On the Fourth of July I found myself standing in a parking lot. Waiting. It was hot, and I was outside making sure that my dog’s okay, while the beverages for the night were being purchased at a liquor store in the middle-of-nowhere Maryland. Bending over pouring Smart Water onto the pavement while my pooch licked at the stream before it hit the ground, I heard voices approaching behind me. A group of strange men…MY FAVORITE! (This is pure sarcasm.)
I stood up and closed the water bottle as the group walked closer. There were three of them – all heading for the liquor store I was waiting outside of. When they were within earshot I began to hear their comments but tried my hardest to block them out. Immediately I thought back to less than a week earlier.
I had a conversation with a friend who admittedly judged me because of the way other people spoke about me (“other people” being this exact type of lude men) This particular person and I had not started out on the best foot and was inside the liquor store.
One of the lude men went inside and the two remaining perched on a guard rail directly behind me. I kept my back turned but my stomach sank to my feet. This is what my life is like. Honestly that’s how I felt. Honestly I could careless about what the stupid men outside the store said. You will never change them. It’s what my friends thought. Am I not good enough?
When my friend returned, immediately I made a joke of it, but the salt was still in the wound. Sweep that dust back up under the carpet – damn it!
The rest of the holiday was filled with a lot of music, eating, drinking, jokes, and over-sharing. Why over-shares? One of my favorite games to play is the question game – it’s like the adult version of truth of dare. This is not to say I would EVER turn down a good dare, but I digress… One of my favorite questions to ask is:
If you could have ANY super power, what would it be? And why?
I’ve heard the gamut, but my favorite answers and what I would choose would be one of two – Teleporting or Mind Reading.
Wouldn’t it be nice to know if someone was telling you the truth? This is probably even better than knowing what they’re thinking.
“I will never hurt you.” LIE.
“I’m being sincere.” LIE.
Maybe we could invent a device to do that for us! Wouldn’t it be nice? A lie detector! How much would you pay for one of those? What if it would save you money?
“Sell all your stock in Apple – I just got a tip, trust me…” LIE.
Man oh, man - what we wouldn’t give… Of course there is always a downside. Like being famous and reading the tabloids on steroids, you’d hear every negative thing coming your way. You’d hear every negative thing period. That is one heavy load.
“I’m going to rob that bank.” TRUTH.
“I’m going to jump off that bridge” TRUTH.
Could you take the heat?
How about Teleporting? This, to me, is the least selfish superpower - and one of the most amazing. You can be with who you want, where you want, when you want. Also, you can go to who wants you, when they want you, where they want you. Commute time – zero. So what’s the trade-off? What if the public finds you out? Will you be judged or abused? Most likely.
As a writer, I’m constantly thinking. I’m think now, I’ll think later, and then think some more later. In all reality, I would probably choose mind reading. I struggle to trust. What did you say, what did you mean, and what’s the difference between the two? These are questions I will probably ask my whole life. If I could rein my own personal lie detector would it squander my fear? I’ll never know, but I can think about it!
For now, I’ll have to try to take your word for it (scream Holy Guacamole! in my head) and pray you don’t hurt me. Can you take the heat?
Let’s try together.