Some say revenge is a dish best served cold. Others say the best revenge is a life well lived. These claims, however, are in actuality both quite inadequate. I have taken revenge countless times, in every manner possible and with every kind of weapon, and I therefore can state with confidence that the most satisfying revenge is intimate. A razor to the throat; a blade to the breast; a knife to the back. The sort of sharp, bloody end most fitting for traitors and cowards, those whose betrayal has cut you to your very core. You want to hold your victim in your arms so you feel the moment his strength finally fails. You want to hear the blood bubbling in his throat as he struggles to breathe. You want to hold his gaze as he dies so in his final moment he knows you did not forget and will not forgive. It is like a dance, two partners entwined, heartbeat to heartbeat, and then the knife. It always ends with the knife.
You ask why the Moon killed the Sun but never why the resurrected Sun in turn killed the Moon. Did he really do so to restore balance to the world, as the story says? To complete the cycle of sacrifice and usher in glorious summer? Perhaps. It gives a nice symmetry to the mythology, doesn’t it? Death for life and life for death. But maybe that’s just the fairy tale version where everything has a purpose and everyone a happy ending. Maybe that’s nothing more than a lovely lie.
Maybe the truth is that the Sun killed the Moon simply for the sweet satisfaction of revenge.
We are corpses rotting together; perhaps that’s why we work so well. A corpse isn’t interested in improvement, it cares little for change, it has no expectations. A corpse is content to slowly decompose into nothingness. Why not do so in the company of another if they too are content with dissolution? We corpses understand one another, you see. We are meant only to rot, and so only rot shall we.
Star-crossed lovers? What a bullshit concept. What is so romantic about the idea of two people the universe has chosen to especially fuck over? Why do we idolize the ill-fated as if the poignancy of their doom somehow outweighs in value the happiness of which they were robbed? I can assure you, there’s nothing romantic about losing your lover to violence or madness or a disease which rots them from the inside out. Nor is there anything particularly romantic about knowing you are helpless to change this fate no matter how many times you play it through. I would trade our thousand lifetimes of misery for one lifetime – no, one year, one month, one fucking day – of simple peace without the end looming near. I do not find our doom sexy or exotic or poetic. I find it merely wearying. But please, by all means, continue glorifying the tragedy of others.
I extracted exactly one promise from you before you left, just one, yet even that you could not keep. Do you remember that morning? I woke on cold tile to the taste of vomit and a headache that pulsed in time to the sound of your lighter snapping open and closed, open and closed. I’d overdosed before so I knew what it felt like, though not since we became… whatever we were. I was already babbling apologies and trying to force myself up on trembling arms when you shoved me back down to the bathroom tile. You had that fucking knife of yours against my throat and I truly thought it was the end, that I’d bleed out while laying in a pool of my own vomit. It would have served me right. You didn’t finish things, though. You just held my gaze as you pressed that cold little blade into my skin and said very, very softly, “This will not happen again, do you understand? Your life is not yours to end. It’s mine.” As you walked away I asked, impulsively, “Do you promise?” You paused in the doorway for a brief second before replying, “Yes.”
Yes. You promised. And yet here I am, as alone as I was before you came. You are gone and I wait like a fool for an end I swore to you I would not hasten. Please, darling, could you keep this one promise, could you do just this one thing for me? I asked so little of you while you were here and you know it. You owe me this. Please, don’t make me break my word to you by breaking yours to me. I can’t wait any longer.
He was the Lightbringer, Morningstar, how could I not love him beyond all else? His radiance lit all of creation; he was my very first sight, the beauty around which I shaped my understanding of faith and fealty. I could no more deny him than I could unmake myself, for it would be contrary to every heartbeat, every breath, every cell and atom and immortal particle within me. Glory, I sang, and glory did I mean. I do not regret my choice, therefore, only wish it be understood that to me it was no choice at all. Even the blood he shed in that great battle was liquid gold and just as searing, and when he fell his meteoric impact shook the universe itself. How could I not follow him down? There is no paradise without him.
Look, I know I seem selfish but you have to understand: I did my time, I paid my way. For thirty years I played the good eldest son to carry on my family’s legacy. I graduated first in my class, then summa cum laude; I played the violin and the piano, and spoke multiple languages; I went to every business and political function my parents asked of me, six nights a week and church on Sundays. I wore the right things, did the right things, said the right things day after day, year after year. I gave them the most formative and precious years of my life, shouldn’t that count for something? It was all lies, sure, but you’d have been hard pressed to find anyone who saw through them. Hell, even I believed them for most of that time. So it’s not like it was all for nothing, okay? Thirty years is a long time to constrain yourself to the service of others. I didn’t have a childhood, you know. I had boarding school and recitals and tutors and competitions. Every moment was spent preparing me for another moment somewhere in the future when I would inevitably be the CEO, the candidate, the husband of the pretty blond wife and the well-behaved children. That I made it thirty years before I broke is the real wonder, honestly – that’s what people should be amazed by, not the pointless shit that lead up to it. Did I handle things well, there at the end? Maybe not. But do I regret it? No. All I regret is taking so long to realize the choice was mine to make.