I wondered, in the beginning, what you saw in me. Not beauty, of course, or grace, passion, possibility. Certainly not a future. I thought perhaps the challenge intrigued you, but you remained long after I assumed you’d lose interest. So why me? What did you see? What could you want from someone so lacking?

I understand now, of course; you’re an addict. Addicted to guilt, to shame, to lust and loathing and longing. Addicted to pain and intoxication, masochism and asceticism. You’re addicted to anything that punishes you or lifts you for even a moment out of your detested body. So of course you’d be drawn to me. I am your greatest punishment, aren’t I?

Like a strange, warped mirror, somehow I showed you the self you could be with my help, the hideous new forms your addictions could take under the twisted influence of your love for me. You knew what I would deny you and what I would force on you without consent; what I would reject and take at will. How did you know?

How did you know?

Perhaps an addict can always recognize a new stimulus.



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