All Words Are Lies
rating: +15+x

All words are lies, little fabrications we weave into tales that give us hope and make us feel complete. Parents tell their children lies to shield them from an ugly world and those kids tell lies to be a part of that world when they grow into men and women themselves.

Everyone lies for a reason, or that's what I had thought.

Lies were something I always believed were based on motive, some innate desire to twist reality into whatever we wanted, so long as we believed it and others believed it too. But that's not the only reason we lied.

I can't tell you the first time I was dishonest and any guess I could come up with would be wrong, no matter how much I did want you to know the truth. It was an impulse that started at a young age, and even in my earliest memories I do not know why I did so. I did only because I could, and for no gain whatsoever. It was pure bliss, in a way, but even then I didn't care that much about the feeling. I knew I was unhappy and the lie only made that ache ease just so much.

I was five years old. I was not an outdoor kid and my stepfather knew that too. He fucking hated me for it. I was innocent at that age; I had no motives and just wanted to be alone. I wanted to be alone and I wanted to make up stories in my head, for I had a wild imagination. I remember filling his gas tank with dirt when he wasn't looking. I did a mess of it and he knew I did it too, I could see it in his eyes. When he asked me if I did, I shook my head. I carried everything to my grave.

I always knew it would be my undoing, but boy did I not give a shit. It took me a long time to die and even then my lying had no more influence on my death than anything else I'm telling you right now. That's the moral of the story. Nothing happens for a reason.

When I was sixteen I got caught fucking my Latina ex-girlfriend in the back woods of New Jersey. Someone saw my car pulling off onto a dead-end trail and called the cops thinking I was dumping garbage or some shit. I still remember which track of my Chevelle cd was playing when the cops knocked on the fogged up window. I climaxed with sheer adrenaline and morbid irony coursing through my veins at one penultimate fuckup of a moment. The zenith of white trash and an unsung hero in a beat-up beige Buick sedan. I barely lied myself out of that situation because I didn't lie myself out of that situation at all. I told some exaggerated truths and I pushed some unknowns like they were conditions of certainty and it helped a little.

I told them my stepfather would beat me if they found out. He wouldn't, but I knew what I was in for regardless. It was during school hours so I only got an in-school suspension for truancy. I thought I was pretty much out of the woods when I got home and told my mother I ran late to school getting McDonalds with some friends and got a suspension for it. I take the blame like a champion, and her God-fearing ass accepts it as is.

A few hours later my stepfather arrives home and I think all is well in the world until he says we have to speak with my mom about something.

"I got a call today. You know what about?"

I look at my mom and give her the old "we've just been through this" glare.

"Yeah, some truant officer picked me up outside of McDonald's after getting breakfast with a group of friends. It was after school started. You know, they got pissy." My look was stone-cold sober.

"Actually, it was from your principal. They said they picked you up off school grounds with some girl. Something Jimenez."

That was a little tricky, because I don't tell my family about my girlfriends unless they've been around a while. And I had been dating the daughter of a Methodist priest, this Caitlyn chick for about a year at that point. I fucked her spirituality out of her head, ramming it into her headboard and had taken up hiding under her bed when her parents got home, until a camp made her realize I was questioning her chastity. We had our problems but girls kind of just kept coming onto me and I couldn't say no. Still, nothing I couldn't handle. I handled them all quite well, actually.

"Yeah, she's just some friend, I gave her a ride, she's pretty nice."

His tone was uncertain. "Okay, well, if that's so, can you tell me how they didn't pick you up in Wildwood, but inland, and in the woods?"

This piqued my mom's attention. I felt the little hairs standing up on my neck but I got slightly erect at the same time. How much did he know? The layers of my web of lies unwound, surely something would happen to me, the black sheep. The accident child.

"Uhh, yeah. We took a detour coming back, we had some stuff we needed to talk about alone."

"What kind of stuff, Will?" God I hated when they pried.

"You know, relationship stuff. About Cait. I don't want to talk about it." That much was true.

"Oh well, you also know what your principal told me?"

"No, I don't, but you're going to tell me anyway, right?"

"He said that, when they caught you, you were, 'in the act'."

My mom buried her head in her hands. There were so many things wrong with that moment. I didn't find out till years later that I was conceived in a parking lot by another man in my mom's lack of judgement. Thinking back on it, I thought that that would make a difference. It did not.

My mother spoke, "Oh, boy, you are done. No more video games, no more car." I was in the middle of Bumblefuck, NJ. Those were the only things I had. I needed to divert this.

"Look, I was just making out with her. They were exaggerating. It's a complicated situation and Caitlyn and I are on a break."

My stepfather seemed to take my side in this. Maybe he's been through the same craziness as a child.

"Alright, if that is the case, we will just go clear things up right now."

I clenched my jaw but accepted my fate. The web of lies was growing deeper, but maybe, just maybe I could get out of this one. The ride over was silent, though I didn't expect much conversation and didn't really care to have it. It was just awkward. It got a bit more awkward when we passed by the turn-off for my school.

"Uh, I thought we were going to talk with the principal."

