The bitter end

This is it, X tells me, the bitter end, the cul-de-sac they reserved for me, the last stand, the defeat after the last stand, whatever comes after the defeat after the last stand. You won’t hear from me again, he says, that much is certain. I’m finished, I admit defeat and I’m not moving on. I give up, that’s what you want, isn’t it? You win, he says, you’d won all along, but it doesn’t matter now that it’s over. Turn aside, he says, I don’t want you to see me. I’m walking into the wasteland, like an old Eskimo, like an ostracised ancient Greek, like a scapegoat, like a sacrificial lamb, like a tramp, a hobo, but without the dog. I don’t even have a dog to keep me company, he says. I don’t even have a stick with a bundle to put over my shoulder let alone a freight train. I’m walking away, I say, turn around.

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