Sunday, July 17, 2011

What you don't know

There are people and then there are people with secrets.

In her book "Slow Motion", Dani Shapiro wrote about hers - the descent into alcohol and drug addiction, the affair with a married man, her spiral into destruction. Only now, encased in a book, they were no longer secrets, except from her son.

Abraham fathered two children, Cain murdered Abel, David murdered Bathsheba's hapless husband and this was after he slept and impregnated her and failed to get her to sleep with her husband.

Don't tell me everyone has secrets.

There are secrets and then there are secrets.

There is the secret guilt of mothers when they leave their children to go back to work. There is the ordinary workday secret feeling of inadequacy when faced with the unknown. There is the stirring of attraction when you meet a sweet new guy at work or the catch a glimpse of the secretary's legs.

Then there are secrets that involve drug addiction, affairs and death. Secrets that involve living for years with only a hazy sense of being and control. Secrets that give you pause when you answer routine questionnaires about your life.

The dirty secret about secrets is that they aren't.

Somebody always knows. You'll always want to share - if only so that you won't be so alone. There are always scars: the smell of sadness, the keloids on your elbow, the nervous tick, the disappearances.

To hell with honesty. There are some things you just don't tell your children.

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