The Problem With Hyde

One of the greatest reads in my entire life was Robert Louis Stevenson’s 19th century novella “Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde“.  In this, Stevenson tells the story of an attorney who is investigating the evil acts of a man who calls himself Edward Hyde.  The investigation leads him to find that Hyde is actually an alternate personality of his old friend, Dr. Henry Jekyll.  Since the publishing of this story, the Jekyll/Hyde concept is one of the most celebrated and imitated in all of literature.  This is because it is, in my opinion, the most relevant piece of fiction in all of sociology, psychology and criminology.  Ever. Without exception.

Since 1995, I’ve been working as an undercover operative.  My undercover identity, Ray, is so much a part of me that, at times, it is difficult to separate him fully from my front-facing personality. Ray is a charismatic creep with a silver tongue and charm you would not believe.  On my first date with a girl in my early 20’s, she said to me that “If there was a Devil, he would look just like you.” She explained that the Devil, in her interpretation, would be boyishly handsome, charming and welcoming, but with a darkness in his eyes. Since Ray was already bubbling under the surface, I took this as a compliment and I eventually married her. After Ray fully came to being in the late-90’s (my late-20’s) we made a bargain.  We shared this body as long as most of what happens benefits the mission.  The mission being successfully catching crooks while occasionally letting Ray have his fun.  For almost two decades, Ray has been doing his thing while Rob Holmes has solved almost 20,000 cases.

Even though everything he does is legal, Ray is one of the most tasteless creeps you’ll ever come in contact with if you have the good fortune.  Ray will infiltrate the deepest corners of whatever evil crime ring he decides to waltz into.  Ray complies with the law and keeps Rob’s wife free and clear of the person who does the dirty work.  If dealt with properly, overtly bargaining with Hyde can work out quite well! Ray, obviously my Hyde, is such a cool guy that Rob loves him and sometimes even wants to be him.  I implore you, ladies and gentlemen, if you are fortunate enough to have a Hyde, work with him/her.  You both have skills and needs and can benefit one another.

The best example in modern fiction of this dynamic working successfully is a BBC show called “Murphy’s Law” that starred the great James Nesbitt. Shortly thereafter, Nesbitt starred in the BBC show Jekyll where he made Hannibal Lecter look like a baby koala. In contrast, one of the best films of the 90’s was “Fight Club” starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton.  In this film the main character, Jack, was plagued by a bad influence friend, Tyler Durden, who turns out to be his Hyde which is only revealed in the film’s final scene. Filmmaking at its best, “Fight Club” illustrates chaos and confusion that a conflicted man experiences when fighting his Hyde. In this article, I urge you not to fight him/her.  Make a bargain with Hyde.  At 47 years old, I have spent more than half of my life with Ray and I am living the full and abundant life that I was meant to live. Understand your Hyde is not the Devil.  He/she embodies your primal desires.  If you strike a deal with Hyde, you are coming to terms with a life balance that could change your life for the best.  Live it to the fullest and win, baby!