I have developed a liking for the word benign. I don’t know where it came from, it just popped in my head a moment ago. So I have decided to give it audience, who knows, it may have some good things to offer.
Really has a nice ring to it. It also leaves a funny itch in your jaw muscles. The more you say it, the tinglier your mouth feels. I don’t care what you think, this is fun. It is in fact, tantalizing.
It is not a word that you are assured to encounter in everyday conversations. It is not your ordinary Joe like pants or bootleg. It is the kind of word that each time you encounter, it’s an event. You have to dress up and ensure that your make up is just right. Before you appear before him, you have to go on a three day cleansing ritual where you repent of every snide and sarcastic remark you ever made concerning his height or the slight bulge of his stomach. You have to beg for forgiveness for that day when, under the influence of free yet detestably under matured ale, you likened his belly to that of your pregnant sister.
You need to consecrate yourself lest ‘All great and mighty’ Benign spot you from afar and banish you from his presence and you get deprived of that awe inspiring aura; an aura many will liken to a controlled substance or a decommissioned drug that can possibly lead you to experience hallucinations and apparent paranormal spiritual encounters.
You will become malnourished, as though your life has lost meaning. The very essence of your existence will get destabilized and your life will fizzle down to a menial state. You will stop living and start existing. Not to mention the stigma that will follow your oh-so-humiliating experience. You will always be known as the guy who was banished by Supreme Lord Emperor Benign. You will then become an outcast and live in isolation.
Grandparents will use you as an example to their grand kids on using too much make-up or choosing the wrong shade of lipstick. They will warn their sons about using the wrong cologne or trying to pull off Neymar’s hairdo yet your head looks like a defaced overripe avocado. You will become the main subject of a unit taught in beauty school; an example of the brutality of the state in government school. Parents will beg their children not to become like you and outlaw factions will use you as a cause to rally people against the ‘oppressive’ rule of Benign.
You don’t want to be that guy.
By now I have consulted my dictionary on the meaning of the word. Benign connotes a kind and gentle individual. I’ll be honest and say that I am a bit let down. The meaning is so anti-climactic to where this story was headed. But I refuse to let my imagination be limited. So let’s create a new one.
In light of recent revelations, Benign now sounds to me like a bespectacled, middle aged gentleman who probably teaches literature in high school. His favorite color is probably brown and he always wears a sweater top over all his outfits. He is not boring but given the option of hanging out with him, you would probably choose anything else. He is possibly married to a lady called Mary-Kate or Wendy. In fact, he sounds more like a Wendy marrying kind of guy. She has brown hair and coffee colored eyes. They don’t have children but both have a weakness for toddlers. He probably helps his wife cook and wipes the dishes after she has washed them.
They seemingly live in a semi-suburb bungalow and grow flowers in their front yard. He is allergic to flowers but since his Wendy can’t get enough of them, he puts up with the sneezing and anti-histamine pills. They sound like a couple who have a lot of cats and have given them preposterous names like Marigold and Mr. Fletcher.
He is a good husband and would have probably been a good father. He has never played sports and usually avoids conflict as much as he can. He goes home every evening to basic cable TV, roasted chicken dinner with a side of French beans and carrots. He probably coaches the glee club and offers to be a substitute when one of the teachers goes on leave or to a hiking trip.
He will live a regular life with people all having the same regular comments about him. He’ll probably retire to a farm house in the countryside and grow corn and make jam. He will not have a drinking problem and drugs won’t be his cup of tea. He will live a normal peaceful life and possibly die in his early 70s from cancer or diabetes (from all that jam). He will be buried either on his farm or the local cemetery.
This is my impression of what Benign would be like if he were a man and lived up to his definition.Or he could decide to go off script and become a pompous arrogant dictator who shot rebels out of a canon just for fun…you know, the possibilities are endless.