Mobiles: Phoenix Red, Level Change II, Papilionem
On telling the truth
“Be careful,” said little bird. “That’s my heart.”
Thoughts while making
I remember the flickering neon glow on their faces. Those bright reds + greens, yellows + blues punctuating the moment.
Imagine yourself in the backseat of your parents’ car. You’re 16. It’s 6pm on a Monday. You’re parked in a strip mall outside a mechanic shop. And your folks are turned around in their seats looking at you, nowhere to hide, and as one say, “Why don’t you tell us what *really* happened.”
I knew what had “really” happened. I was there. I crashed the car, and I didn’t just sorta bump the curb like I’d told them. I knew this. And now – thanks to the mechanic who informed them of the laws of physics – they did, too.
Where does trust have to go off the rails such that we decide the truth isn’t good enough, isn’t safe enough? How is the idea that one mistake will make us unlovable – to ourselves and others – born?
It had been a Friday night. I’d gotten new car speakers. They were duct taped to the floor. LL Cool J along with my friends and I were moving too fast. I hit the brakes going down a steep hill, skidded out, slammed into a guard rail, and folded the better half of Corolla up under itself. I sat there as my parents looked at me and waited. A hundred cars passing in front of me with countless stories I’d never know unfolding in rush hour traffic slowly going everywhere and nowhere.
And I was scared.
I told them (mostly) what had happened. I paid for the repairs, and I didn’t die.
This swirl of mobile colors reminded me of those flashing strip mall signs and that time where I realized that telling the truth is more about loving yourself than anything else.
Do you remember a teenage lie you told to your parents?
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