"That's not who picked you up, though, isn't it? Let's get to the bottom of this, why don't we?" I don't know why you didn't just listen to me but go through all this effort anyway.

A short while later we pulled up outside the city's police office headquarters.

"This is your last chance, you know. You can come clean about everything right here and you can save us the trip of going in there.

You could have saved us the trip of driving out here if you weren't trying to prove a point, old man. I said nothing as we got out of the car.

It had started raining at this point, and the sky was the same shade of gray as the waters of the nearby shore. I followed slightly behind him as he pushed open the front doors. I saw my stepfather approach the guy behind the front desk and they exchanged some words. After a moment, my fat fuck of a dad motioned me over and we went into one of the side rooms. This was going to be interesting.

A minute passed and the doors behind me opened again. A squat officer, looking a bit like he had more to deal with whatever I was involved in, moved to the other side of the office, a folder underneath one arm and a cup of coffee in hand in the other. It took me a minute to realize this was the cop who picked me up. He had a slight smirk on his face, whereas I could feel mine burning up.

"What can I do for you today, young gentlemen?"

My stepfather responded first.

"Well, I understand you were the one who picked up my son here earlier."

"Yes, that is true."

"Was there anything abnormal or unusual about what was happening when you found him?" A lump in my throat started to form.

"Well, nothing much, aside from the fact that they were, you know…"

Silence thickened in the air. Of course he knew. My stepfather just wanted to hear him say it. I was waiting for the bomb to drop, too."

"Well, uh- he was, uh. How do I put this…"

I was looking at him with a pleading look in my eyes. Surely he remembered what I had said about the abuse, right? His smirk grew more when I had a slight realization.

My dad, he was an EMT, and also a firefighter. He must have known some of these guys and they must have been dying just waiting to rat on his son. Because they didn't know the truth. About the things he would say and do when he had the reason. It didn't matter.

"He was, uh, found, inside her."

I stood up and walked out of the room. I could hear a chuckle as I headed back to the car. I was done with this crap. My stepfather caught up to me on my way there, and he was cackling under his breath.

"You are so done. Just wait until your mother hears about this. I didn't trust you, just wait until no one else does."

I'm not a bad person. I didn't want to be not trusted. I was just compelled to be untruthful. Call it mental illness, call it what you will, it wasn't how I thought it was going to go down. I tried to open up to my stepfather for the first and last time. I was crying as I told him I didn't know what I was, and I was trying to figure it out myself. He asked me if I was a faggot. What a prick.

The rain had picked up a bit, but it was still in its early stages. That's when roads are most dangerous, when people lose control of their vehicles easy. I didn't see the truck as it pulled out in front of me. I did hear the tires screeching as my dad passed me. I felt for a brief instant the force of two tons of metal striking my back and I remember a dull throb as the world went black. This was the first time I died.

When I opened my eyes again, everything was dark. I couldn't see, and there was nothing around me. I was unsure if I had a form or not, I couldn't move to find out. I couldn't speak either, but when I thought I heard the words around me as if I had talked out loud.

Where am I?

Then, there was a response, a dialogue started from something, someplace else.

ཕ͏ྲུ་͟གུ,͢ བཟོ͠ ཁ̛ྱ̸ེད་རང͝ ̷ད̛ྲན͘ ?
Child, do you remember?

What? No, who am I? Where am I?

ཕྲུ̀་གུ, ཁ͞ྱ҉ེད་ར̨ང ས̵ྟ̸ི ̢ཞེ̨་དྲ͝གས ལམ་̷ཁག͞, དང ҉ཁྱེ͝ད̢་རང̨ ̀ཕ͏ེབ̶ས ཁ̵ྱི̨̕མ̨
You are on the path that is the far back, on the road to your first home.

ཁ͠ྱེད་ར͢ང҉ སྟི̢ ཕྱི́་̶རུ̧ ̸ཚེ́̕ ͟གར ́གོ̧མ͏་པ་ར́ྒ͠ྱག͟ ཕེ̢̨བས͢ ག̴ར ̢ཕྱི་̕རུ̀ ͠འ͠ག̸ོ་འ͜ཛ̷ུག͘ས།̡ ད̡ང ̵ས་མ͢ཚམས̀, ཧ̴ེ́་ན̵ོག͜ ҉ག͝སུ̨̀བ་҉འགྱི͜ག.̛ ག͘ཅི͜ག ̵འཁོ͢ར་͞ལོ̢ ̸ཨོ་͘མེ་ག̧,͜ ̢འ͘ཁོ́ར་́བ།.
You walk along the path that is before and after, the beginning and the border of the wheel, Samsara.

Samsara? Wait- no, that means I'm- I'm dead?

འཆ҉ི་̀བ̸ ̨ཡི͠ན̛་ན་ཡ͞ང འ́ཆི̛་བ་̨མེ͘ད,̴ འདི̀ ཐ̷བ̛ས̶ བ͘ར̷་དོ̢་ ̛ཆ͜་ཤས ̷ག͢ནས
Death but deathless, that is the way of the Bardo, the passing state, the place between states.

