|A graphic depiction of Armin Meiwes serving Bernd Jürgen Brandes his own penis|
I did as he instructed, opening a separate window for the newsgroup so that we could continue to chat. At the time I don’t know what scared me more, what I read and saw there, or the fact that it was suppose to offer some insight into SlowHand. The thought of either spread a tide of fear over me, powerful and uncontrollable.
Regardless, I scrolled down a macabre list of topics and subtopics. As I did, I wondered what new game I was playing. Was I intentionally seeking out a succession of increasingly outrageous realities? Why? How far would I go? What was I looking for? As I gleaned over the postings, tested my frontiers, I could feel the walls that enclosed my morality and protected it from the absurd. Yet, I could not stop.
As I glanced at the overwhelming number of images—pictures of rotting corpses, serial killers and their victims, mob hits, accident scenes, mass murder and burial sites, charred bodies pouring out from the ovens of Krakow, a manifesto by someone calling himself Billy The Killer, people sprawled like mad sparrows as they tumbled down the towers, the towers themselves—crumbling, gigabytes of Abu Ghraib atrocities, bloated bodies floating like swamp grass in New Orleans in Katrina’s aftermath—I climbed over undeterred. I was past the realm of morality. I had not yet discovered my new domain’s name.
SlowHand: Click on the one titled “the germans”. It’s my favorite.
I scrolled down the list of gruesome titles, Man sleeps with dead wife, yoboy with face blown off!, Killing Strays with Hammer, until I found the right link. It automatically opened up my media player. After a lag, a video began to play. A dark shot of an wok sizzling on a stove. An arm reached into the frame with a bottle, liquor of some sort, and poured it into the wok. It ignited.
LiLith: What’s this? Some kind of cooking show?
SlowHand: Keep watching.
The camera zooms out for a second before zooming back in, closer. The flames died down as the alcohol burned off. I could barely make out what was being flambéed. A sausage? Then it dawned on me.
LiLith: Is that a penis?!
The arm reached in, turned off the stove and pulled the pan off the flame.
LiLith: Like what? Dog?
SlowHand: No. His.
The scene cut to a man, seated at a table, not all there. He looked tired, worn. Another man, the man with the arm, pan in hand, came to the table, set the pan down on a trivet, picked up a knife and started slicing. The seated man seemed to perk up.
LiLith: You’re putting me on, right.
He wasn’t. I could remember hearing something, somewhere. A news clip. Maybe a few words in passing. Some Internet chatter. Did you hear about those cannibals in Germany?
SlowHand: The man who is seated is Bernie. He met Arnie, the carver, online in 2001 through an ad Arnie placed looking for people willing to offer and share some of their flesh. Apparently, Bernie was the only taker, or giver as the case may be. Just google “german cannibals” if you want to read all about it.
I opened a third window and did just that, incredulous that this could even be real. I skimmed the article at the top of the list as I tried to keep up with the action on the video. I could only shake my head as I watched Arnie serve Bernie, and then himself. I felt my stomach roll as they both sampled their gruesome meal.
LiLith: Heavy price to pay for a taste of human flesh, don’t you think.
SlowHand: It gets heavier. Arnie convinces Bernie to let him kill him. Keep watching. You get to see the slaughter… if you can handle it. Bernie videotaped the whole thing, It was supposedly suppressed by the german gov, but I guess someone leaked it. These things always get leaked.
I couldn’t. I had seen enough, more really than I could take back then. I wanted to close my player. I didn’t. I couldn’t.