Dark Passenger

Jennifer Carpenter as Debra Morgan in one of my favourite TV series, Dexter.

My husband and I have been enjoying the hit US TV series Dexter. The storyline that makes you question your own morals. Is he (Michael C Hall) an evil psychopath resorting to heinous criminal activity or a hero? A boy born with psychopathic behaviours. Broken by witnessing the brutal murder of his mother and seeking vengeance upon the world. Meticulously taught The Code by the compassionate cop who found and adopted him (played by James Remar). Or should Dexter have been given psychiatric help as opposed to honing his skills? So many questions! I pitied his brother (Christian Camargo) who was left behind but that’s another story.

Dexter’s cool, calm narrative always mentions his “dark passenger”. The dark side of him beneath the mask he expertly wears on a daily basis at work as a forensic blood spatter analyst (a job I’d love to do) and whilst dealing with colleagues, family and general society.

So what is a dark passenger and do we all have one? The latter, I think absolutely right we do. Those fleeting thoughts, urges, slips of the tongue. If everyone was grilled about their inner dark side the results would be very similar and each person has thought about homicide at least once. More you’re thinking? How honest of you! The Dark Passenger in the TV series is obviously Dexter’s real self and we all adapt to our surroundings to some extent. The polite self whilst attending church or family visits; the let-rip self people use behind their avatars on social media; the REAL self, who is that and when do you manifest?

In my experience, it’s with people I feel 100% comfortable with in reality or online, who know/knew me in the flesh and are still connected by social media and in person who’s personalities and views echo mine. I wear my The Shining Period Panties (I have quite the collection), Fuck ‘Em socks (gift from my niece to cheer me up) and have no qualms about showing them by both dropping and raising my Superdry sweatpants leg at the same time. Squealing with childlike delight and then helping myself to their coffee.

I swear like a sailor, apparently say things I “shouldn’t” and laugh out loud at the inappropriate. According to who’s rules though? Society, religion, culture, morality, upbringing and, what I despise the most, class structure, is so varied it renders everything subjective. What’s offensive to them is hysterical to the other. And so on. But that’s hardly one’s Dark Passenger.

Our Dark Passenger is the self we only reveal to ourselves, therapists and others usually during moments of intense anger for whatever reason. Mention minimal specific subjects and I see red. My composure is lost and I will rant and rave without my foot on the brakes. I do not buy the term “putting your foot in it” because I am not a mind reader and happening to mention something already a part of someone’s life is coincidence and does not merit a punishing retort.

Then there’s the curious grey area of me who used to be a mortician and a moderator on Documenting Reality. A side I’ve actually been accused of being deceitful about (oh, what would Dexter do?) which is disgusting and extremely offensive to someone who ATTEMPTED SUICIDE AFTER LOSING EVERYTHING TO CHRONIC ILLNESS SNOWBALLING FROM A BRAIN HAEMORRHAGE. See, now my Dark Passenger has emerged to right a wrong. Ask me nicely and I’ll show you hard evidence however I only need to prove myself to myself. But yes, a rewarding career choice assisting in the curiosities of death and disease yet the frowned upon cyber activity watching death and disease. To me, they’re much the same but to others, I was “weird”. I said to one individual, “What did you think of the undertaker involved in the funeral?”. “Oh he’s such a lovely man I’ll never forget him”. “Then why aren’t I lovely who deals with people’s families albeit in a different way?”. Cue silence… “I’ll put the kettle on”.

Indeed you should.

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© Copyright: Sharon Lawson™

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