They say that revenge is a dish best served cold. To me, the temperature of the dish matters not, for the ingredients themselves are far more important. The main ingredients in my delicious revenge are undetectability and pettiness. Revenge should be a dish served masquerading as forgiveness and maturity, but filled with malice that can’t be tasted.
To be clear, I am not speaking of vengeance for terrible wrongs that have been endured or suffered through. That is a dark topic I dare not broach. I am talking purely of petty revenge in the wake of a slight offense, which is usually more comical than tragic.
This is a tale of such pettiness:
Growing up with a much older brother who outmatched me in both wit and strength, I could not wage wars of a physical or direct nature. My offenses had to be subtle, indirect… deniable.
After one particularly heated exchange during my eighth year where my brother had spit in my face, I bottled my fury and waited. I waited for inspiration. I waited for an idea that would dissipate my anger without provoking his in return.
The idea came.
After a bit of fuming, it came time for me to wash up for dinner. There by the sink sat a blue and white toothbrush. His toothbrush. Without thinking I quickly grabbed it and scrubbed the inside of the toilet bowl with great vigor—so quickly did it occur that I scarcely knew what I was doing. I then replaced the toothbrush in the holder. My heart thumped, blood pounded rhythmically inside my skull so hard that I became light-headed. Despite the closed door, I had an irrational fear that I’d been seen.
Several minutes passed before I was breathing normally and was once again calm. And then I smiled. I felt relieved. Not just relieved of my fear because I wasn’t caught, but I was also relieved of my anger because I got back at my brother for spitting in my face. He never knew it had even happened (and still doesn’t to this day), but I knew.
This was a revelation to me: that revenge isn’t about hurting the other person, it’s about feeling better after they have hurt you. I knew I had gotten him back, and that’s all that mattered.
Perhaps, dear reader, if you are a better person than I, then maybe you have found a way to feel better after being wronged that doesn’t involve revenge. As for me and my house, quiet revenge has worked thus far.