Disclaimer: I own nothing.

Truth and Lies

People know I have secrets; I wouldn't be human if I didn't. The number of secrets I have, and the intensity with which I keep them buried, is perhaps not quite as clear, but still. It is known that I have secrets.

Here are some of the secrets I've never even dared whisper aloud to an empty room; I fear death. I fear growing old alone. I fear hurting the people I love the most. I fear a lot of things. People think of me as brave, or – perhaps more accurately – reckless, due to the amount of times I put myself in danger, take unnecessary risks, do stupid things that result in me having guns and knives waved in my face on an increasingly regular basis. But people don't know about my fears. I'm scared to let my daughter grow up, because I know soon my little girl will be gone forever. I'm scared to tell the woman I love how I feel. I'm scared to let people see me for who I really am.

People don't know that I sometimes jump when I see shadows on the wall; that when I wake to the sound of water clanging in the pipes I often think, for a few moments, that it is actually the sound of my mother downstairs, chopping vegetables; that my obsession with the truth derives from my inability to embrace it myself.

Being a master of liars makes you a master of lies.

I seek answers to unwritten questions, tell people what they want to know before they even know they want to know it, look for reason where there is none, invade people's privacy without invitation, and, more than anything, try to peel back the layers of every lie I see, until all that remains is the hard, bitter truth.

Truth.

It can provide a lot of things; justice, power, hope, condolence, satisfaction. A lot of the time, more pain than comfort. One thing truth can never do, however, is undo the past. This is a hard lesson to learn.

Perhaps the hardest lesson to learn, though, is that when you look in the mirror, the person staring back at you is the only person you can't escape. And when it's just you and your reflection, labels don't seem to matter. Ex-husband. Father. Boss. Lie-detector. The definitions of your life dissipate, and all that is left is the things you know about yourself, and the secrets you try to keep.

I spend my life exposing lies so I don't have to admit the barest truth of all; that my entire life has become one.