It reminds me of the story about the man who falls into a hole and his friend jumps in after him and the fallen man berates the jumper and the jumper says no it's okay I've been here I know the way out. It reminds me also of an awkward conversation I had more than once in which somebody tried to spare me and I put my hands in the fire anyway, thinking the only way to overcome pain was to feel it.
The conflict creates a war in my head where both sides suffer including the victors; ABBA does a bouncy dance soundtrack for Napoleon but nobody sings about Rouen which anyway the lack of an adequate soundtrack is the least of my worries.
I know what has to happen and so we march off, my troops of moderately convinced selves and the fanatical devotion that comes with not knowing the whole story. We are determined and proud and along the way we compliment ourselves on our armor and we say my don't we look strong and determined. That shaved head is as free of nonsense as they come and we shush the voice at the back that mutters that people who need to look free of nonsense are full of it. We are warriors. We lay out the story with facts and supporting players and nothing to lose, then later we have insights and the fact that we won some battles before and aren't we ever victorious modestly advancing only where wanted to win and conceding the battles we couldn't win see how we are practical we say.
And so we won the hardest battles and emerged victorious with not so much lost really except a review of the troops has some of them longing for the home they never had and there were some hot tears in among the celebratory libations but I'm sure that's from the fire, from the smoke of what had to be burned. There were bridges. And a week after the campaign the allies say that in fact you did what you promised, the vision that only you saw, what your voices promised you, that in fact you have given back what was stolen, the missing piece restored where nobody saw what was missing but you, the righteous king returned to his throne.
The counterattact surprisingly comes not in the heat of battle but later. The current challengers, who are not what we are not ready to call the enemy though we admit a certain fathoming in that depth, would like to mention that defeat makes you stronger that iron is tempered with fire that after all you were not so happy at twelve, were you. I don't mean midnight or noon. Yes that's all very interesting but I am right and you must concede that it is the king alone for whom I have battled and battle still. I am not fighting to control this territory I am in fact no conqueror. Truly I am fighting for another's righteous place I swear it.
Then why are you telling the story again, clapping your hands for another retelling. Why do you point to the voices when you are unsure, and then point at yourself when it's time to be blamed. Not every story has to have you at the center. Let's tell it again from the dauphin's point of view. Or shall we stick with you as if we were in battle still, when you know perfectly well that when you say you are willing to die for a cause that is exactly what you will have to do. Well which story do you want to tell now.