Lies can be a perfect teacher,
When they tell the truth of something deeper.
Through story, metaphor, simile, poetry,
With romance, science fiction, fantasy.
Tales of people, places, that I’m sure,
Will never be and never were.
But reflect the truths that people hide,
Like a mirror looking straight inside.
Both dark and light and in between,
The things we always leave unseen.
While practical things can keep us breathing,
Stories, they give life a meaning.
You’ve been here before, trust me.
Your friend walks up to you with a pleased look on her face that you know you will soon have to lie to the second you see that she got a haircut only a smidge less hideous than the other one. At least her bangs are gone, you think weakly. She approaches, flashing a full braces smile that only adds to her...interesting?...look.
“So! What do you think of my haircut?” She grins, making your stomach churn. You have an important decision here. You can spare your best-friend-with-really-terrible-fashion-choices’ feelings and potentially let her continue to the ultimate destruction many know as first period, or you can tell her that she looks uglier than she has in a (long) while and lose your only friend, leaving you to sit alone in the bathroom for lunch, putting your feet up whenever you hear someone come in.
Well, when you put it that way, the decision is simple.
“Great!” you announce, and she smiles. “Awesome haircut.”
It was better to lie, better to lie, you tell yourself. But really, it was just to save your relationship with your best friend. Hopefully she won’t get TOO destroyed in first period, you think. Saying goodbye with only a trace of guilt lacing your voice, you pull out your phone, walking to class. Then you search google, hoping the results are helpful. HOW TO CONVINCE YOUR FRIEND TO GET A NEW HAIRCUT.
This better work.
Her eyes look at me
They dance in beautiful silence
Everything I do
This beautiful creation is not my own
How can I tell her that I am not her father?
How can I tell her that mama’s a cheater?
How can I be a single dad
To this beautiful girl?
“Mama’s coming home soon,” I say.
“Love you, sweetie.”
“Love you too, Daddy!”
At least one thing I said
Was the truth
I do love her
My feelings shoot through the roof
Eventually she will ask questions
Why I am so different in looks
Why Mama never came back
Why I lied
Eventually those questions will haunt us
But for now,
Just Hold My Hand
"It's going to be alright."
"Just hold my hand tight."
I ignore all the blood.
I hold back my tears.
Your sister didn't see it.
You didn't see it
The car that came passing
too fast and too soon
How can life be so cruel
to take the spirit from someone
who can't even ride a bike
without your tiny pink wheels
"It's going to be alright."
You cry with pained sobs
pretty brown eyes blotchy
"I want my mommy..."
"Mommy's coming," I say
"She'll be here soon."
"It's going to be alright."
As your hand loosens in mine.
I didn't know the man who approached me,
He seemed kind of off,
I didn't like his prescence,
I wanted to leave on the next stop.
The subway was crowded,
It seemed like it would be easy to hide,
It wouldn't take long,
To lose the man with the too-wide smile.
It was almost like radar,
The ease with which he stalked,
Chasing me through the crowd,
Pushing through all those who milled and talked.
The panic was rising,
I started to dread,
I figured all hope was lost,
Assumed soon I would be dead.
My phone was off,
No charge left in its core,
I had let it go empty,
In an attempt to read more.
It seemed easy to imgaine my end my nigh,
Yet up ahead a miracle appeared before my I.
A tall muscular man who looked my age,
I wandered up to him, grabbed his arm and said stay on my page.
Quietly I told him about the creep from before,
And subtly he looked behind us and nodded his head,
When the creep approached and said his thanks for watching his girl,
The man took his cue and said, "Who is my girl to you?"
The man went still,
His eyes went bright,
He looked us up and down,
He checked left and right.
Grumbling he snuck off into the night,
And that is the story of the lie that introduced me to my future husband that night.
Being lied to
“Oh, what a beautiful baby girl.”
I don’t quite remember that one, but I’m sure someone said it. I’m sure you’ve said it to some new mother proudly beaming while holding what appears to be a second cousin to ET or one of the shrunken heads in the science experiment kit you used to have once upon a time. Hey, everyone loves babies. I get it.
