“Help!” cries the fair maiden in the tower. She represents my good ideas and also ingrained sexist tropes impressed upon my younger mind by a patriarchal society that which depicts women as passive and helpless.

“Rawr!” cries the terrible little dragon flying about, guarding the maiden with its steely eyes and steelier claws and terrorizing the peasant countryside when it gets off from work. It represents the rest of my mind.

“Oh God in Heaven please don’t eat me!” cries the knight. He represents the part of me which is a wrestler and the part of me that wants to say something coherent.

The dragon has already eaten the part of me whose job it was to come up with good metaphors.

Every time is a struggle. Every time is a toss-up. Every time is a variation on a three-hour play where a kind-of-brave dude-bro in armor challenges the much-sexier dragon to single combat in a steel cage to-the-death oil wrestling match. Each time this happens is because I attempt to say something coherent to the wider world, and my scaly beast of a brain feels the need to roar at the heavens in ugly defiance.

Was I born this way — was the blueprint of brutal-martial-arts-slash-Medieval-European-story-trope imprinted on my soul at birth? Or was it passed down by untold generations of people like myself — people who found ways to triumph again and again and somehow reproduce before the dragon ate the tinny neckbeard snack for the very last time? It is impossible to say.

Now, I stalk the nights as a knight, seeking to rid the city streets of all dragon-kin. But I know, in the end, that the real dragon, the true dragon, the last dragon I must face has been within me all along.

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