An Honest Man

Chapter I

I am truly an honest man… ask anyone! Nobody can call me a liar because I have never been caught in a lie. I’m smart. I’m strategic. I write down my lies in a little notebook so I’ll never forget to whom I told exactly what. It is hard to do. It involves a great deal of work. I am an honest man… ask anyone.

My God! How thick my little book has grown! And more, the web of stories and fabrications I have woven weigh heavily on my time, my patience, and my spirit. Is there really a need for it?


Chapter II

It has taken years. It has taken hard work to break old habits and cement new ones to my psyche but finally, I am an honest man. In all things that matter I always tell the truth. It is very difficult.

Of course, there are circumstances where the ‘truth’ needs to be stretched a little. Sometimes, the truth would hurt someone unnecessarily. On occasion I actually need to protect someone from the truth. Those are called “white lies.”

Except for these innocuous little craftings that are for the good, I always tell the truth. It feels good to be an honest man.

But where do I draw the line? Am I to be the ultimate judge of what is important, or of what is best for you to hear? When I tell you my “little white lie” haven’t I become a “little white rabbit” leading you, dear Alice, into a world where reality is not the same for you and I? Perhaps if we both help one another perceive reality we can both be better able to live. Can a man tell the truth in all things?


Chapter III

I am an honest man. Every word I utter is the complete truth. Finally, after all these years I have discovered true honesty. It is hard. I have to constantly listen to and everything I say to make sure it is completely truthful.

Being completely honest means that, when my friend asks what I think of her new hairdo, I tell her. If my employer asks what I think of his skill then he will know. If my lover wants to know if I have other lovers then she will know.

My only respite, obviously, is the questions that are not asked. One friend told another about me “Be careful what you ask him because you may not like the answer.” I was quite proud of this label.

But then was once in a situation where I was hoping, practically praying that a certain person didn’t ask a certain question. It would be devastating. I recognized the heated knot in the pit of my stomach as the same one I had felt when I was afraid of getting caught. Can I be telling a lie when I’m saying nothing at all? Can I tell a lie by non-action? Can silence be a lie?


Chapter IV

Am I there yet, my friend? I tell no lies now, neither by speaking falsehoods nor by withholding truths. I’d say I was finally an honest man, but I have learned that honesty has undiscovered levels.

But how can I be more honest than this?

Then, one day, I told my love that my heart was pure. Later I discovered it wasn’t. How was I to know? How can I be held liable for that which I have not yet learned? The pain I caused with my innocent untruth was as torturous to her as if I had deceived her.

For indeed I did deceive her. And I deceived myself as well. Because somewhere, deep within, I knew the truth and hid from it.

So to be an honest man, must I delve deep inside my soul and know myself completely? As I am born on day one, must I then spend the rest of my days discovering what has been birthed?


Chapter V

Dear God, I have made it! I have looked inside my deepest soul and seen everything that is there. My unconscious has been freed and my fears have all been completely faced. I am transparent to the light. I am a marvel of mankind for I am the first, the only man without an unseen shadow. I have no undiscovered desires. I am devoid of phobias, exorcised of demons. And I am finally, truly, without contest, an honest man.

Unfortunately, I have died (of course).

Chapter Infinity

And then I, a truly honest man, sent out a whisper to those who could hear me. I told them the secret of the universe. And knowing me to be an honest man, they believed me a re-ordered their lives.

But still I led them astray. What I didn’t realize was that only God knows the secret of the universe. Perhaps then God is the only honest One.