“did you lie?”

“well hell yes I lied. What would you do when you’re facing a man with gun? You got to understand the situation. My son was dead. This man caused it. And in death in someone dying you think about it in terms of right and wrong and you ask yourself how do I deserve this and why do bad things happen to good people and all that but that ain’t it man that’s after when you try to play God and see how one thing leads to another how you got to see it right how everything is connected to everything else but if you want to know the trick if you really want to know what happened at that crossroads in Mississippi you got to see how you connect those things and how you leave you out of it–you see? Because if it connects to you you don’t see it. You just see yourself and I was facing the double barrels of a shotgun and not even that you got to see how easy it is to take the blame the guilt when no one knows at least not yet you haven’t been caught yet how the words just came, ‘Don’t love…’ how lying is easier when you recognize the truth causes immediate pain and that’s the lie in lies what eats at you later when maybe you’ve got what you want some brief abstinence from what’s done in the dark that’s brought to the light and how she was there Maddie was a there a partner to it and maybe if there had been someone else in the room if my son were still alive to see what his death had brought if Bethany could’ve seen me then alone in a room with another woman would the words have been different? I don’t know. That’s the thing with truth. You think the doubt is there but it isn’t it’s in the lies and that’s how it gets deeper and deeper–the truth exposing the lie because ask yourself what would you do? Would you tell the truth if you would surely die? I thought I was gonna die so I lied. I told him it wasn’t love. And maybe he thought I was telling him he wasn’t in love he wasn’t in love with Maddie the humiliation he must have felt turned into murderous indignation leading that posse after my son what happened the day before when everyone knew now Maddie had other visitors to her room other men and not just other men black men a father and son. Everyone knew already but when Maddie screamed and that door was busted open and that guitar was busted to pieces no one could lie about it anymore know one could say it wasn’t true least of all him and that’s maybe the thing about lying the sin the punishment because the best thing about a lie is when you can believe in it yourself so maybe that’s what he thought I said when he aimed the shotgun at me he didn’t think I was saying, ‘Don’t love…’ because I didn’t love Maddie he thought (and this is where the connection comes in) I was saying, ‘Don’t love…’ to his ‘I love…’ Because the ‘I’ was left out before the, ‘Don’t love…’ and the ‘you’ was left out of his, ‘I love…’ You get me? And that’s all a lie is–what’s left out. And being people we leave out a lot of things. It’s just when it’s caught when we feel pain. The sadness. And there ain’t nothin’ sadder ain’t nothin’ more connected to us all than that feeling of being left out. You see lying can be rewarding. It can get you things and get you out of a lot things. But it sure is lonely–you know? I don’t think I ever felt more alone than that day. My son was dead. And in saying those words and what I left out of it I couldn’t honor him I lost that spiritual connection and that’s when it really hit home the loaded question of how I still felt about his mother how I was still in love with Bethany but here I was facing the consequences of sharing a bed with another woman a woman who shared her bed with him and I never felt more disconnected. My son was dead. But facing that shotgun was when I really felt the loss…”

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