it a reluctance to face too much reality, but transience seems to be my
natural state. Sitting on a train racing through countryside, glimpsing
water, sunlight, greenery, stone, flashing in weaving in and out of dark
tunnels, used to be my rush. Now it’s a ceasefire.
a way of not having to think of what’s happening to families in Lebanon,
in Israel, in Iraq, in America, in England, because of the way their egos
destroy to dominate. What gene is that? The gene to gain power and
territory, blindly bombing women, children, innocent people? Where is the
requisite world indignation against the slaughter of the innocents now
that it’s required. It’s scampered off huddled like a craven
sycophantic beast cowed by power.
one night, in a Barnes and Noble in New York, my coffee neglected, I
scoured through books and magazines; hands and eyes whipped through pages,
titles, words with only five minutes before the shop closed, I heard a
male voice, “Who do you think lies more, men or women?” He had
questioning eyes, his wild black hair pressed down in a skullcap. He was
dressed in the uniform of faded jeans and a t-shirt.
I said decidedly, then feeling like a traitor added hastily, “but only
small lies, lots of white lies that save people’s feelings.” One
eyebrow shot up. “Well we won’t tell a friend we forgot her birthday.
We’ll say we tried to call. Stuff like that.” He cocked his ear.
barely knew what was coming out of my mouth then because young people are
intimidating since they haven’t yet learned to dissemble. I was in front
of a mass of human honesty there. One false note and he would pick it up.
don’t tell many lies,” I said, “but when they do, they tell you the
big ones, like Enron, phantom weapons of mass destruction, adding or
taking away a couple of digits for their own benefit on a lucrative
make big lies
were now joined by his tiny teenaged girlfriend who was cheering me on
wanting the stuff she knew instinctively to be validated.
on the street, I warmed up to my monologue buoyed by the attentive
know someone who was told on the first day of her new job that actually
there was a mistake, they’d under or over budgeted, they were sorry but
she was fired but not compensated. She hadn’t put down her briefcase
yet. That’s big lying.
a woman I know thought she was in a very happy marriage. Swore by team
work to bring up her family, then found out that her husband was seeing
another woman for the past ten years. She had to go into her memory bank
and wipe out or edit every bit of her life with him. What was real what
lie. Another friend was promised by a reputable company that she’d be
paid for the work she was doing as soon as ‘head office’ approved it.
It turned out that she did three months work for nothing. Because they
‘forgot’ about her.
had no people on the side of power.
know women lie. We say we are 110 pounds when we are 120, pretend to be
awake when sleeping, are mercurial, lie, break hearts.
those lies, like Enron, like Iraq, like big cheating, like using power
unlawfully, those are lies.”
boy took off his hat and looked at the girl who looked at him
are cowards,” shouted the boy. “Fight them. Expose them.”
I said, “just don’t allow yourself to be crapped on because you’re
young, poor, or powerless.”
weren’t ready for that tired talk yet.
strong,” said the girl, walking away with a raised fist.
memory makes me smile, and I hope their clarity is not as fleeting as a
slab of light that rumbled into darkness as we enter a dark tunnel.