The End

Dear Dissonance,

I don’t know how to comfort you except to say it won’t be the last time a patient dies, so the sooner you get over it, the better. I can empathize with the horror of realizing you have been revealed to your Patient in full, however. In that moment between the crash and her leaving the world, she saw you clearly for the first time and laughed.

Laughed! As if the joke was on you and not her for being blinded for so many years. I always hate being exposed. It’s the closest thing to shame we understand. And since this is the first time for you, it probably rocked you to your core. After all, you’ve been taught that Our Father wins almost all of the time – and He – and you– lost this round. But don’t worry, this is only one human.

I know the sting is strong with this Patient, however, as she was not normal in the modern day sense. She was not one of those boring lemmings who fell into temptation because the culture glorified whatever we did. How much fun is it, for example, to snag an adulterer when virtually everyone agrees it’s impossible to be monogamous – unnatural, even. Or how satisfying is it to grab a politician who steals a few grand from his campaign funds to buy his mistress a handbag or one who takes gift cards intended for the poor to buy iPhones for her friends and family? Doesn’t everyone do that? They make tempting about as delicious as a kale smoothie.

Your Patient made you work for a living. In her early years she tried to be normal many times – even asked the Enemy if he would let her be content with being morally fashionable, with supporting certain causes, with marrying someone who didn’t believe in the Enemy because she was tired of doing the right thing for no apparent benefit. But she couldn’t do it. For crying out loud she had to kiss and hug each of her stuffed animals good night each night — even the ones tucked away in her closet — when she was a child because she didn’t want any of them to feel left out. And for a year after her grandmother died when she was nine she thought she had to be a missionary in some hell hole of a place, excuse the expression, to be a good Christian. We should have known there was a serious problem then. Of course, she got caught up in various bad habits in her lifetime and fell away from the Enemy a few times in her life. But ultimately, she could not silence the sense that there was something more for her and that there was something bigger than this world.

And everything you did to still that longing failed. Which is why she could laugh in your face. She knew you had no power over her anymore. Sure, you could take a measure of happiness from the suffering her death caused her family. But that trouble is temporary. She was about to go home.

I still have a problem accepting that anyone can overcome death if they choose the Enemy. But mostly I don’t like to think about it and just double down on my tempting. You should do the same with your next Patient. The worst thing you can do is think. It fogs the mind and leads to questions Our Father does not approve, including why He ultimately has no power over the Enemy. That one in particular can get you thrown in a reeducation summer camp – I know from experience.

Your affectionate aunt,


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