I know what you're doing.

If I go the way you want, then you're fine. In fact, you'll even help. Just like that old blessing, always at my back.

But if I try to move too far astray, you turn unfriendly. Even if I do nothing, you will still bite at my flesh--and heaven help me if I turn back upon you.

Sometimes you are less importunate. All you demand of me is that I stay where I am. And as long as I move not too swiftly, you are gentle enough. But if I try to run away, you are pushing me back, always.

Once in a while I can afford to humour you. I'll go the way you point, or only gently diverge. But too often we are at odds. Sometimes you capriciously change your mind, and I find you in my face when you were at my back a moment ago. And you, you will not admit it had ever been otherwise.

You seem less powerful, now that I have discovered how to avoid you. All I need do is place something hard and cold between us. Simple enough. There are many cold, hard things in this world. I cannot hide behind them always, but they give me the strength to fight you when I must.

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The Den of Ubiquity / Aaron V. Humphrey /