i still remember the first lie i told.
or, well, the first lie i was conscious of telling.
it was mid-afternoon, after school, and i sat perched atop one of the high bar stools framing the kitchen counter. it spun from side to side and i sat, legs folded under, slowly moving and swaying, a yellow box of nilla wafters in front of me.
my mother had made it clear that i was only to have some (alarmingly) low number of them. no more than three, or some such.
(i had a really good mom. among the best).
i ate three. then three more. then probably three more after that. and on and on and on and on and on.
and i remember her coming back into the kitchen,
did you have just the three?
yup. just three.
and there it was. the first lie told.
i don't remember is if she knew. probably. but what i do remember is the stomach-churning it elicited--and how that had nothing to do with too much sugar.
i am a tremendously lousy liar. i don't do it. perhaps that's the dictate of some strict, and often too-rigid moral compass, but i just don't have a knack for it.
no talent, no skill.
every once and a while i'll give it a go, but when i do i make a face that very clearly says i am lying and you know i am, don't you?
just the other day my mother asked me if i'd taken some pill i was supposed to.
you're lying, aren't you?
even over the phone it's clear.
i cannot tell a lie and my face hides nothing. more than the question of morality, i think i just want to live authentically.
life is so hard, you know? filled with too many struggles and failures not to embrace them. i just don't want to diminish who i am by lying about it. even if it's a small lie.
and yet. i am deeply fearful. so i omit things. often, i omit.
lying by omission, i suppose that's not much better. and i conceal by structuring the truth in such a way that it's fragmented and unclear. or purposefully misleading.
i consider myself a deeply private person.
bet you didn't think that--didn't know that. hell, here is all this stuff that i've written and revealed and it's as truthful as it can be, and yet, i consider myself a deeply private, often secretive, person.
how can that be? not sure. but that's how i feel.
i parcel out only bits and pieces, hold the larger truth so close to the chest. i fold truth over on itself so often that the end result is something entirely muddled--language in code.
very rarely does someone stumble upon something i'm unwilling to speak about, but when they do, i smile, side-step, unfurl silence like a ribbon between us, and re-direct. a magician's game.
however, if someone were to ask me something, point blank, i would tell the truth. stripped down, i would answer honestly.
yes. or no. and all the words in between.
and because that's all i know i cannot conceive that other's might do it differently.
that a lie might pass between.
tell me, do you ever tell lies? how do you do it? no judgement here, i'm honestly just tremendously curious.