ཁྱེ̢ད་ར͏ང སེ̀͜མ͟ས གཟིགས̴ མཚ̸ོ སྒ̴ོམ ͞འདི̧ ͢ང,̢ ͜བཟོ͞ མི͢ན͟ ͘ཕེ͞བས ̴ཞེ̀ད͘་̶སྣང. ཞེ̧ད་སྣ̷ང ͜ཕ̸ེབས͟ ̷ཐ͡ར̶་གྲོ͞ལ͏.
Look upon the reflection and see your Self, but do not fear. Fear will not be your freedom.

Then, a light was in front of me, behind me, reflected off the glass that was but a fragment's distance from my form, and I saw it, myself. Or what it would be. There was nothing there. Great terror built in my chest.

མི͢ན͟ ͘ཕེ͞བས. ̀དྲ̸ན མན་̡ར͢ྡ་ར། ͢དང ར҉ང་͏དབང་͠.
Do not fear. Remember your Mantra and it will be your freedom.

What is my Mantra?

ཚིག̨ ཉལ.
All words are lies.

I began to weep. The light dimmed down and I knew I had failed. I wasn't ready.

Oṃ maṇi padme hūṃ.

And then the pain began.


There was a bright flash, and all the nerves in my body lit up at once. I saw the metal ceiling, felt the movement of four wheels beneath me, but then it started fading again.

"He's going again. He needs another. Now! [pause] Clear."

A thousand colors bloomed in front of my eyes, which rolled half-open in a blurred haze. I'm still alive. But what had happened? It didn't take longer for me to fall unconscious again, this time with a pulse.

Hours later I awoke with a jolt with diodes on my head and tubes in my arms. No one was around me. I was alone in a hospital. Alone again.

Moments later I realized it wasn't true. There was someone else there, standing beside my bed. An elder man and a stranger in a tattered business suit.


I struggled to move but the pain knocked the words from my lungs. The man leaned over.

"Hush now. I am Nobody. You can call me that."

Coughing, I exhaled a few words. Nothing choice, but I was curious.

"Is that your name, or not your name?"

"I don't think there is much a difference. Call me Nobody. Do you remember who you are?"

I struggled to find the thoughts. Head disoriented, I blurted out what I was just told.

"I am a lie."

I think he smirked. "Getting ahead of yourself, are you? It'll come back, give it time. Don't worry, you'll be right as rain in no time, soon as you say so."

I didn't have a moment to question what he meant, as he vanished when he was out of my sight. I tried to turn my head but a sharp pain followed. Things blurred again and I fell asleep for some time.

When I awoke again, there was a woman beside me. A nurse, dark hair and a face like a peach. As soon as she noticed my movements, she approached me and laid a consoling hand on my arm.

"It's okay, Mr. ████████. You've been in a car accident, but you are alright. Can you talk for me?"

"Where- [cough]. Where am I?"

She looked down on my form and spoke again. "Shore Medical. Somer's Point. You're lucky to be alive."

I tried to sit up again but she eased me down.

"Not yet, hun. Let's chat. Do you know who you are?

"You tell me, you just did." I was disoriented and confused. So confused.

"Mr. William ████████. Ring a bell?"

I suppose it did, but I couldn't be sure.

"How old are you?"


"That's right!" She smiled.

"Who is the president?"

"I don't know. Some asshole."

She snorted slightly but said nothing.

"How do you feel?"

I was getting tired of this, so I said what I said to get her to go away.

"I'm fine."

"That's great!" She beamed, her oversized mouth full of white teeth. "I'll get your things, then." She left in a hurry.

Odd. Don't people usually run a bunch of tests first? Keep me inside until they know I won't die right out front? Now that I said it, however, I did feel fine. Better than fine. I sat up and yanked the needles out of my arm. It looked relatively unscathed.

The machines started going off with various tones and alerts, prompting assistance from other staff. I was already on my feet, though, and they didn't see me until halfway down the hall.

"Sir, are you okay?" The voices echoed from behind me as I strolled to the front entrance.

"I'm fine. Don't worry." No one stopped me. I guess I really was all that fine.

Walking out in the street, barefoot with the scrubs blowing a draft between my legs, I quickly found a cab and hopped inside. The cabby took one look at me and shook his head.

"No, sir, you need to have money to ride. Money to ride!"

"Look, I don't have any money, but I'll pay you, just drive."

"Okay, no problem." He started the car and we pulled away.

Still odd. I didn't give him a destination, and I didn't know of one. So we drove for a few hours. Cabby never made a complaint about it.

Some time later he spoke up, but it was just to break the uncomfortable silence.

"So… you got a name?"

"Yes, I'm-" I stopped. I didn't really remember. So I said what I thought was the truth. And it turned out it really was.

"I'm Mr. Lie."

"Alright then, let me know where you want me to go, okay?"

I said nothing. I sat in silence until the sun dipped below suburbia.

All words are lies. And I'll be damned if I didn't use that to my advantage.

We drove all night and into the next morning before I thanked the man and left into the unknown.

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