“How do I relieve this agitation, this presence in my body, tensing and moving about my joints and stifling my breath? It can’t be done simply by talking because I talk too much as it is. Most of it a nervous tick of sorts, spilling out in words that never truly express what I am thinking or feeling, but sound like something I ought to be saying in the moment.”

“I am an impostor. I always have been and I’m not ashamed of it either because it protects me from the pain that comes with being open. You say just enough and with the appropriate tone so that it passes for truth and sincerity. Nobody wants to know the real me. I am a prism of negativity, each split beam another small piece of the whole-one that is darker and more disappointing than whatever you may have seen.”

“It’s not hyperbole. You think you’ve met people who have turned out to be bad, but I lure people in with my veneer of respectability and easy charm and somewhere along the line I cut ties. I get bored, tired or impatient with having to keep up the ruse, so I move on. But you will look back at me as a decent guy who you wish was still here because at the root of it all I made you forget your troubles and piqued your imagination with my completely fabricated stories. I lie without remorse or vengeful intent and that makes it seem true. You’ll see.”

© 2022 Jeff E. Brown. All rights reserved.

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