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Writing is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.

— Winston Churchill

Starve the Bitch

Fear is a bitch that sits on my shoulder and whispers, non stop. I’ll bat at her every now and then, swipe her from her perch, but she’s persistent, egotistical. She has long fingers, claws really, and she effortlessly rakes herself over my back and climbs once again to sit just above my heart.

We’ve been doing this dance, the bitch and I, for so many years the rhythm has become almost comforting. It’s easier, quite frankly, to let her embrace my soul and lead the waltz, but my feet ache and my back spasms with the weight of carrying her.

With decades gone by I’ve learned to let her manipulate my dialog, my power. I’ve submitted to her apathy and her desire. When her whispers turned to pleas and she insisted I lay my courage inside her darkened cave, I did. When she told me secrets were better than honesty, I listened. When she required my silence and explained it was a more honorable road to empathy than allowing the sun to shine, I acquiesced. I fed the bitch. For all of my adult life, I fed her.

Economic sorrow has most people looking for ways to replenish less expensively, to do without, to evaluate and reprioritize. My priority for the New Year is to starve the bitch of fear. One less mouth to feed sounds quite divine, especially one with luxurious taste buds and an insatiable hunger.

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