at the centre of humanity’s very existence, I am the flame that has existed since the very beginning of time, but now I fade. I remember the old times, times of passion, of commitment, times when everyone had their own private story of love. Those were the days when man was in my thrall, I was worshipped as a God and condemned as the devil. Which am I? You will have to decide for yourself, maybe I am both, maybe neither. That must depend on you.