“What a lovely young lady you’re becoming.”
Said at various stages of development when the mirror lets you know quite clearly that you will never be on the cover of any magazine except perhaps Dermatology Today. And that the paper bag over the head joke is not at all funny because you’ve contemplated wearing one more than once.
“You sang so beautifully.”
I couldn’t remember the words although I had known every one before Ms. Ross took my hand to sing with her on stage. And I couldn’t sing one note in tune though she provided me with every line.
“Why are they lying to me?” my seven-year old embarrassed, miserable-self asked my mother. She just smiled and said something like, “Oh honey,” and gave my shoulder a squeeze as we exited the theater, smiling at all the well-wishers who recognized the lucky kid who couldn’t sing to save her life.
“I’ll be your best friend,” said the ten-year old girl who was always mean but was suddenly saccharine sweet…eying the bag of candy I had bought at the corner store with my allowance. I gave her a piece as I replied, “No, you won’t.”
“I won’t tell anyone. I swear,” said minutes before everyone in the school knows your secret crush.
“I promise,” said for the umpteenth time while you sit with shoulders hunched, phone to your ear, your mom looking on pityingly, knowing your dad is not going to show. Again.
“I’m not seeing anyone,” he insists but then you see him kiss the pretty blonde between classes.
“I called you.” Funny, my phone never rang.
“I was thinking about calling you.” That’s nice. Yeah, I was thinking about calling you, too. And then I did.
“I was going to call you.” And then you forgot?
“I love you.” I love you, too.
I touched him
He ignored me
I want him
He hates me
I ignore him
He wants me
He touched me
I must pull away
“It’s effecting us!”
“You got me, I got you!”
I was happy
He deleted it
“You got me, I got you!”
He knows, I know-
He deleted it
It’s my turn
I have to lie
To be loved
i hear whispers
in every room,
making me go insane
even though i know it's not true.
i see blood
in every hallway,
caked in the walls,
what a mistake.
i wish i could
talk to people
but if i did,
they would vanish soon anyway.
no one cares about
people like me.
my disorder makes
why does schizophrenia
have to ruin my life?
i'm going crazy
in my mind.
i must stay quiet.
no one would listen if i wasn't.
they'd say i'm
what's the point
of being open,
if when i do,
no one would want to stay?
i fake a smile
and pretend i don't
see these stupid visions everyday.
i know stress
will make it worse
and the stress of losing people
would kill me.
so instead i stay
in the chains of my brain,
it's better than dying, okay?
so this lie is helping me
to breathe easier
since people are here
to help me for now.
they think i'm just sad
and i guess that's it's
better that way.
These Are the Lies We Tell
!!TW: CHILD ABUSE AND CUTTING!!
“Life is so beautiful, isn’t it?” June turned to me and smiled, letting the sun warm her face. I gave her a weak smile in return. I didn’t have the heart to tell her she was wrong.
Life is not beautiful. Life is cruel. Life is cold. Life is unforgiving. I would know. I quietly ran my fingers along my fresh scar and winced. I vaguely remember a time where I felt like June. The world was all rainbows and kittens. Until it wasn’t. I still remember the first time he touched me. The feeling of his rough hands burned into my skin so deeply, that no amount of scrubbing could wash away.
“Shhh,” he whispered into my ear. I rememeber snapping awake. The weight of his body and his hand clamped tighly over my mouth sent me into a panic. “No, no, shh,” he pleaded as I squirmed under him, “its okay. You’re okay. Its daddy. You’re safe.” He slowly removed his hand from my mouth. I had calmed down. Afterall, daddy was my knight. He would always protect me. What was there to be afraid of? I scoffed under my breath, I was so stupid back then.
