You, Iscariot

Before:

I stand and you stand with me. Looking out over the crowd we’ve gathered together, the people who are in mind with us. Alike. In unity.

That’s what we are. Unified. Two people, moving as one.

I wonder…

Is this the moment it changed?

Or have you always been a snake?

I know:

There are people in your life. Tons of them, I know. Some are passersby, some stay years. Some you can’t name, some you can. Some you know so well that you can predict their reaction to almost any circumstance, and you barely have to think about it.

But there’s a whole other category.

People you would die for.

Did you know you were one of them?

Bullets, ropes, knives. Nothing would scare me away. Nothing would scare me more than the thought of you being lost. Being hurt. You weren’t just my friend, you were my brother. My own blood. Isn’t that the saying anyway? Blood runs thicker than water.

Nobody bothered to tell me there was more to it.

How deceitful.

You. Not just that phrase.

I’d welcome a wolf before I’d welcome you.

I’m not mad. Not anymore.

But.

I’m not a fool.

Because a wolf has loyalty. One saving feature. Even if it’s just the one.

But what can a snake offer?

Venom.

Nothing more.

And you are nothing more than that.

 

You were:

There for me. You were. When it seemed our cause was being shut down, our morals being driven into the ground, our metal tested. You were there. You sat next to me, patted my back, reassured me. Told me that it’d be alright, because I was stronger. I was better. What we believed in was more important.

Snake.

We pressed on. We pushed through. We united people under one interest, one banner, one thought. We were making a difference. W were helping people. We were giving them exactly what they needed.

We were changing things.

Together. United. People only knew us when we stood side by side. Honestly, I don’t even think they knew we were two separate people. They didn’t realize because we were so good at working together. So good at making a difference. We were ying and yang.

But one of us has to be darkness.

I always forget that.

 

Different:

That day. It was different. You were different. You stood with your back to me, overlooking the things we’d done. The thing we’d built.

The difference we’d made.

The world that we had made better.

And you spat.

Right there.

You spat all over that thing we built.

You didn’t even realize what you were doing. How badly this would make the world burn. What kind of war would start after. Because we were monumental by now. For some reason, we were a standard. One that all people acknowledged. And you took that standard and shattered it.

You broke everything.

That night when you put that dagger in my back, you weren’t stabbing me. Weren’t killing me. You were killing them. The people who thought you cared.

How many hands did you shake? How many hands did you hold to find the hands you pushed your soul into? How many hands did it take to rid you of your soul? And, I wonder, was it willingly?

Did you intend this from the start?

The way you’ve broken things–perfectly, and from the inside–points to yes. You intended to burn this to the ground the moment you started planting it.

Snake.

Viper.

Traitor.

The worst circles are preserved for your kind, I just think you should know. I don’t wish them on you, any of them, but they’re there. And you will be there too.

Because a snake is a snake.

It can’t ever be anything else.

I just can’t believe I was the idiot who picked you up.

I can’t believe I didn’t see.

I’m not mad. I’m just not that stupid anymore. I’m not dumb enough to pick up snakes. Not anymore.

You had this coming, you know?

When you started this, I don’t think you realized what you were asking for. And that, what you were asking for and what would actually happen, were two different things.

You always thought you were so clever.

If you bring your house down, won’t it come down on your own head though?

Oh Snake. You frivolous creature.

One day, you’ll know.

Snakes are not completely immune to venom.

And in the end, it doesn’t matter. What you were. Who you were. Why we had been there. It doesn’t matter, because:

This is the temple we built.

And you broke. 

Tell me.

Is it how you imagined? Is it all you thought it would be?

What satisfies a snake?

I wonder…

3 thoughts on “You, Iscariot”

  1. Al Wilson song: Cried the snake. Utube it. Famous, but old. I’m listening to it now in honor of your genius.

    “I saved you,” cried the woman
    “And you’ve bitten me, but why?
    You know your bite is poisonous and now I’m going to die”
    “Oh shut up, silly woman,” said the reptile with a grin
    “You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in
    “Take me in, tender woman
    Take me in, for heaven’s sake
    Take me in, tender woman,” sighed the snake

    Liked by 1 person

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