Epistrophe (e-pis’-tro-fee): Ending a series of lines, phrases, clauses, or sentences with the same word or words.

Once upon a time, there was the same old shopworn morality tale—a mouse pulling a thorn from a lion’s paw, Scrooge is turned around, the little engine huffed and puffed and made it up the hill, the three little pigs built a brick home that prevailed against the blowhard wolf who was in the habit of “huffing and puffing” and blowing down pig houses made of straw or other flimsy materials, and eating the hapless residents.

These stories have morals displaying hierarchies of “the true, the good, and the beautiful.” They’re supposed teach us something about being good. But some of us do not live in accord with the moral frameworks of fables and fairy tales. We make our own way.

I go through life sailing on a sea of lies, never once regretting my course, changing it by dint of my will, by what I want—what I need. I’ve been dodging the truth this way ever since I can remember.

Evasion and escape is what I am—living in the twilight where contours are blurred and certainty is unachievable. Surmounting facts with hope and fear is how I’ve made my way for as long as I can remember.

People facing the future alone are a portal of heightened anxiety: in need of counsel no matter where it takes them, they just need a voice other than their own to fill the blank slate of their consciousness with glowing lights and merry hopes. This is where I come in, decorating lonely minds with false expectations. I’ve been playing this deadly game for as long as I can remember.

All my life, watching my back. Telling lies. Being tricky. Killing trust in those who trusted me and lost their life savings, their husband or wife, custody of their children, their car, their cat, their job. Whatever.

For me, it’s all for me—lying is my medium of exchange. I get what I want by subterfuge. Actually, I’m telling you the God’s honest truth. I am a liar, prevaricator, deceiver, equivocator. Trust me and you’ll throw your life away. Now, before I go, I need your father’s coin collection. I built a display case for his collection, for his birthday. I want to put the coins in it and give it to him as my gift. Trust me.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).

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