“Ah, you’re taking a break from work?”

I looked up through a visor of my own splayed fingers to see the source of the familiar inquiring voice with the rhetorical question. It was the maintenance dude who works at my apartment – just finishing up his shift.

I paused for a moment.

“Yes!” I lied enthusiastically.

I was on a park bench, in the middle of summer, dog in tow, and reading a magazine. Why wouldn’t it look like I was getting a tan instead of researching new fodder from Psychology Today that I could subsequently eviscerate online for not holding up to my armchair standards? How would that look like work? And what point would it serve to defend my ego by defensively insisting, “Nay, sir. This is work”? Why should I have to seem busy all the time – even if I am?

We go through life and can recreate ourselves and our realities anew every moment.

But if perception is reality, where does the border between yours and mine lie? In lies?

Technically, I wasn’t breaking from work. But, in a way – sure, I was. I was to him. In his reality, I was a resident, relaxing, and enjoying the last tanning rays of daytime. So what’s the difference? Where do the rules of your reality and my reality end when it comes to honesty? If I imagine myself into yours, does that make it less dishonest? Or if I’m being humble, does that make it any less dishonest? As a creator, I always have to break these “rules” – whatever the motive – when I write, lest it come off as palatable as an actor with camera awareness. But after homeboy left – and I flipped through my magazine some more – that’s exactly what the article on the next page was about…how creativity and lying go hand in dishonest hand.

How’s that for synchronicity?

And right after having this conversation with the neighborhood kids, no less:

Kids: “Why don’t you just go to the pool to tan?”
Minnie’s mama: “’cause they’re racist against my dog.”
“Why don’t you get her a babysitter?”
“But then who would play the cloud game with me? And show me that man blowing a heart kiss?” #summer

So are my folk and I artistic trailblazers?

Or are our pants the only thing blazing with the flames of liar-liar fire?

According to PT’s piece called “off the chain” – it’s a bit of both. When running the experiment, those who were given an opportunity to lie (and who did) did far better on the creative part of the test that came after. Naturally, skeptical me broke out my brain scalpel prematurely to start dissecting this experiment with all the care of a psychotic high school student getting his first dead cat in bio lab. How effective could this experiment be if the creative parts and the lying parts were taken one after the other? And even if they were taken in the opposite order – how do we know one’s not just a rebellious icebreaker that cracks through the frozen waters called convention?

I say that’s a variable. I mean, are we judging the whole person’s character?

Or how they act once you’ve seduced their inner artist with your interrogative lubricant?


Where it does kinda become a character thing, though, is in relationships. Particularly when it comes to how chicks versus dudes see lying. As you might have guessed, ladies like their honesty raw – so they say. While PT failed to give any extra info, I assume this is because we have vaginas which hold magical powers. And among these powers includes the witchcraft the spellbinds you into bringing us the very ammunition we’ll kill you with later in an argument. That’s called “obligatory honesty”.

Contrarily, dudes define honesty as “discretionary” – leaving out what’s not important, like when a girl hit on him at the restaurant while he waited for his order. Or how he felt about it. Or that he porked her in the handicapped stall. The other workaround is by being honest – but using humor or irony to hide the fact that your beloved starving artist brought you home carry-out with a side of the clap.


But if we reintro that concept of deception and creativity to relaches, it makes sense.

Because suddenly it explains why some liars lacking either kind of honesty are so much more tempting to keep around. Even though we hate what they do – we like who they are and how they are. If you’re with someone whose lies come from the same wellspring of eccentricities that make them delightful, hilarious, or enigmatic, it’s enough for some folk to stick around longer than they should. They want to believe the shittiness of living with a probably-sociopath is worth that endearing part they get the other half of the time.

Especially if you’re like me and your other half’s “half” was more like one percent…

…yet you just couldn’t see it.


But hey, when it comes to painting your relache, it’s about quality – not quantity, right?