Better An Honest Bitch Than A Lying Pet?

I’m a terrible liar. In fact, I’m such a bad liar that I don’t lie ever–the worst.
Although really…that’s probably not true. I suppose I do lie in certain situations. For example when a telemarketer calls–sure, yeah that’s pretty common. I think that what enables my lying gland in this circumstance to start secreting falsehoods is the fact that I am convinced that nothing is at stake.

The telemarketer needed a job; got this one, and must then keep their job by showing up and doing that which is asked of them; and what is asked of them is that they call me and try to sell me something. I see my response within this matrix as being of little or no consequence; my obligations are no more than to pick up the phone and ideally, to be polite.
Lies, then, come to me naturally in this scenario, and I tell them without remorse.
“Sorry–I was just on my way out the door!”/ “Oh, shit sorry, the baby just started crying–could we do this later?” etc.

There is another context though (another familiar on the mean streets of adulthood) where, I have noticed, lies are also considered par for the course. Here, I find myself impaired somewhat; my lying gland fails to respond. Because, you see, there’s so much more at stake with Matters Of The Heart.

This is not about love. This is at most lust and at the very least, boredom.

I’m the kind of girl who tends to elicit great positive responses from….hearty types, shall we say? Jocular construction workers, chatty homeless people, and bikers out for a good time. They love me. And I can smile and laugh or walk on ignoring them without complaint so long as the interaction takes place entirely in the public realm. After all, we both know they don’t really wanna take me out anyway! They’ve got a lady at home, or across town in an office somewhere and they’re just yelling at me to pass the time. Fine, sometimes I yell back. Easy. They don’t take it seriously, and neither do I.
What is not so easy is when it moves from the street to somewhere more intimate, and the crowd is gone and it’s just you and him and his heart. Gaaaah!

But then, here I have to interrupt myself. Just a few sentences ago I reduced these interactions to the stark motivations of lust and boredom, but really, I don’t see it quite so simply. Somewhere in the middle lies infatuation. So much more fragile! Always the product of generous helpings of lust and boredom and a lil’ something else, infatuation doesn’t even know itself in the mirror! Poor thing! It thinks it’s something much nobler….much more inspired, and for this we must tread carefully (in case you can’t tell, infatuation and I go way back….).

During the fall a construction worker who had been working for several months in my building started showing me a bit of attention. I had always been friendly with him, inasmuch as my home is his workplace, so a ‘Guten Morgen’ and a smile seemed appropriate. Then, however, he started complimenting me; then asking if he could get to know me better; and asking again when I brushed it off as if he’d been joking.
This was not a ‘Hey hotstuff!’; this was a guy with a crush. He had the quality of a puppy that thought you wanted him, only to be pushed away. People to whom I complained of this unwanted attention around my house advised me to tell him I had a boyfriend, but I could never seem to think of it in the moment. More than that, it even seemed a bit wrong, where it was probably pretty obvious that I was single–I’m always coming and going alone.
I know what it’s like to have feelings for someone who doesn’t reciprocate, and I felt this need to do right by someone who seemed to have that with me. Somehow, the idea of finding a person so unappealing that I would lie to them to shake them off seems harsh and unkind. This despite the fact that most people would probably be less hurt to see love’s arrow thwarted by the specter of a rival than to find out that they just had shitty aim.

In all, I think he asked me out 3 or 4 times. His persistence wore away at my sympathy, and I still resent the feeling of discomfort I get when I see him around the house, but all the same I haven’t yet brought myself to lie to him.

I suppose it has to do with the idea of being taken seriously. Lying–no matter how harsh the truth can be–seems so laden with contempt. The wonderful thing about lying to a telemarketer is that they probably feel contempt for their employer too! But when someone is putting their heart out there–no matter how obnoxious, or unappealing that heart may be–it’s the most they have to offer.

I realize that I probably took the situation with the construction worker more seriously than he himself did, but then I tend to do that. And I still wonder if I wouldn’t just be better off steeling myself up and developing a knack for the old *artful dodge* to deal with unwanted attention–honesty, in this event, seems more fraught than lies. How much less complicated my comings and goings would be….ah! but then, what would I write about?

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