When I was very young, a neighbor lady told me a Mexican fable, which asserted that a gossip can do what the devil cannot. The pointed significance of the story was that in a time and place of more simplistic thinking, where jealousy and envy might play a part, an old woman with a wagging tongue could do more damage than the devil himself. Such a person was said to have ‘the tongue of the devil’.
The featured illustration is a print from some unknown source, dated 1764, and captioned with “man carrying a load is stalked by death, as a skeleton,” attributable to Creative Commons. The conspiracy that matters is what lies beyond the last step we take.
Contemporarily, most people have come to think of guacamole as a pasty dip, probably due to the convenience of the blender. When I was young, we did not have a blender in our home, and all the ingredients were cut and processed by hand. But guacamole was still more of an appetizer or a side.
What kind of darkness compels a person to consider jumping off a ledge? In this story, it doesn’t really matter. This is a story with a dark subject, and it tells of the onlookers gazing up, but also the narrator looking at them. And in any situation like this, we never really know who might emerge the hero, do we?
In some ways, these terms are simple, in some ways complicated. They are more than words, and we have to be born into, grow with, and experience certain concepts in order to fully understand them.