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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Some kind of mighty, anyway


Mental Health
After weeks of lonely travels through an unkind land, I reached the dragon's lair. The plants there had long since died, the dirt turned to dust, and the dust blown away. The earth appeared scorched and skeletal. The dragon met me at the mouth of the cave. 
"Are you the mighty warrior?" it asked me, its face contorted in what must have been a sneer. 
"More or less," I answered, trying to maintain the appearance of a calmness I had never once felt in all my life. "Does it matter?" 
"It does," the dragon replied. "For you see, I have faced many mighty warriors in the past, and none has long stood against me." 
I had given this a great deal of thought, myself, and hoped that my obsessive hypotheticals were right. "Is that so?" I asked. 
"Indeed it is," the dragon replied. "I cannot be defeated by might or magic. I am a detail dragon." 
"A detail dragon?" I said, trying to sound surprised. 
"I feast upon all the particularities, the insignificant facts and concerns that every mighty warrior ignores when setting out to slay me," the dragon gloated. "For example, did you lock your door before you left on your quest?" 
Knowing, then, that I was prepared in all the right ways, I spoke in a toneless triumph, weighting every word: "I checked it three times. And I left a key, and a list of instructions and information on my whereabouts, with a trusted neighbor."
"It's not possible!" the dragon wailed, already visibly weakening, shrinking back. "It cannot be!" 
But I pressed forward for every step it took backwards, singing at last the great and dreadful song of every worry, great or small, that I had ever made my own. 

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