I once had a friend punch another in the face.
I remember what he looked like, before he struck. I have seen his face do so many things; smile, laugh, set up jokes, yell things across the street, but I'd rarely seen his face like this. His mouth looked strange, flattened and snarled, preparing. I tried to look at his eyes, but they moved too quickly to lock onto. They flashed up on my face for brief moments, but I may as well have another passerby.
And in a flash, there was blood.
He was gone.
And we all stood on the curb in mediated silence amidst the threats and the swearing, losing his back into the swell of the night.
I know far more violent things happen everyday. But witnessing this intimate glimpse of a hate's manifestation sticks with me like a bug I just can't shake.
I still have strange dreams about this ferocity, but it mutates itself into different scenes. Sometimes more carnage, sometimes no blood. But in those dreams I see the thing I never did during my waking memory.
I see his eyes. And it is a disappointment. I used to see a thousand lifetimes when I caught his gaze. But in my dreams, within the blue irises, there is only emptiness.