What Are The Odds You Kill Someone?

I was talking to the soldier, circa 2007…

“By the way,” I said. “I have been thinking about something.”

He was working on something and turned to look at me. “What’s that?”

“Well you’re all the time threatening to kill people. Do you know that? At least once a day you threaten to kill someone but more like about three or four times on average,” I said with both a stare and a smile.

“Yeah and I think it a lot more than that,” he said.

“Not surprised. So I decided I should try to figure out if you might actually do it. You threaten this constantly but do you mean it? Might you do it, or are you just blowing off steam?”

He didn’t even look up.

“And it used to disturb me greatly… all the threats. But I’ve gotten used to them. I know you’re going to threaten to kill someone on most days and I don’t want to be stupid or in denial but I don’t think you’re going to do it,” I said. “I think maybe this is how you blow off steam. I think it’s just how you talk. It’s your language.”

“Kill someone? You don’t think I will?”

“Well I don’t know. I have no idea what you’re going to do. I’m just telling you about this process I’ve gone through and telling you that since you threaten this all the time and it’s almost become normal to me, I thought it might be smart for me to figure out just how serious you are. Say… what are the odds?”

He smiled, and then chuckled a little so I chuckled too.

“Yeah, are you going to kill someone? Or is this just how you talk? So I came up with a number and I was surprised I could do this but the number came to me and its damned low. It’s lower than I could have hoped for because as you know I would prefer you not kill people. You know this, right?”

“I do. So what’s the number, P?”

“Well it’s lower than I expected.” I said, stalling.

“The number, P. Give it to me.”

“The number is 4%.”



He stared.

“However there’s more to say. I’m pretty sure there are some circumstances where you would kill someone 100%. I think there are some circumstances where if you came upon them you would kill someone absolutely. No hesitation.”

“The 100% is definitely right and 4%? Yeah, I would say that’s about right as well. Something like that. That’s a pretty good job there, P,” he said with a grin.

“Yeah, well I know you. And I know more math than you think,” I said with a smirk. “But anyway, I don’t think that is all that high considering. And maybe it will move to 3% if you get laid a lot and someone feeds you.”

He ignored me.

“So I’m going to think about this some more. But right now I don’t know that 4% is that much higher than average. You know. A person can go off and kill someone and perhaps you are less likely because you have such control. So that leaves the 100% doesn’t it?”

“I guess. There are definitely circumstances…”

“I know. For example no one is going to hijack a plane with box cutter are they? You would kill them instantly, yes? They would be dead?”

“Yes they’d be dead. You got that right.”

I laughed involuntarily. “Okay, well that’s what I thought. And I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about this. Because it seems people like you have a place in nature. I believe that. However, how would I like to be sitting next to the guy who killed the guy with box cutter, hmm?”

He didn’t say anything.

“I have to ask myself this,” I said. “Because I don’t think I should come out to your desert house and be with you without knowing the answers to this stuff. I ought to know exactly how I feel about this don’t you think?”

“Yeah. Hand me that would you?” he said pointing to a tool. “I’m glad you’re out here keeping me company. Wish I could have you here all the time. I usually have to do this alone. No company at all. I like it a lot better when you’re with me, P. You make my day great.”

18 thoughts on “What Are The Odds You Kill Someone?”

  1. “And maybe it will move to 3% if you get laid a lot and someone feeds you.”

    Yeah, that about sums it up. It’s funny, cuz I’ve got Mercury in Aries and that’s one of my phrases, too! I think a good part of the reason why no one has actually died yet is that I’m socialized well enough to know restraint must be used unless I want to spend the rest of my life behind bars. Some people do make it hard though! Especially those morons who cut me off on the freeway, then slow down to 10 below the speed limit. GAH!! They really do need to die.

  2. You two have the craziest conversations – it must be that opposition.
    I say that too sometimes, probably my ascendant. With Mercury in Capricorn I should probably threaten to sue people, not kill them. lol Boring.

  3. “Because it seems people like you have their place in nature.” I agree with that, and I like it. I just haven’t thought about it much. It’s interesting. You can’t fit it in the normal scheme of things. But it has a place. I’m interested to see what perspective the soldier has/comes to have on it. It’s easy to judge, because it’s outside the norm, but it has to be done to keep things going for the rest of us. And therefore it’s part of us that isn’t that easy to approach. But we rely on it. Our ability to be ‘civilised’ requires people who are prepared to be otherwise. It makes you think.

