Dark thoughts. We all have them. Some more than others, and there’s always good reasons why we have dark thoughts. We never share them, except maybe with a counsellor, psychologist or priest – someone who cannot share out thoughts with others. We pretend to be different people depending on our audience, all of us actors in our very own deceptive theatre. We minimise the role played by people who really know us – parents, family and school friends – and we draw to ourselves people who are easily impressed by the fictions we manufacture to look far more appealing than we really are, and often we seek to convince ourselves we are better, stronger and more lovable than what we really know. And so before we get out of bed in the morning, before we even open our eyes, in the moment of wakening, each of us should have a runner with a clapper board declaring, “Action!”
I knew this, but it came as a shock to me when my own thoughts were revealed to me.
Codie and I had agreed to move in together. She knows nothing about who I was twelve years ago. I continuously self-censor, having cultivated a different life in a different area of England where no one knew who I was. I changed my name, just to be sure.
This is the beginning of a short story. I have just moved to another country, so I am starting anew with new friends, new acquaintances. I have found I am self-censoring a lot, but I have realised most people self-censor until they get to know people better. With our real friends, people we get to know better, we open up more about ourselves. This story is a ‘what if?’ – What if two people living together are still self-censoring and are living fake lives? What if none of us move beyond that initial point of meeting someone and we keep on living a shallow life? What if?