“Abandon all Hope, Ye who enter Here” painted on to an old plywood signboard and then staked into the ground outside a dirty, dusty, dark mine shaft. There may be wonder and treasure inside. Then again, there is certain danger. There is opportunity balanced agains the risks you take by entering. Do you have a light? Something to show your way in the dark of the evening? Do you have a map, perhaps, to give you some structure to where you’re going? Do you have rations? Can you sustain yourself as you travel further and further into the abyss of ‘love’, of ‘lust’, of “like” and “care and concern” and “intimacy”? Do you have an emergency beacon? Do you have a homing device that can retrieve you and your location, should you become separated from your party? No? Do you have nothing? Why then do you come so unprepared, into this endeavor?
Do you even have proper attire, such as sturdy boots, warm layers, even a protective helmet? Yes, all of those apply to caving, to exploring, to minds, but why should they not apply to love? Do you not need the equipment, the shoes and boots and helmet, to protect you from the rough edges inside? Roughness like getting used to the quirks of daily life. Roughness like finding out the history of her past that she still carries around with her, dropping nuggets on your head from higher and higher heights, impacting you like the hidden rockfall that could be nothing, could just be a glancing blow, or could end up tearing an inch wide gash across your forehead, one that won’t stop bleeding no matter how much you press that cold compress, no matter how tightly you wrap that bandage.
Do you not need a map? A guide? One that says “she does not appreciate that, steer clear; on the other hand, that ledge, that line of questioning, is perilous, for it leads to the hidden, secret chambers where the monsters are chained. Beware your step, for once they scent fresh meat they tend to move quickly, for their hunger to devour is much, much greater than the strength of the iron shackles and chains holding them back. In moments they will tear the bolts from the rock walls holding them; they will come lumbering, speeding, scuttling after you; will then and relentlessly pursue you; will devour you and consume you and spit you back out upon the floor of their pit through their anus, having taken all the good of you and leaving you with the bones and sinew that are good for nothing. Those demons, those monsters, Stay Away.
Here… this path… this one will take you through to the other side. No, you will not explore everywhere. No, you will not be able to satisfy your curiosity about the potential lead off in that direction. no, you will not have so much thrill as you would have otherwise. But – you will come out alive. Her? She’s fine. She’s always been there and she will be there after you. you, my friend, you, gentle reader, must be cognizant of your own safety. You can give no court (no communion) (no something or other) with those areas which are too dangerous for you.You, for your own sake, must stalk forward. Task AT HAND. Par for the course. Don’t get fancy. Don’t risk it all on that gamble. It’s not worth it. It’s really not. There are many other, more worthy hills to battle for and die upon. This one is not that one. This one is not your calling. Leave that to the experts. Leave that to the men and women who are equipped for such dangerous work. Leave it alone, rookie, amateur, newbie; leave it alone, and, perhaps, just perhaps, when we return triumphant with the heads of those demons atop our pikes, perhaps we will indulge you then with a story or two. But remember – we cannot tell you tales if there is no you to speak to! So be careful, little one. It’s a dangerous adventure. You don’t want to get caught unguarded. Good luck. Best of show. And may the grace of the Fates be with you.