kindness is disingenuous. i don’t profess to be kind, but accommodating. i will curb —but not bend— my passions around you. i am not the gentlest of people, & heaven knows i haven’t any patience to speak of, but i’ve blunted my claws so that i won’t cut you when you come to cradle me. do not thank me— i struggle with compassion. it is a nestling thing, a warming thing; it is mawkish & tenacious as i am reticent & harsh. & you! oh curious creature, you know that i am negligent in noble pleasure; you know that my fervor is a front to deny my disillusionment. i am not nice— why must you insist on calling me so? i smile only to lure my prey, even if that prey is myself. i shoulder burdens only to increase my mortal strength. it is a conceptual teething; the pain makes my mouth water. i love only to know the joy of love, i give only to know reception. if i spare you from the knife, it is for my dislike of blood. this isn’t to say that i don’t value happiness— i simply do not feel attracted to a saccharine existence— it repulses me through & through! kindness is manipulation! kindness is a rebuke! & you, oh curious creature! how can you proclaim to love me with open arms, yet reproach me with piteous eyes? —no. i am accommodating, considerate even; but darling, i’m not nice.

hard sketch, fig. 2