No one believed my statement under
oath: 'less of my tears than my teeth are false'.
I cry my lines out. To them I seem
more histrionic than thick blood drawn out of a twisted aorta. Being over the
top, like profusely thanking them for reluctantly accepting invitations to my
I never know how to sound believable, sensing their boredom
like a faint smell of sweaty feet coming through the two-way mirror from the
adjacent room where they work in shifts, watching me role-play my life. A tight
cramp in the pit of my brain locks my jaws and makes it impossible for my
tongue to swim freely in the currents of truth that I cannot see but taste like
bile in my mouth.
'Bullshit!' they shout, despite the
fact that they had heard the 'howevers' in my explanation and agreed
that not all of it would fit into a guilty plea. I know it's a logical
inconsistency, but can’t help resenting their unchangeable perception of my
image as the counterfeit GIRO payment (which I have been, once or twice) even
when I use the cliché 'to be honest', etc. Of course, I know that one
doesn't have to be a liar all the time, in order to qualify for the
accreditation once. All the same…
During the skin-tearing debrief, when
I feel sick just after swallowing the full jug of my pride, a drug that maddens
and corrupts its users, I, despising my smarminess, try to sound agreeable and
civilised. To prove a point, they asked me to repeat the story about a whale,
moored and locked in an amphibious shelter at the lip of this cove. I unlocked
the door but the whale wouldn’t move. Then they decided that the story had no
interpretative value. They got that wrong. To them, only the scanty remains of
my perception, not my conception, of the scene could mean anything at all.
My headache (including trying to
understand what causes it) impedes my effort to recover my lost
self-definition. Nevertheless, after the wear-and-tear signs of unwarranted
smiling became visible, the mask painlessly revealed a character of falseness:
the blushing skin hiding behind its makeup, an epidermic irritant in vain
striving to become polished veneer to the face everybody likes to see first
thing every morning. That thankless task was all mine. Performing it, though,
gave no joy or satisfaction to me, or anyone else for that matter. Like these
lines that you are reading.
Bear with me - a few more words: My
acquittal is not innocence, but I can now entertain the hope that slips of my
tongue no longer mean that I have something to hide. Not necessarily.