Every day of my life I have dealt with lies. After all, I was a public school teacher for 31 years and taught middle school for 24 of those years.
“Please excuse Mauricio from writing the essay today. He was chopping ham for me yesterday and his hand got numb.”
“I have to go to the bathroom at 8:05, Teacher! Not 8:10 or 8:00! And no girl will be waiting by the water fountain… oh, ye, vato!”
“Can’t you see I have to go home sick? I have purple spots all over my face! It is just a coincidence I was drawing hearts on my notebook with a purple marker.”
But now the classroom is quiet. I am retired.
Okay, I know, the first part of that is a lie. The classroom is not quiet. I am retired and don’t go there any more. Some other teacher (or long-term substitute after the rookie teacher ran out screaming after the first week of school) is now listening to the lies.
So, nothing but the truth now, right? Who is around during the day to tell me lies? The dog? Well, yes… when she wants to go outside and pretends the poop and pee are bursting out of her, but really only wants to sniff the street lamp and all the male dogs who have peed there.
But there is also me. Yes, me! I am working at being a writer now… so I tell myself lies… and not little ones, either. Whole episodes of my past have come pouring out in my stories… and I am not always the good guy or the main character in the tale. Sometimes I was the villain, the mistake-maker, or the fool. I’m definitely not perfect now, nor was I then, but I’m a writer now. I can change it. I tell lies. I can make it work out in ways that never happened in real life.
I put lies in this blog. For instance, I may have suggested, a few posts back, that because of psoriasis in my usually-covered region, I sit around naked all day when I type this post. Not true. I suggested that for comedy value at the time. Well, it’s mostly not true. I don’t know how much you know about severe-plaque psoriasis, but it only flares up at times. Some days, like today, a half hour in a steaming hot Sitz-bath with extra salt allows me to wear clothes for quite a while after. So I merely exaggerated because I thought making you picture plump and pasty-skinned old me sitting around nude and typing a blog was funny… but… okay, maybe that was just weird. Still, a good lie is always at least twelve cents better than the ugly truth. (I must note, the truth of this paragraph has changed since I originally wrote this post. Now I am more of a nudist and enjoy being naked while I type. But that now being a lie does not spoil the point of this essay.)
And the fact that my stories are filled with little-boy liars, giant rabbit-men who can talk and cook vegetables like people, and invading invisible alien frog-people, derives naturally from the fact that I have been a highly imaginative liar since childhood. Just ask any of my grade school classmates. I used to make them believe there was an evil clone Michael out there somewhere trying really, really hard to get me in trouble. I told them that I was in contact with a race of blue-colored people that lived in an underground world deep beneath our little Iowa town. I even showed them the knotty old stump that was the doorway to the tunnel that led to the Blue World. Of course, the key was never available when I showed them. And my friends were not completely gullible. In fact, I suspect that once in a while, they knew I was… lying.