Thursday, July 16, 2009

I met a man with empty eyes. . .

It wasn’t that his eyes were dull. Oh, no! They sparkled. That shine, however, was not emanating from his soul, but was merely reflecting the world he was seeing.

I was a young girl, eighteen, straight off the farm. He was tall. Good looking with his dark wavy hair and tanned smooth face. Broad shoulders strained at his T-shirt. His IQ was slightly above 140. He was a genius. He was a psychopath. A sociopath.

He was a dangerous man.

I knew all this because I’d read his case file. I was meeting with him so I could get the little box beside “forensic patient” on “First Year Psychiatric Nursing Required Learning Experiences” record checked off. It was only my second month of hands-on training, so there were pages of little boxes left to go. Other than the ones beside ‘attending an autopsy’ and ‘making a bed’, ‘forensic patient’ is the only one I remember.

The ‘forensic patient’ was obviously enthralled by my presence. Life on the locked ward of a Psychiatric Hospital offers few thrills to those incarcerated there. I could tell by the way his empty eyes rested on the space between my white nyloned knees and the hem of my uniform, that I’d made his day. He didn’t rest his eyes there long, however. Just a quick glance, and then he was cocking his head, raising an eyebrow, and staring deeply into my eyes. A gentle smile lifted his lips and a dimple appeared on his chin.

I knew instantly, that like Dr. Hannibal Lecter when he met Jodi Foster in the movie “Silence of the Lambs”, this man was reading my soul. . . .

To read the rest of this article, go to:
I met a man with empty eyes at

Eileen Schuh,
Canadian writer


Gary Val Tenuta said...

Hi Eileen,
Your article, "I Met a Man With Empty Eyes", pulled me right in. But... is there more? It ends abruptly and I was hoping to read more about the relationship between the nursing student and the sociopath.

Eileen Schuh: said...

Thank you, Gary.

Your interest has inspired me to write a followup article. I'll post it here once it's done.

I remain intrigued by those who appear to be born without a soul, and the attendant religious, legal, and social implications. The true psychopath very much seems like a robot in a human body.

While the man with the empty eyes was diagnosed as psychopathic, others can be borderline psychopathic, or have psychopathic tendencies.

Many of the criminal villains in my novels fit in there somewhere, as do some of my police officers--when your job is to face down evil, it's hard not be touched by it!