  4. Well DR, he told me this story about these people being nailed to telephone poles by these other people. So in effect, you would wake up in the morning, or come home from work and there is your neighbor, nailed to a telephone pole. And this happens, once, twice, three times. Your town has a problem, yes? Someone better do something and they better be mean. And I am not mean! I have Libra!

    I have Libra, so I don’t want to see these bodies in my neighborhood, so the guy who is going to search out the telephone pole nailers and neutralize them (I don’t care how). Well I am going to be very grateful. Stupid grateful. I am going to thank God someone has the balls to go in there and tango with people like this.

    So the soldier does this and he does it supremely well. He was born to do this, he loves to this and to me it is no different than my being born to read a chart, or give advice. It’s a service.

    And I don’t speak for every soldier, but I do speak for him. I know his life from when he was a small boy. I know exactly what drives and it is not what the common person would imagine (or project).

    And then you think in the scheme of things. I have some stories… One time I was dropping my kid at school, he was 4. This man pulled up and was abusive to these two women…. cafeteria workers who asked him not to park where the trucks supposed to be able to deliver the food. This was guy a prick. And the abuse was directed at them not me, but I saw it. And I wanted to do or say something but to be completely candid, I thought it not wise. Because this guy looked like he could easily pull a shot gun out from under the seat of his car and fire at us. He as that… excited. Like maybe a drunken asshole, you could say. Someone going off half-cocked. The kind of guy who beats his wife.

    And at that time (this was 2003) I wished the soldier was there. I just thought this guy needed his ass kicked, see? Why should we all cower over some bastard like this.

    But he was not there and this guy… the three of us gave him wide berth. But you never know. You never know when your karma is coming. Because I can tell you for sure had the soldier seen this guy disrespect these women the way he did when they were just trying to do their minimum wage job… he would have slapped the living shit out of him for sure. And I will be completely candid.

    Part of me would have relished this. Another part of me (I HAVE LIBRA) deplores violence. But thing is through stories like these I have had to ask myself the questions you are asking yourself now and I have come to completely understand that people like him are part of the fabric. Sometimes you are just meant to buy it, you know. So he’s the guy who will pull the trigger. Thank God, because I don’t want to do it.

  5. “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” -George Orwell

    The quote’s becoem a cliche but it still expresses a profound truth. I think we don’t give Mars his due respect in our civilization anymore. We deny him and wanna make him “nice.” Perhaps we’ve seen so much perversion of real soldierly ethos in our times, because our denial makes the shadow emerge instead. Instead of healthy expressions, like someone who would’ve kicked that guy’s ass.


  6. Elsa and all,

    There’s a brilliant book by Jungian James Hillman, A TERRIBLE LOVE OF WAR, that is the most intelligent and poetic treatment of the subject I know of. I recommend it.


  7. Yep….. quite true.

    A little hint: don’t ever try to put a special forces guy in a headlock when he’s quite drunk. I can verify that it’s quite an unpleasent experience.

  8. If a man ever spoke words to me, like the soldier’s sentiments above in that last paragraph .. well, I’d surely marry him too! ๐Ÿ˜€

  9. Yeah. My husband’s in law enforcement. So are the vast majority of people he knows. This topic does come up; and it does provoke some, I don’t know, something. But I was at one point very seriously considering a career in law enforcement myself so I also had to ask myself these kinds of questions – which, well, that’s when it really gets down to the bone. I made my decision (didn’t pursue law enforcement) and was good with it – then went and married someone in the field! My father’s also a vet of two wars so I guess it’s been a theme of sorts. I’ve been hearing about it pretty much all of my life.

  10. Great thread. We all have our role – we become whole when we find it and live it

    Elsa and the Soldier – perfect yin and yang? It’s like a fairy story, or rather a myth I should say. I think that’s why we all find Elsa’s story so compelling

  11. I have an asteroid in my chart. Killed violently or kill Someone else. Yes my Neptune in Libra. Helps. Mars in Pisces the spirit. Hope balances. Has so far. I like your writing also. Its really touching I speed read it I feel like I’m intruding. Very familiar like we are related. Wink
    Wink ๐Ÿ˜‰

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