All truth is a lie. I’m cynical. For the past twelve years, I’ve lied every day, and I’m sort of okay with it.
So what does that say about me? Not much, in most people’s eyes. Liars are sinners, aren’t they? According to some mythical being who judges our daily ins and outs? I don’t know about all that, but I do know I lie and I can’t stop. I lie to my coworkers who don’t know I smoke. I lie to my friends when they ask if I care. I lie to my husband because the truth would break his heart. I lie to myself. Every minute. I tell myself that I can continue on with this charade, this mire of weakness and stupidity.
I am a liar. But so are you. You lie to your friends about being happy. You tell your parents that you are sober but you’re lying. And you lie to yourself because we all do. You say you don’t love me and that it never was for you what it was for me. But that’s a lie too because that shoebox filled with twelve years of my letters betrays you. It screams out that you lie, that your heart has always been in my hands. You lie when you say you have no words because I gave you a decade’s worth of words plus all the poetry in my bones.
We all lie. To each other but mostly to ourselves. Truth means admitting weakness and fighting for change. Truth shows vulnerability and sincerity in the wake of fear of the unknown. But lies? Oh, they are sweet, aren’t they? So slippery and cunning, so tempting and warm. Lies keep us covered like a blanket in the snow. They show us who we wish we were if only the truth weren’t buried beneath. Lies rock us into a sense of rightness that is tenuous and fragile, that can only be destroyed by honesty. But we are never really honest, not really. Even when we try. Even when you said you missed me, kept my letters, thought about writing but were blinded by regret. Truth. Yes. I know that was truth.
But I also heard the blanket of lies. The ones where you said we should move on, forget. You told the truth, at least a little bit, but you also hid behind your lies. If you really told the truth, wouldn’t you already be here? Wouldn’t you have shed the lies like an unnecessary layer of clothing on a sunny day? Your untruths about loving me have masked your reality.
But that’s what we all do. Lie to ease the pain. Lie to avoid the heartbreak that all honesty inevitably causes. Lie to dull the truth because the truth is never what we want even when we ask for it.