This was such a blunt, vivid piece that really painted the picture of how consuming and greedy gossip is. I've seen this happen at places that you would think could be safe and non-judgemental spaces. It's truly vile, and you've captured this well. This happened at my church frequently, and people would just say they're "venting", but I would say that I want no part, or try to defend the person. I think a person can become so used to gossip or just reliving history or certain parts of the person that they never want to think of them as anything else. And for some people, if they didn't gossip, what would they have to talk about? Do they have anything meaningful and worthwhile to say?