Sunday, July 10, 2011


My friend Ted who spent a night in jail recently called me again this Sunday morning. He said he felt rested and better after indulging in some fisticuffs with an Arab-American and then getting thrown in jail.

"He really got me mad. I mean, I was trying to be so Zen, so Buddhist and so middle of the road and said we all have issues of one kind or another," he said to me.

"Well, you are most of the time," I said.

" I wasn't being honest. I really wasn't. I was looking at him and all I could see was all of those newspaper reports of what those in Afghanistan and Iraq were doing to our troops, how the women and girls were having acid thrown in their faces for wanting an education, how Arab terrorists killed the grandnephew of Vincent van Gogh for a movie he made and how the Arabs in this country killed their own daughter for refusing to marry a man of their choosing and ...well.. you know the rest."

"Goodness." Was all I could say, but I understood. All of us were angry at the current news and at the people who were doing those things.

"He said that people got mad at him all of the time for what others were doing and not what he was doing. I denied I was thinking about it, but I was deceiving him and myself. That is when he hit me right in the mouth. I hit him back because he was right. I was really angry because he was right and because my mouth hurt me. My image or lack of truthful image hurt me."

"Anger doesn't go away does it?" I said.

"No, it doesn't although I am not angry at him anymore and he isn't angry at me either. We talked it all out and I admitted he was right at the jail and so did the others. We were all deceiving ourselves in thinking he was the stand-in for everything that has been going on. He's not. You know what really got me mad?"


"I thought I had my shit together. I thought I had been writing all of these books and making good money and I thought I was above all that. My relatives, my mother, they all lied to themselves but I thought I was better than they were. Then I started to go over all of the things I lied to myself about. The list is pretty long. Do you lie to yourself?"

At first, I wanted to say no; but as I started to think I knew the answer was the same as Ted's. "I don't lie to myself as much as I used to. I used to lie in my journal and that's is pretty bad. I think I still fib there every so often. I lie to friends and to people I just met. Again, not as much as I used to. I don't lie to my doctor though. I think it is insane to lie to one's doctor although I lie to the nurse. They are white lies such as the amount of exercise I actually get. "

"Maybe, we should make a pact not to lie anymore. If we can't tell the truth then say nothing. I find most people don't want to know my business anyhow. The books are not lies but surfaces stories and I go deeper and deeper as I write them. I think one book is the absolute truth and then I find out there is a deeper version. That is not lying."

"I agree because I do that too. I think I know what happened in one memory and find out that I did not." I answer. "I think you have something there. I felt bad about a book club meeting that did not go well. I had to be honest with myself and found out that I did not do anything. It was that I blamed myself for the bad meeting and it was really no one's fault. It was a bad fit for all of us. Then I started to see the humor and wrote it up as a Alice in Wonderland Tea Party Meeting which it did resemble. Honesty worked out very well."

"I am going to try and be mindful when I talk to people and when I write in my journal," said Ted. "That is why I like talking with you. You and I seem to be traveling on the same pathway or wavelength right now. "

I said: "Well, we have the same things in common as far as our past. I wish I was as successful in writing as you are."

"You are working on it and that is what counts. Still, I am glad I called you. I think this is a good way for me to react to people. I am also going to put it in my book that I am writing. "

We talked some more about people we knew and other things happening in each of our lives. I did agree that I have been giving honesty some thought recently. Ted just brought it to a conscious level. It is a good policy. If I can't be truthful with someone, I won't say anything at all. I will just have to work on the mechanics of that.

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