I have lots of secrets, and not all of them are mine. I’m the kind of person that collects the damn things; people always seem to tell me absolutely everything about themselves. I must look trustworthy or something. I generally don’t repeat anything I’ve been told, although that’s usually because I immediately forget whatever has been said to me. I don’t really care all that much about what other people get up to, and their secrets are never all that good anyway.
In all honesty, most of my secrets aren’t that good either, although I have a few exceptions. I have two secrets that I can’t even talk to myself about. They happened during bleak, dark, nasty periods of my life, and they can’t even be placed into a sensical context. One of them is probably – hopefully – just a strange, distant memory to all involved. I don’t think I would have done any lasting damage. The other… well, the other is bad because I had a partner in crime, and now I have to live the rest of my life hoping that he never decides to snitch.
He already told his dad and his girlfriend. I get worried about it from time to time.
In spite of this, and returning to less unsavoury activities, my favourite secret is a shared one. If I’m deluded, then this is folie à deux. I like the way that a secret shared between two people creates a strange kind of bond. A fun one. It creates smiles that the rest of the world can’t comprehend. And it’s kind of dangerous and exciting, even if the secret isn’t really all that deep or dark. We just keep it in the dark, and keep each other in the dark. Lie sub rosa.
Here’s a secret about me: I tell everyone that I’m really bad at lying. And everyone believes me, even people who have witnessed me successfully lying to other people. Occasionally I’ll even get ‘caught’ out, to prove how bad I am at it, and it seems to get stuck in their heads.
Imagine being in a relationship with someone for half a decade, and the whole time you’re together they think you’re really bad at lying when you’re not. That’s just asking for trouble.
I have many small secrets. I have a few large ones. My secrets are more like the strands of a spiderweb than a couple of closeted skeletons. Someone could very easily pick one thread and the whole thing would collapse on itself. I have to be careful what I say. I have to disassemble stories in order to cut parts out that would get me into trouble. Quite a lot of trouble.
More people would do better if they would only keep certain things to themselves. Granted, not everyone can be enigmatic, but sometimes things really are better left unspoken. There’s no need to broadcast every aspect of your life. Some people just seem incapable of keeping quiet, though. To those kinds of people, a secret is just another opportunity for drama. I fucking hate that kind of drama, and I can’t stand those kinds of people.
That said… I want to hear more of your secrets. I give you all of my best ones. I want to know the things you’ll never tell another soul. I want to hear about what you secretly dream of and of all the things that keep you awake at night. I want to share something special with you, so you never forget my name. Or my pet name.
You’re my favourite secret. Why would I want to share you with even more people?
The absolute worst secrets come out after a person dies and they’re always delivered by the most inappropriate messengers. After my nan died, my dad decided it was in everyone’s best interest to tell me about something incredibly awful that had happened to her way back when she was young, back before she’d even had my mother. Hearing it from my dad when he was drunk just made it even more upsetting. “Didn’t anyone ever tell you?” he said. No, of course they fucking didn’t. I wasn’t ever meant to know. It wasn’t ever meant to be my secret. I have lots of my own already.
My left hand turns a blind eye to what my right hand is doing. The best cure for feeling stuck in a rut is to be extremely ruttish. Just close the curtains first.