Sunday, March 6, 2022

I'm a liar

Okay, maybe liar's not the right word, but sometimes when I write for you, I don’t tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth. For example, I tell you about how hot it is in the house, 

and not about the cigarette smoke swirling in the air. The Wordle my husband and I good-naturedly race each other to solve and not the times we snap and bicker. The dog I dote on and walk three times a day and not the one I had growing up who bit my mouth, my bottom lip swinging back and forth like a garden gate, the tooth-shaped hole straight through my cheek. The moral of the story is

don't kiss your dog. Except I kiss my dog now all the time and even when she's sleeping. Oh! the things that are clattering around in my head that I may never write about. It's not lying, exactly, but more like,  

selecting. What to leave in. What to leave out. Why write about a virus or a war or why I installed a deadbolt lock on my childhood bedroom door,

when it's tax season at the library, and Mrs. B has a list of dvds she wants me to search for, and it's a warm sunny day after weeks of cold and gray. I keep having flashbacks to the 1980's. The ever present possibility of global thermonuclear war. I'd forgotten that feeling of doom that maybe I'd never make it past my teenage years. But somehow, I did. We do, 

each one of us, what we have to do. In the meantime, a man needs help on the computer, and finally I've mastered the copier machine--how to email a scanned document and what a handy trick that is for our patrons. Look how much I read! 

a little girl squeals. She holds up her book to show me, her finger between the pages marking her place. 

Wow! I tell her. You've read all of that and you haven't even left the library yet!

I know! she says. And now I'm going with my little brothers to the park!

Wow! I say again, and I mean it. I want to go with her. But I have books to check in, books to check out. There will always be a virus, a war, a locked bedroom door. But today I watch a little girl clutching her book, skipping out of the library and into the warm, sunny park. 


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