"When a man lies, he murders some part of the world."
"I found them growing on a grave, which bore no tombstone, no other memorial of the dead man, save these ugly weeds. They grew out of his heart, some hideous secret that was buried with him."
Chillingworth, The Scarlet Letter
It's easy to condemn liars. It's easy to stand before the world and shout your purity. It's far harder to look within yourself, to root out falsehoods of your own devising. Myths creep into our thinking so subtly we don't see them, sometimes after they're impossible to ignore.
Deceit is a mixture of growth and poison. It starts as a tiny seed of self-preservation.
- It won't happen again.
- I'll make it up to her.
- He'd do it to me.
- I want it to be true.
- I'm desperate.
It may take years for these seeds to germinate, to sprout forth in horrid shoots.
- I want to stop, but I just can't.
- She's getting the better end of the bargain.
- He's worse than I am.
- I'd rather risk a lifetime than an eternity.
- It's not hurting me.
Then they bloom, they flow from the breast and split into choking leaves. You protect them. They're a part of you, nearly impossible to remove.
It's painful to dig them out. Their roots tangle around your ribcage. You have to tug at their stems rip them free from your flesh. The holes left behind never completely fill with earth again.
- I'm always going to be like this.
- I do lots of nice things for her.
- He deserves it.
- We don't know everything.
- They should have told me it was wrong.
Some can't; they end up with gruesome roots dangling from their hearts. In their shame, they hide them, cover them, seed others.
- You're no better.
- Never trust women.
- Don't be like him.
- You're too young to question.
- Only use this if you're desperate.
Our world is overrun by foliage. Forests, brush and grass covers everyone. The ponds are choked with green muck. The air is full of browning leaves and yellow pollen.
It is a beautiful, poisonous land we live in.