i swear to come back around at the end

Have I ever mentioned that I'm quite good at lying? I'm also pretty well accomplished at sniffing out a lie too. It's kind of a hobby of mine, watching people for lies. Sure, eye twitches and all that shit are helpful. But most people are better liars than that, so I'll give you some helpful hints to help you find some liars of your own.

If someone goes on and on, they are trying to cover or embellish previous lies. (Embellishment is one of the great mistakes that liars make.) If it sounds too good or too bad to be true, then it isn't. Stumbling over descriptors can indicate a lie. If they interrupt you to say something, but then hesitate in the middle of it, they're probably lying by ommission after processing what you didn't get to say. If it comes out too fast or too slow, they're probably lying. You know, you have to pay attention to the rhythm of speech, like we're black and have an instinct for it. (I for one can say that because I have no rhythm, even though a mommy got embarrassed today when her kid asked me why my skin was so dark and why my own kid's skin is so light. They thought I was "of color"! Me! It's times like that when you know it's great to be alive. So now that I'm a "sista", I can make shady race-based comments about black people having rhythm, right?)

Most people do what I call "shave" lying, which means that they lie by just a hair, which, like that other thing you all like to be shaved, trims down the truth into something more appealing. Like the first time Miss-So-and-So-Lying-Pants explains why she was late it's cause the guy ahead of her was going like only twenty-five in a forty-five zone, but by the end of the night, the guy was going ten on a Montana highway. (Note: isn't that the state where there's no speed limit? Pretty sure it's Montana.)

I heard some lies this weekend. I also saw some sad things this weekend. Like I saw a grandma type pushing two yip-yap dogs--yeah, you know the type--in a fucking stroller. I saw a guy get beat up in a truck. And I saw some ugly tattoos on even uglier people.

Speaking of tattoos, I decided that tattoos are my bears. You know, like John Irving's bears? He's got bears in all his books. He's always got a pet bear or or a circus bear or a wild bear... Sometimes they are even in stories told by characters in his books. Anyway, he likes bears. And he likes circus people. He's fascinated by circus people. I think he likes midgets, or whatever the PC term is lately, the best.

For awhile I was worried that if I had tattoos in all my books (so far five for five) that people might think I wasn't able to come up with any new ideas. But I like tattoos, I like the whole tribal feeling of them, I like everything about them, except for big super-colorful ones. The only one I ever heard of that should be colorful is my friend's brother-in-law, a Christian rock singer--very famous, I heard--(that was a stage whisper if you didn't know) who has the burning bush on his arm, and really, it wouldn't have the same punch if wasn't done in color. Oh yeah, and my friend BB, who just got this one which an artist in New Orleans mocked up for him for free on the street in the Quarter. It's a nautilus, which is supposed to have some natural cool math thing about it, like a formula or something. Of course cool should never be a descripter for math, cuz I hate math. But I won't hold it against you if you don't.

But I love tattoos, and they are fascinating to me. I have decided that while I don't yet have a tattoo, I would eventually regret NOT getting one more than getting one, even when I'm all old and wrinkly. Something about the last bastion of establishing my independence. I mean, I'm anxiously awaiting my kids' adolescent rebellion, so I guess I'd better get mine all wrapped up, right? It's going on my right shoulder, the bad one, right over the muscle that causes me so much pain. The characters in my books have tattoos, in fact, one guy gets two before he realizes that he's pretty much immortal. All of them commemorate something: loss, gain, love, kills, whatever. My concept is that I will get a tattoo to commemorate selling my first book, but then I thought, shit, if I wait for that I'll never get one. So hopefully this summer. I mean, I thought I was all freaked about my cartilage piercing, which I'm told is fairly distinctive cuz it's a gold ring, which matches my other gold captives. But now I just think it's all good and I'm all over it, though I still see some people staring off to the side of my head at that gold ring sometimes.

I'm also interested in eyes and people looking and watching and staring and gazing. I always have to go through my books and edit out a bunch of references to where people are looking. I usually turn it into descriptors of what they are looking at; that they are looking at them is understood, right? But in rough drafts people are shooting each other meaningful glances, or studying the night sky or focusing on their knees and the like all the time. It's annoying. But then, that's what editing is for, and I guess it's how I see through their eyes. I'm good at that too, which is why I'm good at seeing lies. In addition to being observant, I'm empathetic. I feel your pain, man. Not that I care, but I feel it. And I don't often show that side of me to others. But empathy is why I write about my characters looking at stuff all the time. You can't buy that shit, it just has to come to you.

Free things are the greatest things in life: yeah, love and empathy and all that. Sure, go with it. But I'm talking more about a fire ring made outside my lake house with found rocks and fires made from fallen wood, which burns quick, which is good for kiddos. I'm talking about the trees around the lake, and the lake itself. And then there's the greatest free thing of all: writing, and reading what I've written. That's why I'm lucky, cuz I can write and it's all free. Books cost, internet costs, the newspaper costs, reading anything at all costs something; except when I read my own stuff, it's free.

Of course this latest edit on the third book was disappointing. First of all, the book drags to me, but I can't put my finger on what exactly it is. Secondly, it's missing that element, that "ah ha" moment. Something is not right. Oh well, it will come. It's not bothering me. Much.

Can you tell I'm lying?

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