The knife used to cut the cake of celebration is the same one that inevitably gets used to stab one in the back, is an idea that recently came to me, harsh as a proverb, and laced with the kind of wisdom that is usually earned through a painful sequence of experiences. It wasn’t until the undulating waves of life had crashed upon my shores a few more times that I truly understood its depth, its reality, and its almost predestined inevitability.
I recall the early days of my ambitious youth, days colored with the hues of success and nights scented with the fragrance of victory. Those were the times when friendships were formed in the crucible of shared struggles and triumphs seemed like a communal feast. We were comrades, brothers and sisters in arms, united in pursuit of a common dream. I remember vividly the night our common dream bore fruit; the champagne flowed like a river, and laughter filled every crevice of the dimly lit room.
The knife, sharp and gleaming, made its grand entry, slicing through the cake as if parting a sea of sweet victories. Each of us had a hand on the handle, a picture-perfect moment of shared success, a memory to be etched in the annals of our brother and sisterhood. How naive we were, thinking the edge of that blade was reserved only for joyous consummations.
Years trickled away, and with them, the simplicity of shared dreams. Planes crashed, visions clashed, and ambitions diverged, taking the shape of sharp angles and corners, no longer a circle of inclusivity. It was subtle at first—the disagreements, the slight air of competition that slowly replaced camaraderie. Meetings became less about us and more about I. The warmth in the room was replaced by a calculative coldness, and shared glances now held a depth of unsaid words, hidden grudges, and unshared apprehensions.
The shift was almost imperceptible until it was glaringly obvious. Trust, once abundant, had become a currency, carefully traded and often devalued. And then it happened—the betrayal that no one, especially not I, saw coming. The vision I had poured my soul into, the dream that was a collective endeavor, had been signed away in a room filled with suits and opportunistic handshakes. My ideas, my passion, repackaged and sold under a different name, by the very people I once called friends.
The realization was bitter, the kind of taste that no amount of sweet memories could eradicate. The knife, once a symbol of inclusive celebration, had completed its tragic journey, only to be plunged deep, not in a confection of joy, but in the canvas of my trust, painting a mural of disillusionment. It was then I understood, the hands that once joined mine in cutting the cake of celebration had wielded the same knife to sever the ties that bound us.
Reflecting upon it, I’ve come to see that life, in its strange and twisted poetry, often uses the same instrument for contrasting purposes. Joy and pain, success and betrayal—they’re but different strokes from the same brush. The knife, whether it be of steel, or of circumstance, is dual-natured, much like the human heart.
Now, as I embark on new ventures, the lesson remains, a cautious whisper in the corridors of my mind. Trust, but tread wisely. Celebrate, but stay vigilant. The knife that punctuates your victories can, in a twist of fate, become the herald of your greatest adversities.
October 24, 2023