And so you strip. Not particularly slowly or even carefully, this is not a striptease - this is a revealing, an unveiling. Seven layers down, clothes off, what will meet your skin? Not the warmth you expect.
Scrutiny, assessment, evaluation, appraisal.
You can only stop what starts in you.
You learned this once, on a platform in a train station. You felt the fish hook perforating your gut and with calm precision, you unhooked it, held it up to the light and let it go. Such a simple task and yet so difficult, it took years to get to that train station.
This is no fishhook, it is a web of lies, grooves on tracing paper from so many reproductions. His signature on it, amongst so many others, surprises you. He would not like to know it’s there.
This natural thing, used unnaturally. You remind yourself it is wood pulp and charcoal, this web, these lies. They willingly yield to the flames you light to burn them.