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  • I had become so bored of my jealousy. It really is boring. It looks at things others have and are doing and it says, "I don't have that. Why don't I have that? I don't want them to have it, I want to have it."

    I have asked my jealousy why it wants that thing, whatever it is, and it has looked at me all red-eyed and sulky and says it doesn't know, it just wants it and that is that and so there.
    And so on and so forth.
    It's a tiresome, meddlesome goblin of a creature who dislikes any form of my quite steadfast rationale.
    I've tried taking it out and stroking it and lavishing the creamiest creams on it, like some silky cat, but it just grows bigger.
    I've tried washing it clean in good works and penitence. But it laughed at me behind my back and only pretended to be interested so that when I was tired and overdone it could steal things without me knowing.
    I've tried ignoring it. It doesn't make it go away. It has the patience of a saint when it wants to.
    I've tried giving it that thing it said it wanted. And it played with it for just a minute and then it threw it back and declared it useless.

    Maybe, I thought, maybe I'm just asking it the wrong question.

    So. One night, I think it might have been when Venus was passing through, lighting up lovers like a cosmic pinball (or so I'm told). I asked it a different question.

    "What have you got to teach me Jealousy?" I said, quite kindly and with good attention for its answer.

    And it did this thing, that made me blink and shake my head.

    It opened up like some old mythological stone box. As if I'd touched it and discovered the stone itself was some ancient technology, long forgotten and misunderstood.
    It folded out on itself, where it was tall, it was now flat and covered the whole table in tiny markings and rudimentary shapes. My eyes adjusted to what I'd thought was darkness. There, lit green (just like wearing night vision goggles) I saw, jealousy was a map. Not just any map, my map.

    Beautiful, my map.
    It has high points and creative wells, some wooded areas to get lost in and many unexplored territories. I like the bit where two paths become one, I've plotted that this is coming up ahead, just over the next stile and into the cornfields.

    I shudder to think of all the signs I've misread along the way, not using my right question compass.

    Clever, clever Jealousy, how tired it must have become of me.
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