Better Life

Idle Threats

Idle Threats
If you’re going to kill me for dumping your friend, then I expect you to follow through.

My girlfriend and I dated for about five months before things fizzled out. I found myself disinterested and despondent to the girl—who we’ll call…Leah, because that’s her real name—and the relationship ultimately collapsed. A month before the break-up, I remember Leah’s friend telling me that she would “kill me if I hurt Leah.” Laughing at what I thought were innocent words, I dismissed the idle threat and went home.

In the ensuing months following the end of the relationship, her words of caution echoed in my skull. “If you hurt Leah, I’ll kill you.” Well, Leah’s friend, here’s a message for you:

You see, I’m a man of principle and integrity and I don’t take threats—regardless of their seriousness—lightly. If you’re going to kill me for dumping your friend, then I expect you to follow through. What I’m trying to say is: the hunt is on.

Here are the rules of engagement: The city of New York is our battleground and the game doesn’t end until I’m dead at your hands.

I’m a fast runner, so expect the chase to go on for a lot longer than you plan. As I was the one approached by the threat, the game can only end when I have outlived you. I am cunning and crafty like a fox with person-thoughts, so I need not carry any knives, guns, nunchucks, baseball bats, or long aluminum rods for the duration of the game—the duration being the rest of our lives, that is. I am skinny and can blend into my surroundings when alarmed, so be prepared to feel self-conscious about your fledgling eyesight as you feverishly search for a grown man in the middle of a shirt rack at clothing store.

Someone once called me “the man of a thousand faces”—I don’t remember who and it might have been a dream, but I can be whomever I want, whenever I want. You’ll spend an entire day with your father, uncle, or Tinder match, and won’t realize it was me until weeks after the interaction.

You told me that you’d kill me if I hurt your friend, well I did. So come at me. Our first run-in was purely coincidental, but lightning doesn’t strike twice. Sometimes it does, but that’s lightning and it’s a part of nature. I am not part of nature, I’m a robot with cheetah feet.

By not marrying your friend, and subsequently hurting her, I secured a spot on your most wanted list—which was serious enough to warrant a threat against my safety. Well played. How else would one express their devotion to another human being? Offering up every ounce of free time playing real-life Hunger Games is about as practical as it gets.

If I am caught—and I strongly stress the word “if”—I demand to be displayed as your trophy. You earned it. My lightning speed, hawk-vision, and Velociraptor-talons are quite the mementos. Display me proudly, like a hunter would with a bear or a moose or a jungle cat with dinosaur toenails. Do you know how to cleanly remove a human head from a torso? Tell Leah that I went down in a hale of gunfire and poison darts. Of course, I will do the same to you if you do not catch me. Except, instead of bullets and arrows, my weapon of choice is shame. That’s what happens when you throw empty threats around like shuttlecocks.

So, Leah’s friends, with those words, game on. I live in Manhattan, usually wear blue, and almost always go to pizza places for pizza. Good luck.