Revenge Is A Dish, But…

They say revenge is a dish best served cold, and you know why? Not because the delay will make it sweeter, but because by the time you’ll get to taste it, you’ll have lost your appetite entirely.

When Ray finally sees his vengeance on his former partner fulfilled, 25 years, unimaginable pain, and plenty of bad decisions have floated down the river of time — and for what? A chat between two broke and broken men, each rotting away in their own way, one in a literal prison, the other in a metaphorical one.

Like a dart piercing all the lies over the years, Ray’s not-at-all-innocent victim throws a good point: “I’m the guy you can blame for doing exactly what you wanted to do.” It’s true. A quarter century of obsession allowed Ray to do what he does best: Scheme, deceive, and steal. He didn’t have to think about his daughter, his only friend, or the lives of his targets. He didn’t have to try hard, change his approach, or attempt to make an honest living. Pretending that his crimes all served a higher purpose allowed him to blank out every slight hint and every giant warning sign that he was on the wrong path. For Ray, it was just marching, marching, marching.

It’s easy to make up a mission that allows us to feel like crusaders when we’re blinded by emotions. But remember what the crusaders did: They killed, lied, and stole — all in the name of God, all for “a higher purpose.” The ends don’t justify the means just because we’re eager to use them, and the most convenient explanation is rarely the right, let alone a justified one. We don’t have to dish out payback, fight some imaginary dragon, or prove anyone wrong.

The next time you feel a craving for retribution, imagine not eating for 25 years, then getting a meal that could never ever live up to your slow-cooked expectations. “So, was it worth it?” your target will ask. Of course, the real target was you all along — so perhaps revenge is a dish we should best let go cold without ever dipping in our spoon.