White Lies

I had an irrational fear of untruths. Speaking a lie was like invoking the name of Satan–it is a fiction we fear. It is fiction I fear.

So I tell the truth. “I’m terrible, thank you, and how are you?” “You’re looking awfully bloated today.” “I’m late for work because I felt like masturbating for a while.” “I haven’t eaten a fruit in three weeks, but no thanks, I’ll stick with my re-heated pizza for a day or two more.”

What’s awful is that these truths aren’t just truths for me–they’re truths for most people. But it’s wrong to say them. Whether because we’re greasing the wheels of social interaction or because we have a very specific social dance we have to boogie along with if we want to stay on the dance floor, we lie. Well, I’m using the royal we. In fact, I’m not part of that we. I don’t lie.

Being hated and rejected is bad enough, but the worst part is when people take advantage of my honesty. There’s no point having a lock on my locker, because someone could just ask me my combination. Avoiding the truth is nearly as bad as not telling it.

I’m afraid. Afraid of lies. I sometimes dream about other worlds, worlds invented by lies, that manifest somewhere beyond our imagination every time we spin a tall tale. What worries me the most is that lies are almost always told to make things seem better than they are. So there are infinite worlds, realities, made up of better outcomes, better pasts, better versions of ourselves. And if that’s so, and ours is the world of truth, then it is better to live in a world of lies.

No. Everything should be told exactly how it is. Why do those worlds of fiction deserve better than us? Worlds perfected by our inability to admit to our imperfections. And we must live in the worst world of all.

That is why I only tell truths. I can’t stand imagining a version of myself who is better than I am. I don’t deserve that. No part of me does.

Day 186’s three prompt categories were, “A compulsive truth-teller,” “Irrational fear,” and, “Locker combination.”

Not the most upbeat fellow, is he?

– H.

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