Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Bad Liar

I could never be an effective politician because I'm such a bad liar.

I learned a long time ago (in childhood, in fact) that my memory is not good enough for me to lie. Complicating matters, I love novelty, so I can't resist touching up a lie, embellishing it, or changing it entirely. I can't stick to my original story.

So forgetting the original lie, I would simply make up a new one.

Perhaps I should not be so hard on myself.

Perhaps I should not nip a promising political career in the bud, since the Bush White House has hardly (or not until very recently) been hampered by the fact that its lies change from month to month ... if not more frequently.

I still try to lie from time to time, but I can't even taken the lie seriously. When I was a kid, my mother said she could always tell when I was lying because I would follow the lie with a smirk ... as if to say, "What the fuck."

On the other hand, I'm good at keeping secrets. Or, more accurately, I'm usually good at not spreading other people's secrets, mainly because, regrettably, I tend to forget them soon after hearing them.

You tell me your darkest secret today, and it will be out of my head by Saturday.

Of course, in only "most cases" am I good at keeping secrets. Sometimes after lying dormant for eons, other people's secrets come back to me suddenly, in a flash ... but then I do not as well recall that they were secrets.

So, from time to time, perhaps once in a decade, I blurt out some potentially damaging information.

Fortunately, I'm not in the habit of embarrassing the people who confide in me. I am capable of checking myself, to stop myself from telling tales that put my friends in a bad light, whether the tales are secrets or well-known facts.

Besides being a bad liar and usually a good confidant, with rare spasms of loose lips, I have mediocre or even less than mediocre skills in complaining.

I can listen to other people complain for hours ... or many consecutive seconds, anyway. But my own complaints bore me almost as soon as they are spoken.

Further, I'm adaptable. I know I just said I seek novelty a few lines up, but I also get used to things fairly quickly.

So I can complain about something in the morning, and that afternoon I can list that certain something as one of the things that make my life worth living.

What I am saying, I guess, tends to prove a point about my character, which, depending on how well you know me or on what you think of me, proves one of the following:

(A) I'm not very bright with my lapses in memory and frequent inconsistencies.

(B) I'm rather charming, as an eccentric.

(C) I'm so self-absorbed as to be oblivious, on the brink of autism, even ... so that external realities hardly ever settle (or never settle for long) in my consciousness.

(D) I'm a man of virtue, hardly ever lying or complaining, who can be trusted with others' embarrassing confessions.

(E) I'm an incorrigible bullshitter, who lives only in the truth of the moment, and cannot be trusted to hang on to a principle for long before he becomes bored with it and moves on to its opposite.

Right now, for the moment, I go with "E."

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