I know you… oh, yes, I do. Though we have never officially met; shaken hands, shared smalltalk over coffee, I know you. I do not want you in my life, this is a statement of personal choice. Yet, you have discovered an ever-increasing loophole. Have slithered through the cracks left behind by your less offensive relatives. Those mildly irritating vices that create expanding circles in small worlds that far too often collide. You are no friend or lover. You are no companion I would ever welcome with open arms – and still, you have infiltrated my space all the same.
This is not a confession of reluctant intimacy. Not a fairytale born of stubborn, persistent love. This an article headlining a common enemy. A report on terrorism. Another complaint filed against the chaotic stream of blood and loss, of perpetuated evil leaving too many victims drained and helpless in its wake.
The Devil is not a mystical angel cast from the heavens. He is not merely the hollow, paper scapegoat invented to take the blame; to help sinners offend again. This is the real Devil. The Despot of the Blameless. The Champion of the Cunning. He resides not in some mythical underworld, but lurks inside the shell of a loved one. The malevolent puppet master, whose roots ensnare the senses, warping perceptions until all that’s wrong feels right, and everything that feels right is deviously justified by unbelievably effective and manipulative ingenuity.
The Devil glares pure hatred through your peripheral in passing, blinding only its symbiotic host to the malicious intent infectiously poisoning the bonds of blood and heart. Gluttonous faucets never satisfied, gush rancid saliva through the gnashing teeth of sinister, mocking grins and you’re forced to hear its taunting cackles whenever the ventriloquist’s dummy speaks.
I believe in a Devil named Addiction. I know how it rips blood ties apart, inflicting deep, festering wounds with ungrateful, inconsiderate, disrespectful, selfish, hurtful, harmful and reckless claws. I’ve heard it rejoice in the body count, as it easily pulls entire families, countless households, and innocent “do-gooders” down by the heart-wrenching, stressful, infuriated handfuls.
Yes, I know you… I know how it is you came to be. Peel back the layers, dig below the masks to the very beginning of this hell encapsulated and there you will find the Devil’s identity lies within its host never taking responsibility for their own bad choices. Of never owning or learning from their mistakes, blaming everyone else around them, instead. The estuaries of its lineage is fed by those who turn a blind eye, that coddle when they should be standing solid, in an impenetrable wall of tough love.
The Devil is spawned from Unaccountability and Denial, and they are masterminds of manipulation. Gods of provocative excuses and warped reasoning. They truly do speak in tongues, but every word freed from the real Devil’s wretched lips only translates to one thing: “I am a habitual liar. I will steal, hurt, lash out, anything just to get that next fix and even if you manage to exorcise me from within, I will be the temptation my host will fight every second of every day for the rest of their lives. I will never let go, until there is no longer a part of them that wants me to stay.”