Wednesday Write-in #19 @ CAKE.shortandsweet
Prompts: slither :: world cinema :: unwrapped :: wine
A LIAR LIKE ME
When I lie it’s false. I can feel the eyes of the people around me boring holes into my veneer and it ruins the whole thing. In my books the characters lie easily and it’s always so admirable, so charming.
Why can’t I be like them?
When I do it my paranoia reeks through my countenance like the stench from bad milk. In my genuine effort to lie with sincerity–so as not to hurt anyone, of course–I end up alienating everyone.
My lies come across affected.
“He doesn’t even seem like he’s trying to lie,” they say after the damage is done and I’ve already left the room.
I felt them thinking it tonight, too, after it was all said and done.
“Who do we have next?” said my Uncle Jack, ringmaster of the Secret Santa brigade. “Let’s see. Okay. It’s Kellen.” He looked over and gave me a moment to set down my glass before tossing my gift across the room.
I caught it then paused to look around. Everyone was seated in a circle.
All eyes were turned on me.
I removed the wrapping paper slowly so as not to offend my anonymous giver (he or she was watching, after all). And from the bowels of that cheap colored paper slithered a heaping collection of world cinema onto my grandfather’s shag rug.
Three discs in plastic casing–all foreign.
“Movies!” yelled one of my cousins cheerfully. A few others clapped and the older ones in from college gave their perfunctory oohs and aahs.
And then my Santa came forward.
“It’s from me,” said Annie. Her mother, who was at the moment casting a knowing smile at me over her daughter’s shoulder, had taught Annie Spanish and French at a young age. So her precocious choice of film came as less of a surprise.
“This is really something Annie,” I said, then nodded to her mother (Le Samouraï, Y Tu Mamá También and Amélie had to be her work).
Just then my uncle stepped into my line of sight to corner me with his digital camera. I held my gifts up and smiled for the picture.
That was when it happened.
When it was finished, and the heat was off me, I reached for my glass of boxed wine.
These better be dubbed, I thought.
I hate subtitles.