As my kids got older they asked about people I’ve known, and of choices made, or not made. They’ve asked about what was the real truth and what is not. Sometimes people live in a place in-between the truth and the lies.
Ever since I was a tiny child I have collected stories. I listened in silence as adults talked. I’d fill in the blanks between the spaces that didn’t make sense, or more often or not were missing.
I can piece together parts of a life and figure out anything. There are no secrets. All is revealed.
Most people are horrible liars. Their stories change over the years. Photos and documents don’t add up. Confusion layered with bull crap. I can figure it out. What really happens in the real world. Truth is stranger than fiction, but even strange truth has some real truth to it.
The statement “He died at sea,” in reality means “he had another family in another country and went back to them. That is why he is gone. That is why they know nothing of me or our child. That is why I say I am a widow rather than an unwed mother.”
Or the reason someone moves across the country to take a great job, but leaves a more prestigious job. He never wanted to be there. He never wanted to be with her. It was a mistake. Then there was a divorce. No children. He’d made a mistake and now he was going to lead his own life the way he wanted to – finally. There were a few other clues in there but in reality I never spoke with the person in question. I just knew. I was right. I’ve speculated on everything here and I’m right.
The young man joined the army because he was immature and needed to become a man. That is what his parents said. They said it would prepare him for college. He jointed the army because he knocked a girl up and his parents didn’t want him burdened with a family so they sent him away. If their son went away the girl would go away. So the young man learned to run away from his problems. The girl learned not to trust anyone.
She didn’t know why he was so mad. He was an idiot. But she never got over him. He hated her or so he said. In reality he always loved her. The man she said was just a friend was really a lover who later jilted her. He loved is second wife but when he couldn’t sleep at night, almost every night, he thought of his first wife – he did this for over 60 years. He died two days after she did.
He never left her because he wanted to prove his family and friends were wrong. She never left him because she wanted to punish him for ruining her life and because he was the only thing in her life she had absolute control over.
Uncle Jack did not die of natural causes. Neither did he die alone.
He still thinks of her all the time but it is too late. Years too late. She married someone else. He lost his chance. She thinks of him but he had his chance. She thinks he never knew that she loved him once. She was wrong about that but is doesn’t matter. Now she loves someone who deserves her – she loves him with a passion.
He never married because he was afraid of being controlled.
She never married because she had fantasies of being controlled.
You dated a man who claimed he killed people for a living and then you went to church on Sunday and everyone thought you were a saint. They never knew your daughter hated you. You never knew what she did at night after she moved away.
He always had a feeling she wasn’t dead but he never told anyone about it. He should have asked to see her body.
She said she was kidnapped as a child. In reality she was abandoned by her mother who was chasing after a cheating husband who had no use for children.
He always thought the wonderful man he grew up with and loved was his father. In reality his biological father was the man in photographs hidden between the pages of a well-worn copy of Ulysses.
They said it was a miracle that she survived the accident. Over and over the story of her car going off of the cliff was told. A slick road, an out of control truck, her small red Mustang, and the long drop into the Pacific Ocean. She told everyone it was by the grace of God and prayer. In reality it was because she cheated at cards. He was so impressed with her skills in deception that he gave her another 50 years.
When life give you lemons plant the seeds and tell everyone you have a rare fruit of kings. But sooner or later someone might find out they’re really lemons. But don’t worry about it, we’ll make pie.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman