Off The Derech

I went off the derech, you know.

I walked it a couple of times.  I kicked the ground where it was soft and beat it where it was hard.  I turned over stones to reveal long-forgotten imprints.  I lifted logs and marveled at the slime and grime.  I stepped in crap, cursed the asshole who dumped in my way and scraped the bottom of my shoe clean with broken glass.  I took a break, sitting down at a crossroads to rest my screwed-up head.  I watched and listened for a long time.

When I had enough of the constant negativity, when I could no longer stand the choking, rigid lines, when I knew not what to believe, when I hated myself for sitting by as an active witness, I got up and I left.

Just like that.


Here I am again, sitting at the crossroads, waiting for that moment to come.  I’m not sure how I landed here again.  I have no idea when I forgot what it was like on this beaten track.  All I know is that not much has changed.  It is the same old story, the same old song, but this time the devil’s here with me.  He’s holding out the contract, asking me what it will be.  The acrid stench of misplaced passions burning reaches me from the east while cold winds of apathy hit me from the west.  I’m torn between my heart and my mind and the pressure is mounting.

The devil waves his fiery pen in front of my gloomy eyes.  I need to tell him now, he is insisting, tempting damnation so persuasively.  I have no choice, I must do something.  I grab the pen and grip it through the searing pain of roasting flesh.  With all the hate that has built on this road of shame, I force the smoldering tip towards his wretched throat.  I split the lies open in one jagged line and watch them pour out, swirling around him unrelenting in their need to be exposed.  He shrivels up and dies without a sound, smoking at my feet at the crossroads he had pirated for so long.

I get up and I leave.

Just like that.

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