Lets Talk About Honesty, Baby

Yeah, that's me. #censored
Yeah, that’s me. #censored

That’s right, you salacious little morsel of verbal sexiness. You vixen of verbiage. You punchy pornstar of prelection. Honesty, this one’s for you.

I want you to know, Honesty, that honestly, I love you. I adore you because you were there when I wasn’t being myself and someone needed to make sure to remind me of who I am. I cherish you because we love to hear the truth when all that we know are lies. I dig your candor, and I treasure your stray from the common glib. I love you because you are everything our everyday speech tries to be, and because you make each and every one of us a better person.

I have to be honest, though, you honestly aren’t what we want. You must realize that it’s important to be disingenuous when speaking to someone. Frankness hurts feelings, and so dishonesty is the only way we can enjoy the proclivities afforded to us by any of our fortuitous circumstances. I love to eat good food, so when someone tells me they prefer someone slimmer, it hurts. Most people call that fat shaming. And honestly, Honesty, that’s why we avoid you. Standing at 5’7, I’ve been told by many women that they prefer a man who is much taller, I don’t like it. Is that considered height shaming? Probably, because some of us don’t like it, even if it’s the truth, we don’t want to hear it.

Some say the truth hurts, and the truth is, we don’t love you unconditionally, Honesty. I know it hurts, but you must understand that we only love you when your words sweeten our moods or brighten our days. We only love you when you lift our hearts and tickle our spirits. Most of all, Honesty, we don’t know that we even love you. So, I wrote you a poem, heavily inspired by the movie we love the most: 10 Things I Hate About You

Honesty…

We love the way you make us feel
And the way you make us smile
We love the way you look at us
Even how you love our style

We love your big dumb comments
And the way you read our mind
We love you so much that it makes us sick
It even makes us rhyme

We love the way you’re always true
We love you to the sky
Because we love it when you make us laugh
Even more because it makes us try

But honestly, we love the way you’re not around
And the fact that you didn’t stop by
But mostly we love the way we don’t love you…
Not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all.

Sorry, Honesty, I was just being honest. For the sake of humanity, we cannot continue to lie about our relationship. If someone has to be honest, I only prefer them to say things I like to hear, that’s just how I feel. I know honesty is, honestly, about the truth and not about what we want. So don’t let someone tell me I’m not thin enough for them (fat shaming). Don’t let someone tell me I’m not tall enough (height shaming). Don’t let someone tell me I’m not pretty enough (face shaming) or rich enough (wealth shaming). Don’t let them tell me I’m not sweet enough or mean enough (personality shaming). Don’t let them tell me I’m not young enough (age shaming) or smart enough (intelligence shaming). Don’t tell us, don’t tell us, don’t tell us. We like to live the way we live, no matter what, no matter if it makes us feel mad or sad or generally bad. We don’t care… because honestly, we don’t want the truth. Not even a little bit, not even at all.

Sincerely, and with love,

Jay

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Who Are You? (#Prompted Story)

This is my submission for the weekly prompt (#Prompted) over at Tipsy Lit. One of these days, I’ll have to write my story while actually tipsy. ;)

Enjoy, and if you like it, click the link at the end to vote for my submission at Tipsy Lit!

You are who you are...
You are who you are…

 

The nave was dark except for the light bleeding through the glistening stained glass windows sitting above polished aluminum paneling. The podium at the front stood before a white grand piano, bleachers for the singers, and a giant marble display of what everyone thought Jesus looked like when the Romans crucified him. Only a few people sat in the wooden pews, which wasn’t uncommon for a late Wednesday afternoon.

My mother and I sat in the same spot as usual. I got there before her, so there was time for someone else to sit between us. He was young, probably close to my age. He wasn’t as groomed I was, however. For a cold fall day, he was surprisingly sweaty. His matted hair stuck to his forehead, and his clothes had mud caked on them.

My mother always taught me to appreciate and respect those around me not matter how unfortunate, so I didn’t regard his appearance in any way. I simply said, “Hi.”

He looked at me, but didn’t respond. I thought it was unusual, but probably it was because the preacher joined us at the podium.

As the pastor proceeded to teach the congregation how God strengthens us when we are at our worst, I looked down and noticed the man next to me had especially dirty hands. They looked a little too pink, and there were red globs smashed underneath his nails. I think the thing that alarmed me the most was the blood soaking through his right sleeve.

I asked, “Are you okay?”

He didn’t answer.

“Are you hurt?”

He nodded his head no.

I felt goose bumps skitter along my skin. “Did you… did you hurt someone?”

The man finally nodded at me to confirm my fear. I closed my eyes, hoping he might go away. Maybe he was just my imagination, but no, he was still there. This time, he flashed an evil grin as he pulled his sleeve up. Cut into his flesh were twenty-three tally marks. The last two were still fresh and bleeding.

On the other side of him, my mother leaned forward, looked right at me, and said, “James, what are you doing?”

I stared back at her past the man, unable to speak as if she’d caught me guilty.

She said with a hushed, accusatory voice. “Haven’t you learned yet that having pride in the way you look is a sin?”

“Sorry, mother,” I said, and I looked away from the mirror-like finish of the aluminum-paneled wall. My eyes drifted down to my clean hand as my fingers probed the puffy scars on my forearm. I returned my attention to the pastor, and picked at the scabs.

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