“Good girl,” he breathed into my ear deeply. “So good for daddy.” His touching made me feel dirty. I hated his touch but I lived for his praises. He convinced me that daddies who truly love their little girls did this. I was old enough to know it was wrong; I was young enough to want to make my daddy happy. He convinced me it was normal. It wasn’t abuse, it was a form of deep love. Deep, sadistic, fucked up love. I hate him. I hate myself.
“Isn’t my little girl the most beautiful you’ve ever seen?” He boasted to everyone we met. It used to make me feel special, them nodding in agreement. Now it makes me nauseous. I wanted to scream at them. Didn’t they know what he was doing to me? Didn’t they know that being beautiful meant horrible things would happen to them? Why couldn’t anyone see it and save me?
I wanted to be ugly. I longed for it. I didn’t want anyones eyes to lust after me. I remember the first time I slid a razor across my thigh. A friend had taught me after I saw his scars. They were ugly. I remembered “not too deep.” It felt oddly empowering. It didn’t change anything. He bandaged my thigh and cried. He asked me why I did it, why I would want to make his beautiful baby ugly. I didn’t answer. He smacked me. I kept doing it, but it didn’t work. I press into my fresh scar again, harder. I smile at the burning pain; it brings me comfort.
This world is not beautiful. Not for everyone. But I dont have the heart to tell that to June. It would be cruel to make June aware of this fact. She deserves to bask in her blissful ignorance under a warm summer sun. So this is the lie I will tell:
“Yes, June. Life is beautiful.”
I woke up smiling.
I always do.
Everyone does. What is there to be unhappy about?
Everyone is fed. Everyone gets love. Everyone is kind, and good.
I am, too.
As I pick up what I set out to wair, I realise my pretty pink shirt has a stain on it.
“But, pink is my favorite color,” I say aloud.
Pink, it has been my favorite color my whole life.
It’s the color the Court gave me, the color they chose for me to love. The color that I have learned to love through my life.
I wonder what to do. It is unimaganable for a child my age to get help before they get dressed, but it is just as unthinkable to wair dirty clothes.
I am stuck between two fouls, something that has never ever happened to me.
How can I be good when both my options are bad?
I carefully put on my identacle version of that same pink shirt, and then I carry my stained shirt and clean it up. Disaster averted!
At school, I do well at math, but another kid, my best friend, Shirley, isn’t so good.
“Do me a favor and help me with math?” she asked. I couldn’t refuse. I owed her for helping me with spelling.
The only thing is, I have trouble tuturing her during Study.
“Shirley, your wrong!“I exlaim. “You have to turn the zero into a ten before you subtract the four.”
“You mean incorrect,” Shirley replied calmly.
I gasped. My best friend was right. I said that horrible, mean, inconciderate, fixed mindset word wrong.
I was lucky that the Court gave me such a good best friend. Most would’ve cried and tattled upon me saying that word.
I trip up several more times along the week, and instead of feeling lucky for the forgivness my mom was given by the Court, and the simple sterness my father was given, I felt strange.
Why were we given personalities, and favorite colors instead of being who we are?
I can’t beleive it. When I asked my parents these simple questions, I was taken to the Court.
“You must exept the role you were given,” they said.
“We all have our parts to play,” said a tall one.
“If you want a good job decided for you, you must be greatful for the colors and favorite foods you were given now.” ’Tis crazy.
I can’t beleive it! I got a letter inviting me to join the Court!
Oh, but, it was a lie. They are sentancing me to death!
“No writing, miss,” a Court servent said, taking away Cate’s journal.
Cate replayed the scene in her mind from earlier, frightened of that man.
The Court had told her, “We knew you were niave, but this... wow!”
“Anyone begining to question us may either join us, or die.”
“You came here all happy- you are just imaginative, not smart. People like you, they must be earased. Not just their body, but their memory, dear girl.”
“Be ready to say goodby-”
“You lyers!” Cate hollered. “This, all this was all lies! Scemes for power! You evil ver-”
“We have reasons to lie. We do it for the happiness of all- majority. The more clueless people are, the better.”
“It’s wonderful, really, to be sacrificed.”