Who hasn’t read a story of good and evil and not been, in part, a little impressed with a well thought out villain?  When I listen to the gossip of others, ol’ Walt starts playing in my head, “Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.” I have been astonished at the mastery of webs so intricate; I almost forget to feel sorry for the fly caught within it its lethal threads.

But what happens when we find those webs in the corners of our own homes?  What if we are the flies caught with no hope for escape – how do we hold the web builder then?

Who makes the deeper mark when they show us their true colors – the one we suspected might hurt us all along or the one we hoped would prove to match our ideals set upon them?  When the dubious leopard shows her spots as we always suspected she might, does the wound amount to anything more than a paper cut; a sharp reminder that we went against our instinct?  When the object of our desire proves in some way that the desire does not hold as steady in the our direction, how much of our blood is on their hands?

I say very little.  I believe those that eviscerate us are those to whom we give our trust. The Lover Scorned sits atop the wounded ladder but I say it is only because the Friend Betrayed has not the energy to make the climb.  I believe we come to expect very little from those around us, so oft we have been disillusioned.  When we do extend our hand across the abyss of indifference to truly care for one – to allow them to hold a swath of our soul – they are the ones who leave a gaping lesion when they retract their grasp, our soul still in-hand.  The sword pierces deeply when we reach out to an ally in our time of need and they determine our need fits not into their plans.

I have surrounded myself with people I know little about.  I peeked into eras to meet notable personalities but left with no more than acquaintances and myself in tact.  I know more about my butler’s nephew than the mainstays in my bed; I have made a career of holding my cards close to my chest.  I don’t know if I will be around tomorrow and Naomi de Plume never offers anything she can’t back up.  In return, I ask for nothing from you because we may not have time for you to undo any wrong you might do.  But keeping those around you at arms length is a cold existence. You learn to revel in your own successes, mourn your own losses, record your own story.  Your spirit may remain free of lacerations but beware of the ice you use to encase yourself; its edges can be sharp… and it hold no allegiances; be to others or to you.

My point is, darlings, cauterizing can only be done with heat.