Monthly Archives: July 2017


It’s endless, isn’t it, I ask X, the injustice is endless, the rage is endless. I’ve barely dipped my toes in it and I’m full of rage and grief and thoughts of hurricanes and floods. What you’ve done to me, what I’ve done to people, what people have done to me, what they’re doing to young people in this country, what they’re doing to this world! There’s no end to it, because there’s no end to human evil. Don’t be hysterical, he says, haven’t you grown out of this sort of thing by now?

The teacher

You had me by the throat from day one, I tell X. You’d started undermining me before I had any idea what was happening, before I had any resources to combat you or the fear you were planting in me. You were teaching me about fear, watching me give myself over to it before I knew the danger I was in, give into it wholeheartedly before I knew what I was doing. Oh, you taught me, but you taught me without teaching, you weren’t interested in teaching, you cared only about power. I was left to learn what I could, and I learned much more than you and very quickly, once I started learning. It was easy, fear is always one step ahead, you catch up almost instantly, almost despite yourself, yet in a sense you learn nothing, less than nothing. The foundation was rotten from the start, it couldn’t withstand the pressure from above. (In this way you made sure that none of it seemed real, that I could easily be convinced it was all in my head, something I’d made up because of the weakness that was in me from the beginning.) If you’d put a chain around my ankles, if you’d beat me into submission, it would have made no real difference, and at least I would have had an excuse, something real to fight against or at least try to escape, some proof of wrongdoing that anyone could understand. Instead your wrongdoings became mine. Because you didn’t acknowledge them in the slightest their burden had to fall on someone, and I accepted them willingly, happily, shamefully. I accepted the burden of your sins to the point when I began to commit those very sins myself, seeking others to undermine, to plant fear in, to complete the circle. Because that’s what you taught me, my teacher. You still monitor me, don’t you, still read every word I write, hear every word I say, indifferent to everything except my fear and my self-disgust (at the slightest signs of which you perk up from your slumber), stupid in every respect but this one, in this one respect you’re a genius, you have the subtle eyes of a torturer. And I, too, am a torturer, who longs to torture his torturer, to teach his teacher.