Play Nice

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[This is where the summary would go if I'd bothered to write one.]

« Writober 05: Worst Kind of FriendWeek 141 »
Writober 05: Pants on Fire

I used to be a horrible liar. By horrible, I mean damn good. I’m not ashamed of it. When faced with the choice of telling a lie or having a belt or shoe land hard and fast on your back or arm, the answer is clear.

You lie. You lie so well you later wonder if you were really lying at all.

And then, one day you realize you’re lying for no reason at all. There’s no malicious intent involved, it’s not out of self-preservation, it doesn’t bring you any pleasure. It hits you that you’re doing it unconsciously.

That’s when you decide to stop. You stop because, even though you feel a perverse sense of pride about being so damn good, you realize that you’ve gotten to a point in your life, to an age in your life, when others wouldn’t consider this a cute character trait. You realize that, unlike when you were a child and lying made the bad things stop, now, being found out, leads to worse things than a belt lashing.

Oh, but you can’t just stop. No. Now you have to go the other way. Now you’re honest to a fault and you think that keeping any little bit in is wrong. But since you’re not cruel, people find this refreshing and admirable. These people that didn’t know you way back when, they look at you and say things like, “I always know where I stand with you” or “One of the things I most like about you is that there’s no bullshit.”

You secretly preen and you mentally giggle over your oh so very inside joke. “If you only knew,” you crow.

But then, at some point, a little lie slips out. A nothing little thing that was probably necessary to not hurt someone’s feelings or to get you out of some tiresome committment so that you could go home and read a good book. It sits on your lips, reproachful.

You become angry. So what, you demand. Who cares? This, this is nothing compared to the old days. You’re embarrassed actually, at your talents being wasted on such a pitiable thing. The voice inside quietly says, “You said you wouldn’t.”

You stomp a foot and cock out your chin defiantly. Sometimes it’s necessary you tell yourself. And you believe it.

That, most of all, is what troubles you.

Published 10/14/05 in Writing • Writober • | Views: 1903 times | Print

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