A handsome man

We walk in wisps of nauseous fumes, in tickling rot of hate: in words, in deeds. We’re destined, weighted with our AK-47:s, and C4-belts. We hate your joy, your music and your food.

The young man slouches, his curious eyes glistening, embraced by nightlife he could be on his way to a date. He smiles to a waitress, smoking outside a bar.

“Whore”, he mutters.
“Maybe later” (Louder), she smiles back at him.

Continues glancing at his watch, just another 10 minutes.

“Infidels, our blood will mingle in the gutter.”.

He stops outside Le Petit Cambodge. A handsome man.

Having missed one week I was eager to get back. Last week was crazy with a book-release on the weekend, a business trip to France and some other thing. I’m sorry but I couldn’t get any other story in my head… I guess I will not be the only one.
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November 18, 2015

76 responses to “A handsome man

  1. Looking back at the picture I’m not sure why I didn’t think of Paris. Probably best that I didn’t. This piece more than does the job. Good one.

  2. Your story has made me think. Perhaps terrorists do think more of women as whores rather than themselves as destined to dine with god as they gather their courage. I wonder if it’s hate or love that they believe in. So many very religious people believe in conversion as if they “love” the ones who do not believe, as if they are “saving” them by “offering” their beliefs. Is it love? Or contempt? Or a sense of superiority? I don’t know if a non fanatic can understand a fanatic. Perhaps every fanatic has unique beliefs, a unique way of overcoming the doubts they must have. Or maybe that is what makes a fanatic. Maybe they have no doubts. I agree that understanding is crucial. Not more violence.

  3. It is easy to demonise an enemy. I understand your frustration with the bloodshed. But tell me, how should an Iraqi or Syrian wrest his country from the control of others?

  4. “our blood will mingle in the gutter and then we will find out too late that the gutter cannot tell the difference between the shooter’s and the victims’ blood. that it flowed in vain.”

  5. Very powerful and gripping. C- It works. I has just the right amount of understanding and emotion to make us wonder. I’ve been looking at pictures of these men and women and thinking, they are so young. Why do they have so much hatred inside? Why don’t they value their own life more? It’s not all religious fanaticism, it is a lot of brainwashing, too, apparently. I’ve read reports from a former hostage about his interaction with these people and it’s frightening. They rejoice when they see us react in fear and hatred towards refugees and Muslims. Apparently they hate to see us live together in peace and tolerance. So, what would smart people do?

  6. That is a frightening thing to wonder what goes on in their minds before they commit such atrocious acts of evil. You did well conveying that. Powerful story, Bjorn.

  7. A powerful piece. But as the mother of an idealistic impressionable 20 year old I’d say we can’t just demonise these people. They weren’t born that way.

  8. Intriguing look inside the mind of a fanatic. Distilled down to the core essence it is raw hate but there is a degree of complexity behind those reasons that we need to unravel.

  9. This is wonderful. You’ve got inside his twisted mind, but also allowed us to see him as not so different – still human – ‘a handsome man’.

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