Blather, Drivel, Piffle, and Lies

May 19, 2008

Try saying that five times.

It all means crap--the nonsense kind. I don’t like it but I’m forced to live with it. We’re all forced to in some form or another. Sometimes the piffle and lies are shallow and just plain irritating, but sometimes the blather and drivel is so dark and deep that it blinds us. And the strange thing is--we often create the crap we’re floating in, while the inconvenient truth struggles to toss in a rope.

Many of the characters in my novel, Aberrations, live with lies that are eventually exposed. Why do we tend to burden ourselves with secrets that we know will one day be revealed? Perhaps we want to prolong the illusion that we‘re something more than what we are. Most lies and secrets revolve around something we’re ashamed of, whether it’s beyond our control or related to our own actions. Either way, keeping it hidden usually doesn't help in the long run. Don’t we all know that by now?

I’m as guilty as anyone of living a lie. When I was much younger, I lied, telling myself that someone stoic and cold loved me. I got myself into a blinding situation so dark and deep that it nearly took my life … one of those stranger than fiction stories. More recently, I lied about something that put a nasty wedge between me, myself, and I. I’m still climbing my way out of that one. Why do I do this?

Sometimes the blather, drivel, piffle and lies come because we just want everything to be alright. We don’t want to see anyone hurt, especially those we love, respect, or depend upon. But it's based on a much more selfish need, I suppose, when you examine it. On the surface, we don’t want to wound others but maybe, just maybe, there’s a deeper need at play--the need to avoid putting ourselves through it all. Am I so selfish that I can’t provide reality to those around me? Are you?

Sometimes the lies we tell ourselves cause the most misery. Once embalmed in the spongy comfortable rut, it molds our thoughts, motives, and decisions. I wish every person who ever lied to me, or held back the truth, could come forward now and lay it on the line. Maybe it’s bad news. You never loved me. You used me. You simply didn’t give a rat's ass about my career, my dreams, or my feelings. Or maybe you just didn't understand truth at the time. Maybe there was something you wanted to express but didn't, couldn’t, or chose not to. Maybe the guy I loved all those years ago actually loved me, too. Maybe he just couldn’t put a name to the emotion. Maybe we were too immature to handle ourselves, much less each other.

The main character of my novel, Angel Duet, says, “There has to be a common thread, a rope of truth runnin’ through all these worlds you’re always talkin’ about. Isn’t that what we’re supposed to hang on to?” Like Angel, I want an honest life, a realistic one to hang on to. I’ve found that the hardest part of that promise is the ability to be honest with myself. If I can’t achieve that, how can I be honest with you? Next time I love someone new, which may be never, I’ll just say it. I’ll make Jon Mayer proud; I’ll say what I need to say. I may find myself staring at someone’s back, but I’ll know I gave a gift that means something to the recipient no matter what they give or feel in return--truth. I don’t think you realize the full extent of giving and receiving truth until you’ve lived a little, especially without it.

Giving the truth, no matter how uncomfortable, painful, or intense it feels at the moment enables you to live with less regret. It’s something to work at. I've used up the first half of my life figuring that out. I know now that I only have one life and it’s getting shorter. Time that used to drag now drags me. It’s flying through my hair and although nice and breezy, it blows my life about, making it more difficult to focus on the details but somehow easier to feel the larger picture. My head is spinning. My kids are growing. My nose is already getting bigger. The complexity of life is expanding like an accordion I don’t know how to play. I just keep staring at it, mesmerized by its engineering. The music it creates and all those dancing monkeys have me spellbound.

Lying takes so many complex forms. I don’t believe in, nor do I choose to live in, a purely black and white world. Life is labyrinthine; that’s the beauty of it. Happiness is multi-faceted, and I’m old enough to know that I may not have every corner covered on any given day, week, or year. Angel admits that she sees the truth, but more times than not, fails to grasp it. She fails to appreciate the unique before it passes away, or beauty in blossom, or gifts that are actually free. I’ll try not to fail at that anymore. I desperately want all that free stuff since what I have to pay for is so damn expensive.

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.