And it came to pass that yours truly was walking, after working hours, on the streets of a busy English city, allowing himself a walk in the glorious (if a bit too strong) Friday afternoon sun before heading back to his humble abode.
So there was I, carelessly walking around (and, incidentally, thinking about Saint Domenico Savio, on whom I might write something one of these days) when I saw a strange figure walking in my direction.
He looked, from afar, a bit like one of those characters of Chinese plays, or like a wannabe male geisha. Already from a distance it was clear that a lot was wrong with him. He wore a long, black tunic, with gold-coloured decorations, of clear Chinese or Japanese inspiration. His face was, as was visible from afar, very – and I mean very – heavily made up, in a sort of “cement grey”. I have never seen anyone, male of female, made up in such a way. It was as if he was purposely trying to look ugly, or scary, or both.
He was walking on very tall clogs, or sandals. They were eight or ten centimetres tall, but the guy walked with them without any difficulty, betraying extensive practice with the instruments. There was, all around him, an indescribable, but extremely evident, air of lewdness. As my brain absorbed this extremely strong image elaborating its whisky tango foxtrot moment, it was clear this was not a character from a Chinese play. This was, if you ask me, a character from the sick fantasy of a very evil brain.
There is nobody between us as we walk toward each other, so I am in full view of the unreal sight. As he gets near, it is clear it is a man in his fifties, or sixties, his face heavily grooved by big furrows. If he was trying to look like a geisha, he was failing miserably. More likely, he was trying to give to himself a kind of hellish appearance, like an evil guy in some Chinese traditional tale. He was clearly a Westerner and, again, he had the heavily worn out face of the people who don’t age gracefully. He was walking with a clear purpose, like a guy who has somewhere to go.
Walking towards each other (he is faster; I have that leisurely stroll of the man without a destination) he looks straight before him whilst I, for one brief moment, look at him straight in the eye (I always give “the eye” to degenerates. It’s my way of being charitable. If you call me “homophobic” for that, I thank you wholeheartedly, but I’d like “Christian” instead).
His eyes did not meet mine, though they had become aware of my presence. He was clearly absorbed in his walk and thoughts. Still, in that short moment when we walked past each other, I got a close-range glimpse of his gaze.
And there I saw them.
Two green, ice cold, lifeless, motionless, emotionless, absolutely scary eyes were on display for that moment. It was the gaze of a man who has abandoned any concept of innocence, or piety, or decency, decades ago. It was the gaze of a guy who could torture you for hours without breaking a sweat. It gave me such a chill that I needed a couple of minutes to recover from that undefined sense of alarm you experience when put (normally, in movies) in the sight of evil eyes.
Instantly, I thought of those closeups of the eyes of a serpent you see in documentaries. He really had snake eyes.
As I was recovering from the alarm, I thought of what could reduce a man in that state, both in his outer appearance and in his interior life (or lack of it). I concluded that this guy was not an actor in some play, as he would not walk around the street in that way, but would change into his costume at the venue of his performance. He was, in my eyes, also not a trannie, either (this is more difficult to say as he was so heavily made up; but no, he wasn’t trying to look like a woman, as such, and his “old peasant” face would have condemned him to failure immediately if he had tried). It was, more likely, as if he was making every effort to be as alarming, lewd, degenerate, scary a creature as possible.
A half mad, evil man would, possibly, do this. A male prostitute for clients with extremely disquieting tastes would likely do that, too. My pint is on just that profession, and just that purpose.
Decades of that, and the snake eyes are easily explained.
I had to make a conscious effort to say a Hail Mary for the salvation of his soul, as this guy was so far gone in the opposite direction that one struggles to even imagine a conversion; but nothing is impossible to God, and the guy got his Hail Mary.
Not, however, before the Prayer to St Michael the Archangel that is my standard reaction to encounters with degenerates.