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Truth or Lies

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Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 2141
Location: England

PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 10:09 pm    Post subject: Truth or Lies Reply with quote

The white coated clowns drew promises with spears bleeding ink. They wrapped bright secrets up in little origami boxes.

“Do you know why you’re here?”

She stretched back into the psychologist’s couch watching as the sun went down on the daylight world of the salary man. The city was becoming something else beneath the hand of darkness, a jester god played with lines of blood and fire in the streets beneath her eyes.

“Wouldn’t that rather defeat the point?”

“I’m not going to play games with you.”

“You do nothing else. That’s why I’m here: diagnosis.”

“To find out what’s wrong.”

“Am I? I suppose we are. Do you mind if we smoke?”


“Care for one?”

“I don’t smoke.”

She taped a cigarette free lighting it on its way to her lips.

“Who’s responsible for you being here?”

“You, me, my parents. All of the above.”

“I can’t help you if you won’t accept responsibility.”

“I’ll accept responsibility; if it will help I’ll accept it.”

“If you just want, ‘it,’ then there’s no guarantee that it will help.”

“You have a guarantee to offer?”

“I think we can help you.”

The end of the cigarette glowed like a burning eye.

“That’s a convenient business model.”

“You’re just being difficult because you can aren’t you?”

“I’m not going to dignify that with a more complex answer.”

“You placed your hands on a hob and turned it on.”

“I had to, ‘deal with my grief’.”

“Is that what this is then, a coping mechanism for you to deal with the loss of your brother?”

“No, not for me.”

“You shouldn’t care what other people think about you.”

She stubbed the cigarette out on the palm of her hand. The doctor shifted in his seat.

“Which is of course your answer. No lows, no highs; quick way to sociopathy.”

“So why don’t you just stop; get better?”

“How do you get better when there’s nothing wrong with you to begin with?”

“You cooked your hands. I think there’s something wrong with you.”

“Yeah but that’s because you’re used to dealing with people who are falling apart. Someone joins the army; they’re running a much greater risk than I did. Someone jumps on a grenade and gets blown up for their squad – they’re a hero. Either one of those is self-harming, or has the possibility of self-harm as an outcome. Costs and gains; things you want and things you have to do to get them. Why are the desires of my family different?”

“Your family sent you here; I don’t think they want you to hurt yourself.”

“My family want to take care of me. There’s a difference.”

“How so?”

“Would you like to help me?”

“I wouldn’t be here otherwise.”

“You might be here for the money.” She lit another cigarette, “At least in part. But still. If I hadn’t tried frying my hands you wouldn’t get to fulfil that wish. God need demons; he defines himself by the struggle. If you want to stand in heaven you need something to stand in hell. My parents have archetypal images of themselves. Father protects, mother sympathises; some people have dogs or toys – they have children, I’m their vice.”

“Don’t you see anything wrong with that?”

“It seems a fair enough trade if you want to evaluate it objectively. Room and board, eventual help with education funds. If I become unemployed a place to fall back on. In return I have to be human; as socially defined.”

“You don’t think of yourself as human?”

“What makes people, ‘human’; are those in comas vegetables or men? When we describe people as monsters where does that stop? Beyond genetics I don’t think you can sum anyone up in a few words or that it’s useful, beyond a rhetorical tool of social exclusion.”

“You didn’t answer my question. Human or ... what are you if you’re not human?”

“I’ve always liked wolves, if I were to describe myself as a species that would be it. Kind of a useless answer. Sorry.”

“What do you think you’re going to get out of this?”

“An excuse. Time’s the great healer, apparently. I come here, I talk to you. People fill in the solution they desired. It’s not perfect, but that’s just what life’s like.”

“That’s what your life is like. It’s not everyone’s; it doesn’t have to be yours.”

“Alternatives being what?”

“Well going back to what you said earlier about your family. How do you know they think that way? Have you tried talking to them about it?”

“When people know you’re thinking about how to react to them, rather than doing so emotionally, they cease to trust you.”

“So you’re lying to them.”

“After a fashion. The trick to a good lie is to believe it. People write their emotions on their faces. If you can make yourself feel emotions that go along with the thing, provide a tale for them and let the one feed off the other – let the instincts that go along with the lie fill in a general framework you’ve decided on.... That’s how acting works, it’s how lying works. And sometimes you f-- sometimes you forget, what’s the lie and what’s the life. Where’s the thread of living?”

The cigarette had burned down to a stub in her fingers, she put it out unsmoked.


“Maybe it’s the other way around. Maybe this is the lie, and the lie is the truth. Maybe the sometimes is the greater part of me. But I’ve got something that works.”

The alarm on his watch rang and she left.


Just a back and forth between two unnamed characters I've been toying with. I kind of suck at writing dialogue most of the time so that's most of what it consists of =p

Really dislike the end, just cutting it off like that.

Never forget,
We stroll along the roof of hell
Gazing at flowers.
- Issa
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