Enallage (e-nal’-la-ge): The substitution of grammatically different but semantically equivalent constructions.

The lie he makes sound a truth. Got proof? Got anything? The solemnity of your idiocy begs laughter, if not contempt. I can’t figure out how you became the King of Smug. Your way through life has become “clean” belief—that’s belief with a microscopic “b.” It has no proof—no story to tell based in experience or reason, or both. It is just what you assert, moving ahead and doing damage to all who come within your orbit. You are a sort of evil magnet, pulling your associates in to feel the pain of misplaced trust, wasted affection, and betrayal as they anxiously squirm, attached to your power.

You have a decent reputation as somehow your sadism evades detection; evades attribution to you. How can this be? You are here. You are present, you are tangible. What’s your trick? I’ve asked you countless times. You spout aphorisms so distant from your character and interests that you make me laugh. “A true friend never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down.” That’s one of your favorites. You spend nearly all your time trying to convince people that they’re going down, so you can “get in the way,” which means to you “so you can profit from their problems.” You make people hurt without them knowing it’s you spreading the vicious rumors or setting them up to fall, and then rushing to the rescue to win their undying affection.

How did you become this way? When we were at school together you were kind and caring and full of love. I remember the injured bird we found and nursed back to health. Even though it was a dirty old pigeon, we made it our mascot until it flew away one day, restored. And your girlfriend Beatrice—I’m sure she rivaled Dante’s Beatrice and may have inspired you in the same way. So, I am in a nearly constant search for the turning point, when you went from noble human being to ignoble boar hog: snoffling your way through life, seeing people as living scraps spread about for your snout’s pleasure. No reason. No proof. Except, the hedonistic pleasure—pleasure for you alone, unshared, unsocial, a lonely vigil held over your senses, of getting what you want—without a ray of hope that it will profit your victims. At least you don’t kill them. Maybe what you do is worse. Seduction and betrayal—the old one-two—it is Satanic.

I think this may be the hundredth time I’ve told you to get help. You look angry and disgusted, glaring at me like you’d like to punch me in the nose, or worse. You sit there clutching your chair, drinking wine, obviously satisfied with the life you’ve made for yourself, a life alone and completely self-absorbed. Sometimes I think you’ve made a deal with Satan, but that can’t be. I don’t believe in all that nonsense.


Postscript: Two days later the narrator was found flayed and dismembered and piled in a hog trough placed in his front yard.

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

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