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You caught me on a Saturday morning too full of coffee, so I’ll respond quickly. I should be working on the database that is beneath my Medium window right now — - but it’s so boring! You, Iron-Eye, are much more interesting than the list of speakers that are supposed to go on a non-profit web site that I don’t get nothing for maintaining.

A “prose demon” is something you put on paper that haunts you ever after. The first, and worst, was a middle school letter to a vulnerable girl (now a successful oncologist) who had done something to someone somewhere (I can’t remember what the trumped up offense was). I was recruited to join a collaborative effort to eviscerate her and, of course, I was responsible for the most reprehensible phrases in the document, which I thought were “funny”. I was clearly motivated by jealousy. She was dating my best friend. The letter was passed around and all of my close friends saw it. I am 50+, the hurt can’t be healed. When anyone mentions the letter I am still ashamed and get slightly sick to my stomach. I’m still friends with those people. There is no forgiveness. The best they can do is say, “we all make mistakes.”

That should have learned me, but, unfortunately, I can’t look at many of my own yearbooks, school newspapers , literary magazines, or zines. It’s a yard sale of marginally funny snippets scattered among a junkyard of insecurity, vindictiveness, and tone deaf meanness.

And that’s all before there was the anonymity of the Internet.

I am a troll.

Sometimes trolls are funny, but they are still trolls.

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