You put a little bait on your hook, looking for something specific. You cast your line out into the darkness and you let it trail. You sail on through life, with many such threads, and some of them never snag. They just trail off, growing longer and longer year after year. You could cut them, but you have other lines to see to, and you forget. They grow invisible, all these gossamer strands that lead off from your soul into the darkness.

Until one day, that little tug. It might be nothing. But it might be everything, so what do you do? Is this the reminder to cut it? To finally take the sharp blade of decision and cut away an old dream? But that line snags on both ends. If you’d cut it when it was loose, it would have been easy. But you didn’t. Now it’s wrapped around something in your heart, and the weight on the far end might be too heavy to haul in.

Cut it and you cut deep, both ways. Haul and you might drag, pulling yourself backward as much as you’re pulling something else forward. Haul and you might drown. Even if you bring it up, is it what you still want? Did you truly want it then? Has your shape not changed in all those years? Has not its shape changed as well?

It’s a trap, all the more insidious because you set it yourself. Your worst nemesis laid that trap for you: your younger mind, caring not for your eventual fate but reaching up through water and time to drag you back, as if it could reclaim what it lost because it thinks you stole it.

And you’ll do it, too. You’re strangling some older version of you right now, caught in a web of gossamer strands you throw into the ocean, looking for anything to slow your journey down the river. You want to be caught, or you couldn’t be. The strands have to snag at both ends, after all.

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