Under the bridge

Not the Red Hot Chili Peppers song

Photo by Sindre Aalberg (Unsplash)

Hello, my dear little friend,
lurking under the bridge.

It’s nice of you to greet me
the way you have greeted
so many others, with your
patronising tone and your
argumentative words and
the apparent intention of
proving false my claims to
my life experiences. It is so
kind of you to have taken
the time to understand my
life better than I ever could,
and then explain it to me.

I particularly appreciate how
you turn the great machine
of scientific inquiry into your
weapon of mass destruction,
cherry-picking evidence that
supports your point. At least,
I think you had a point. Your
greatest talent is surely your
ability to turn a debate into a
personal attack, ignoring the
words I’ve written, choosing
instead to focus on who I am.
Of course, you are an expert
when it comes to that topic.

Perhaps if you tell me again,
again, again, I will listen and
believe the awful things you
say about me. Gaslighting is
an effective strategy for that.
Or perhaps I’ll ignore you — 
it’s easy to do, because you,
my dear friend, are a boring, 
needy little sod who doesn’t
seem to notice that you lack
credibility because you don’t
write anything interesting or
new. All you do is strike out
at those of differing opinions,
before projecting your action
onto them, accusing them of
an inability to cope when you
“politely challenge their views”.

So thank you, dear sweet troll,
for your doting attention, but
it’s really not necessary. I like
my real friends much better — 
now step aside, please, so the
grown-ups can get on with it.