What Lies Within

You’ve decided it’s time to go over it one more time. You don’t want to make it up as you go along, as Judge Judy would put it, and you still have some time to build a good foundation for a little improvisation, if the occasion requires. It’s not a lie, you’d never consider taking this long to work on a lie. More like a misrepresentation of the truth. All in good faith, of course. But it’s always good to go over it until you’re about to believe in it. Not completely, you’re not some psycho reeking to be acknowledged later for having fooled everyone you’ve known. Just enough so you’ll have something to fall back on.
A very well known poet, whose name completely eludes me at this moment, used to say that you need to write and rewrite your text a million times, so to look as if you wrote the whole thing within the inspiration of a particular moment of clarity. He was a well-known liar alright. But he was celebrated mostly for his ability with words. That’s what you should be aiming for, the exquisite handling of syllables and sentences so to convey exactly what you meant to say in the first place, which is not necessarily an absolute and faithful account of reality, but of a sophisticated and controlled variation of it.
Better go over one more time. Just in case. What if they ask for some further details? Whatever you say, it must be have something very commonsensical as a past and a logical future, assumed of course, as we all consider the perfect afterward of anything to be. Assuming that this is happening, so it’s understandable that what comes next is that. Or that. Or even perhaps that other possibility. And you’d better stop here, so as not to give the whole thing too many legs. They say the best lie, no, the best misconstruction of reality has a lot of truthful elements. Not too many, just enough to flesh it out convincingly. Not too many, long-winded legs, to make you trip over and get lost mid-sentence.
So far, what you’ve got? You have the basic premise. Your foundation is solid. Everything you’ve come up with is perfectly credible. There are a number of situations prior to that and now you have a set of conditions that perfectly explain what you’re about to say next. Everything’s pretty simple, really. It’s easy to see where you come from. The way things happened, which you had absolutely nothing to do with, is just the way they usually occur. Part of it is a natural progression of what was already going on and the rest is the unexpected that occurs all the time to the best Danish families. So it did happen that way with you too. How else could you react to it? What else could you have done to avoid it?
Here’s a good moment to take a break and go through a brief but very animated divergent path, where you can add pretty much anything to enrich the narrative. Well, not anything but unrelated things that could fit and inform the general shape of things to come. You can add a few short passages involving family and friends, for example, and bang! You have yet another set of things to freely talk about without fear of compromising your well concocted interpretation of the events, which you should go back to as soon as you reach a sincere reaction from whoever you’re telling the story to.
Back to your general road, you can now safely add a crucial element of your prepared version, which will advance your discourse and bring it closer to where you want it to get. But let’s not rush anything yet. You’re still elaborating the elements that will serve you in the end, so be careful what you add next. It has to have some of those legs. A short one. More likely an arm. Gesticulate with it, to make it more realistic. Point fingers. Emphasize your finer points with an unexpected recurring theme. Something that was already there in the first setup. You may’ve picked it from that initial layout but now it has a slight different color. Again, you can now safely add another drop of the theory you want to prove.
Let’s go over one more time, this time skipping the small details and advancing the general themes as if in a PowerPoint presentation. Make sure those landmarks are well lit and articulated, so you won’t take the wrong turn and wind up on an exit. Or crashed in the swamp. But even if that happens, you need to be prepared. So, yes, get lost and exit the highway, but make sure you don’t take the wrong lane. That’d be inexcusable and you probably wouldn’t be able to recover from it. Unless you’d take some extreme measure, like come up with a cop cruiser stopping you and you don’t have your drivers’ license on you. But that would be way too complicated.
That’s why you prepare yourself. Over and over again. Get to the end result and see how it feels. Take a deep breath, sit down. Look around. If you smoke, now it’s the time to have a deep drag. See the perfected rounded ring floating away from you, as you meditate on what could possibly go wrong. Because it will, given a chance. Take a sip of that bottle, whatever is in it. Do you feel refreshed? Confident? Were you able to include all the necessary details to blur the borders between account and narrative? Above all, do you feel the need to add anything else? If that’s the case, you need to go back. I know, I know, but there’s nothing to complain about. Better do it now than regret it later. Write it on a Post It and attached to your inside pocket. Press it hard. Too much? Did it bleed? Good, so you won’t forget it that easily. Go back with this mental note, so it won’t happen again. Because once you reach the finish line, you need to be sure that there are no pesky questions lurking to be asked around.
Those loose ends are killers. You need to trim them before they even stray from the thread. And the only way of doing that is adding the necessary adjustments. A little last name here, a bit of a family lore over there. A touch of your own troubled past can help, but don’t overdue it. Keep a pair of scissors handy. Proceed with caution in what your idealized vision is concerned, the one you reserve only to your own mirrors. Whatever you add has to always be related to the general theme that’s being put to test. It may look like it’s something unexpected or sudden, but it has to be part of a general parallel stream you need to have running on the side.
Something not unlike the string theory. There are many, simultaneous multi universes coexisting at the same time and space, you see? Once in a while, or more often than not, one of them leaks through another and creates a whole stir, something that looks completely alien and it is, despite having a disturbing similarity with this reality. And then it’s gone. They say that happens all the time. Another ‘yous’ living elsewhere, doing exactly the things you’ve decided not to do at the moment. You just can’t see them. Or some claim they can. Who knows? The whole thing is pretty new, only some 60 years old.
Lying is much older than that, of course. It’s more like quantum physics. It can be pass for real facts that suddenly become illusions when observed by us. Good liars seize such moments and use them. People will believe them if they’re good at catching them when they don’t know they’re being observed and are pretending to be illusions.
People like you and me look at them and see them as real as they can be. They look real, therefore they must be. Clever people know the difference though. They jump at them, lightening fast, and grab them and show them to us while they’re being whatever they want them to be. Just like magicians.
Great art performs like elaborated lies. So well created that they portray reality better than reality itself does. You know, one looks around and nothing seems to be changing. But they’re dead wrong; things are changing all the time. We just don’t see it that easily. Then a truly artist comes along and catches that no change state in the act. And shows everyone that they’re actually changing as we speak.
There was another poet, I forgot his name, who used to say that a poet is a pretender. He pretends so well to feel the pain that in reality he really feels. And then we feel his pain. Better than if he’d say, I feel pain. We’d say, what a liar. So he creates a lie to fool us, and inserts a lethal truth within it. And we swallow the whole thing and learn about what poised him to death.
Which, like everything else, can be deceiving. As a dream within a dream, another step down, another layer, a different membrane, all of a sudden, we may be able to catch him in a lie, telling the truth we thought it didn’t exist. We reach inside it and our hands feel something odd to the touch. It’s dark and humid and we can’t see what was that suddenly alarmed us, like a flipping shadow in the corner of the eye. We turn as fast as fear allows us but it’s no longer there.
We attempt to go over one final time but this time around, the corners are clean. There are no residues left, even when we run a finger through it and check it right in front of our eyes. Clear, no particle, dust, no stray hair. The surfaces are smooth, the structure stands on its own, all crossing sections seem perfectly aligned. You scrutinize it from different angles and nothing seems to be out of scope. It stands on its own but it doesn’t stand out. Instead, it blends seemingly with the background. Just like you wanted it.
Anything you may add won’t disturb the tale. You can tell it from beginning to end and backwards, it won’t make a difference. No one will notice you built it out of thin air. You may actually get some accolades, some heart-warming comments about how sincere and pious and admirable your efforts to right all the wrongs of the situation were. Tears may soon follow but you don’t need to go there, my friend. You don’t need to go over it one more time or you risk turning your clear exit into a captive loop.

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