Scout & Birdie
Scout & Birdie

So, you know how your hear about cults like Heaven’s Gate and wonder how the fuck that shit happens? It’s because of leaders like Marshall Applewhite. That man is a manipulative sociopath. It’s not until you DON’T die of drinking the kool-aid do you realize you were duped. Well, after dating my own Marshall Applewhite I kinda understand the desire to drink some poison and fly away onto comet Hale-Bopp. For those of you who haven’t yet been brainwashed by the cult of sociopathic lovers, these are the red flags you could be falling for one:

#1.) Sociopaths are very charming.
Marshall has this goofy gap-toothed smile that he flashes when he is teasing me. He drives me to, AND picks me up from the airport. “Marshall, thanks so much for the rides, that is so nice.” “Nah, I’m shitty just like everyone else. My girlfriend thinks I’m a sociopath.” This dude is telling me he is crazy but all I can think is, “Why isn’t Marshall my boyfriend?” “Marshall, why are you doing this? Why are you cheating on your girlfriend with me? “I am drawn to you because of your mind. You are intelligent and funny. You ask the right questions and probably know things about me she doesn’t because she doesn’t ask. I didn’t realize I was missing that intelligent, deep conversation until I met you.”

#2.) Sociopaths are more intense than others and often have very intense eyes.
Marshall has pretty brown eyes and big, black glasses. He makes direct eye contact, he really sees me for who I am. After ten minutes of direct eye contact, “Marshall, why are you looking at me like that?” “I just like to look at beautiful things.” Also, things with Marshall went from 0-60 in one night. One second we are just friends, the next he is making out with me and telling me he has liked me for a long time, that he has thought about being inside me a lot before, and he wants me to meet his family. He is playing me a voicemail from his mother: “Marshall honey, I miss you. Give me a call, ok? I love you.”

#3.) Sociopaths behave irresponsibly or very impulsively.
Marshall texts me a selfie of him wearing a new $700 motorcycle jacket. He doesn’t even drive a motorcycle. He drives a Mercury Mountaineer that needs a new transmission. “Marshall, why did you kiss me like that? I mean, you still have a girlfriend.” It was the kind of passionate kiss that makes you see through time and space and you realize you have waited for it all your life. “I don’t know. I didn’t really think about it.”

#4.) Sociopaths have disregard for societal norms.
Marshall is covered in tattoos and has gauged ears. The hand tattoos he has look super sexy while he runs them all over my body. “I don’t want to work for a company that cares about visible tattoos. I don’t care about a normal job.” And as far as his girlfriend, “Do you think you will marry her?” “Well, I guess. I mean, we’ve been together three years. I don’t want to deal with someone new although I don’t believe in monogamy. We are mammals, and mammals don’t mate for life.”

#5.) Sociopaths have oversized egos.
“I didn’t used to have a lot of self-esteem until I learned I have a larger than average dick. Average penis size is 5 inches, and when I’m erect I’m 7 and a half inches.” It is not just his large dick that alert me to his large ego, it’s his sexy texts. Marshall sends me a sext that makes me stop in my tracks in the Tums aisle at Target and remember that I am also there for batteries. “ I want to put you up against the wall, kiss your neck with my hands on your hips, and slide myself inside you from behind.”

#6.) Sociopaths can stay eerily calm in scary or dangerous situations.
After sleeping with Marshall for 3 months, I am driving home from work crying hysterically in my car listening to “Call Your Girlfriend.” but he seems ok. “What will happen if you get caught?” “She will probably just bite my dick off.” At the company holiday party, he sends me a text from the elevator while standing next to her, “You look very nice tonight. I just want you to know that.”

#7.) Sociopaths have a lack of remorse or shame.
I know this is wrong, but it feels right. I ask Marshall if he feels bad. “My conscience is not around right now.”

#8.) Sociopaths are good at lying and manipulative behavior.
“Marshall, are you cheating on me? Is there something between you and Emily?” “What? Of course not! You are overreacting. I was at John’s playing Magic the Gathering while you were at your AA meeting, you know that. Are you serious? Fine, I’ll just go to Emily’s birthday party ALONE!”

#9.) Sociopaths have a lack of empathy and don’t apologize.
It’s my 26th birthday, and Marshall and I are having sex for the first time. Well, my first time. He is inside me and he says, “ Don’t fall in love with me.” After the fifth time we have sex, “Marshall, I get the feeling lately that I am just one last fling before you get married.” “Well, yeah. If I get married you will be the last other girl I have sex with.”

#10.) Sociopaths live by the “Pleasure Principle.” It’s all about fun.
“Emily, this feels good, go with it.” “We are in the beginning, the fun part of the relationship, let’s just enjoy it.” “ I’m acting on my feelings and how this feels good.””I had fun.” “ Emily, this isn’t fun, this conversation between us. It isn’t fun, and it isn’t making me want to choose you.”

That purple poisoned Kool-Aid looks satisfying and delicious, huh? Like the rest of those in Heaven’s Gate you are promised a spot in the spacecraft from a Level Above Human! In the Other Woman Secret Lover Society you are promised an orgasm and a boyfriend and you will get maybe one of those things. Ok, in reality, think for yourself, and if your gut is waving a red flag, no matter the size, trust it. It will always lead you right.


About the artist...

Emily Nikfar is an actor, storyteller, and solo performer. When she is not performing Emily is either at the gym or brunching it up with friends. You can catch Emily in The Fly Honey Show ensemble this year August 16-18.

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