We do not do things by halves. There is no magnolia adorning the walls where we live. Muzak does not play in the background and we never choose to eat vanilla ice cream. If it is neutral, if it is middle of the road and if it is sat on the fence we do not want to know. If it is bland you can forget about it, if something is inoffensive it is of no use to us and words such as unobjectionable, unprejudiced and unbiased are pointless.
We are not interested in fair or equitable and indifference is loathed by us. If you are uncommitted, open-minded, even-handed, detached and unaligned you are not performing as we want you to. Anything which smacks of being straight down the middle holds no interest for us because everything that we want has to be extreme. We want it ice cold or burning hot. Take our ignited fury for instance. When you pass comment on us or do something which is a criticism and you do so in an unemotional, detached and straightforward manner you may as well drive a spear into our hearts as this criticism wounds and burns. To counter it, our fury will ignite and then we retaliate by adopting the extreme. We may lash out at you, pouring scorn and labelling you with a medley of offensive and nasty words, designed to tear into you and cause you to sob. We may adopt the other extreme and provide you with our haughty and stand-offish cold fury, the icy glare and cold shoulder turned towards you. We live and flourish by extremes. There is never any settling for average. It is either feast or famine.
In the beginning, we must create a deluge of false affection as we lavish you with compliments and praise. The words come easily and these softly spoken or enthused exclamations (even our method of delivery adopts an extreme) are poured over you so you are drenched with our affection and love. You are drowning in desire, swamped by our seduction and buried beneath an avalanche of affection. You are given the expensive gifts, nothing cheap, nothing crass or tatty, only the finest and most delightful items are selected for you. You are regaled with tales of our achievements, our excellence and our brilliance. I was not player of the year once but four times. I am not just the highest biller in the department but the entire firm. My car is top of its range. I only ever eat organic, none of that fast processed food for me. My handkerchiefs are silk not cotton. I have three toothbrushes for morning, noon and night. I use four different skin products when I wash in the morning. You read War and Peace in a week? I did it in three days. I don’t just text message you once or twice each day, no, what would be the point of that? You receive a text tsunami. Impressed? You ought to be. That is how special you are and how sensational I am by being able to ping text after text your way and still be as hard-working as I am.
I don’t obey the speed limit, that is for ordinary people. When it is time to go out and party, you will always notice when my entourage and I have arrived. Just watch that bar bill escalate. Why have one partner when five can be juggled? Why gamble a hundred pounds when a thousand will win much more? Five star? I want five-star superior? I am the five-star combatant – the Admiral of the Fleet, Field Marshal and Marshal of the Air Force. Turn it up to eleven. Why a dozen guests? Make it two dozen. Let’s make a show, let’s make a splash, let’s push it further. I lead a life of excess. I engage in extreme behaviours. I never just talk, I either shout and rage or seductively whisper. I don’t get a cold, I have pneumonia and you had better look after me whilst I have it.
Not only do I cause you to soar to the heights, I also take you to the extreme depths. I freeze you out. I lambast you with acidic words. I take it away and send you tumbling towards rock bottom. Down, downwards I will cast you. I don’t just want you to cry, I want you to wail and scream. I don’t want you irritated by my behaviour, I want you to be angry, blowing a gasket, beside yourself with annoyance. I do not want you to be sad, I want you to be desolate. I do not want you to be unhappy, I want you to be mired in misery. High or low, it does not matter as long as it is not in the middle.
Why am I like this? Why does my kind and me never settle for okay or fine, but have to take it to outstanding or terrible? We do so because extreme means special. Extreme means superior. Extreme means you will take notice of me. I do not just fade into the background. I am not beige. I do not sink into a grey sea. I am impenetrable darkness and I am glorious light. I am not a steady monotone, for I am the heavy, resonant and sonorous bass and the tinkling angelic bells.
I am like this because nobody remembers the middle man, the middle ranking and the go-between. Neutral is nothing. I must be noticed. I must be admired. I must shock and awe. I must stand out, turn heads and be the topic of conversation, good or bad, it matters not so long as I am recognised. I must provoke, stimulate and arouse so I am always noticed and paid attention to. I must always take it as far as possible and the further again. Extreme is the only option available to me. How else am I going to fill this emptiness?