Today is the anniversary of a betrayal for me. A nine-year anniversary, to be exact. I understand why Dante chose to represent betrayal as the worst sin of all, and place Cassius, Brutus, and Judas Iscariot within the very jaws of Satan himself, in the lowest level of hell.
I have an intimate understanding of betrayal. As intimate an understanding of it as one might possess.
I was instructed and encouraged to put a large portion of my life in the hands of someone who had only said words of kindness and affection to me. The words were not, as it turned out, true at all.
But my trust in this person was real, and it was also total. That was also the last person I trusted. I trust no one now, after that. Many people will know of which I speak. It's funny how what that was--the single greatest concentrated act of evil of which I am aware--pales to what publishing is. But that day marked a fundamental change in me. It instigated this period of all of these years in the proverbial desert, becoming wiser, stronger, an artist who changes and evolves and creates in new ways constantly, at rates that do not seem possible.
It doesn't just go back to that day, though, and someone's act of evil. It goes back to what I willed myself towards. Does what that person did still drive me? Believe me, it drives me more than ever.
You see those Westerns where there are two partners, and they're going down the trail. And one partner, who has been a certain way, now shows themselves to be another way entirely. They order the other person down from their horse, and they shoot them in the gut, and leave them there to die.
But maybe there is this barest beat of a pulse in that person, still. And that person does not die.
They will go anywhere, they will go through anything--they will even pass through the very depths of hell itself if they have to--to have that time come when circumstances in life allow them to pull up beside that other person on a different trail (metaphorically speaking; I'd sooner swim in a pool of scorpions than even lay eyes on this creature again), far, far away, and hold them accountable and let it be known what they did.
The time will come. For now I just keep going.