Guilt is an interesting bitch. It is not like anger, which bursts and subsides, but is always moving, coiling. It is not quite like fear, which seems distinctly haunting, the darkly twisted angst of what is to come.
Rather, guilt can die altogether in moments. It can stop itself autonomously. And you can go on waking up, brushing your teeth, and fetching a latte without the weight.
But just as inconspicuously as it died, it can be reborn. And the stench of it is so strong, it fills your throat and lungs until breath seems difficult as you struggle to wait out the day, the week, the month until it dies again.
It has been over a year since I had my first wrestle with the fleeting bitch. She still returns occasionally, with less vigor and momentum. There is less hangover, less temptation and her visits are tempered with my slightly newer perspective and strength.
When you do something you know is wrong, it ignites you with passion and fear. And when the adrenaline subsides, all that remains is a pile of dusty ash. There is nothing you can do but wait. Wait for the phoenix, wait for your next chance to go head to head with the bitch.