"Lie to me, I'll believe. But please, don't leave..." - Sheryl Crowe
I married a wonderful liar. Todd lies so effortlessly and smoothly, it's like he was born to do it. I overhear him on the phone talking his double speak, lies rolling around on his tongue like colorful balls on a pool table. His lies are full of descriptive details that make it unlikely anybody listening will question the veracity of what they are hearing.
"We just got done sailing...yeah, it was great. The wind was just perfect." He said excitedly, without breaking, to his mother over the phone after we had just spent an hour pushing the rusty pedals of a paddle boat in a shallow lake the approximate size of a swimming hole. He continued, adding detail after detail to this fiction. After he hung up he looked over at me with this wacky grin.
"Why do you lie?" I asked him laughing.
"Because it's fun." He shrugged nonchalantly.
He lies so often and unnecessarily that I'm beginning to believe I'm dealing with some sort of pathology. Which is fine. He's entitled to a few neuroses. I wouldn't expect any man that falls in love with me to be normal. What's odd is that he is constantly (and jokingly) accusing me of lying. He has this idea that if I look up and to the left when processing an answer to a question, then I am attempting to access the creative centers of my brain and create a deceptive response. I'm sure he saw this on the Discovery channel once and now he's this total expert. I'm like, "Why don't you just shine a bright light in my eyes and interrogate me properly?" I wouldn't mind a little bad cop/resistant suspect role play here and there.
What happens when you realize your lover is a such a good liar, liar pants on fire? Well, for one you begin to doubt every word that's ever come out of his mouth. "You're pretty." "I'm playing golf." "We just played some black jack and went out for a few beers." "I love you." Really? Could that even be true?
I consider - "Well, he married me, didn't he?" Yes, yes he did. Bought an elegant one-carat solitaire diamond embedded in a platinum band a few days after I told him I was pregnant, got down on bended knee, and said, well, I don't even remember what words he spoke because I was stunned. And suffering from early pregnancy nausea. And, really, a lot stunned. There's a problem with getting knocked up before you're married. You just never know if he would have vowed lifelong commitment if it weren't for your delicate condition. When he asks, "Will you marry me?" he is also saying "I became a man pretty much the second you told me about a little pink plus sign on a stick you pissed on. This is me, manning up, taking responsibility for you and that there little life blooming in your belly." And that's a beautiful thing, it really is. But you just never know because you don't get to look down that other road. So that issue hovers over your relationship like a storm cloud that won't break, not after rain, or in the face of rainbows and rays of sunshine, or in the wake of migrating flocks of birds. I think that deep down underneath the vows and the civility and obligatory fucking he actually hates me. Now, that is something I can sink my teeth into. Hating me is something I can understand.
We're having lunch at Cosi one day last week and here's what goes down (not me, dirty minded people!).
"That girl is totally cute," Todd says, nodding towards the register.
"That one?" I pointed to a girl in her mid-twenties, frizzy hair and definitely not like the stick figures he normally ogles with hungry eyes.
"No, the one in front of her." And he nods towards a thinner, cuter girl.
"Oh. Ok. Is she about my size, would you say?" I knew I was turning down a dangerous road, but I went anyway. Emotional suicide.
"Nah, she's not your size. You're a lot bigger than she is." He says it so coolly with such conviction. He waited a beat for it to sink in and sting. And then he started laughing.
"Asshole." But I was laughing too, so it's OK.
"I know! I am an asshole to you a lot. I say so many mean things to you and I don't know why. You're just such an easy target."
"Well, I like when you're actually being honest..."
"But I'm not. I just said that to be mean, because I knew it would rile you up. You're way smaller than her, actually. I promise."
"I think maybe you hate me," I surmised, quietly over sandwiches.
"I think maybe you're right." He says this likes he's joking but I don't know. I don't fucking know. He leaned over and kissed me on the mouth. On the way home in the car, he said, "You look real pretty with your hair like that, baby."
"You're such a liar. You just feel bad. The compliment is pretty much lost on me at this point." Still laughing.
"Hey! I'm trying. I love you, you know that I do."
I don't know that I do. I'm not sure what love is or what lies are. I don't know where the truth begins or ends or if it's like one of those trick pictures where it can be two different things at the same time. What if he loves me and he hates me? What if he loves what I should be, what I could be and hates what I actually am, what I've become? What if the brokenness in me has led me to a barren place where nothing good can grow? Love can't live here anymore. Storm clouds blocking the sun. I can plant and plant rows of seeds and only deadness comes out of the soil for the harvest. That's what I get for only being sad and laughing at lies.
2 hours ago