“The truth has legs; It always stands. When everything else in the room has blown up or dissolved away, the only thing left standing will always be the truth. Since that’s where you’re gonna end up anyway, you might as well just start there.“
Don’t pole vault over mouse turds.
Just pick it up and throw it away.
Yes it’s gross.
Just grab a tissue and pick it up.
You don’t need to call your friends over to see it. Why?
Oh great, now you are all standing around talking about how revolting it is. That was unnecessary. Do you feel better? You still need to clean it up, does it help having your friends around telling you how gross it is? If they were really your friends they would help you.
Yes everyone is leaving. They don’t want to talk about your crap anymore. It reminded them that they have their own shit to deal with. Some of it bigger than yours.
Now you’re alone with it and you’re walking away from it. You’re just going to ignore it? And is everyone you allow in going to ignore it too?
You’re not going to let anyone in.
Well, that’s lonely. Are you going to be okay living with it? You’ll see it all the time and it will attract bugs and start to smell. Ooooh wine…
Well the wine was great and we had a blast, but it’s morning and that piece of poo is still there. You going to clean it up now? Wait. When did you start smoking pot? You can’t just keep yourself numb you’re going to need to deal with it. It’s right where you can see it.
What are you doing with the box? You’re going to just cover it up? I see. The box is a little glaringly obvious though isn’t it?
Oh that’s a pretty table cloth and candelabra. No one will know there’s feces under all that beautification except you. Isn’t it kind of awkward and in the way?
Yes, I guess it would take work to clean up. More than the initial piece of toilet paper. And you’re okay with knowing what’s really beneath the nice things?
Alright well, if you’re at peace with that. See ya around.
10 years later…
Oh hey there! Great to see you. Are those your kids? What a beautiful family you have. You’re looking a little worn out though. You alright?
Oh you still have the box hiding that piece of mouse turd. That must have been hard to maintain over the years. I see it’s been knocked around a bit, but you’ve gone to a lot of work to keep it hidden.
That’s some really nice stuff you’ve put on and around it. Scented candles, flowers and happy pictures of you and your family…you sure you don’t want to move everything and just clean it up?
You do look really busy, it is definitely a lot of work now and yes everyone will see that the box and all your beautiful things are missing. Wouldn’t you feel so free of the burden?
You’re doing alright? Okay, friend hang in there.
Another decade goes by. I go into the house now quiet and calm. The box is beautifully encrusted with gems and is glorious and radiant. My old friend is beside it in a heap on the floor. She’s silently sobbing.
Hey, what’s wrong?
Your box IS very beautiful.
You do have many nice things all around it. Why are you so sad?
Ah! Yes, there is mouse turd under all of it.
Keeping it a secret has been hard on you. You must be tired. Are you ready to be rid of it?
It IS a lot of work and must seem overwhelming to you.
Yes, people will discover the truth and you may lose some friends, but you have people who love you. Some of them may already know you have a secret and don’t care. You are not alone.
It will take work to break down the box and it will have to be done by you alone, but you don’t need to BE alone.
Yes, I will sit with you.
She began to take apart the box. The lovely things she had placed on the box most recently were covering things that weren’t so lovely to her anymore. Layer upon layer were items that during a time had been used in an attempt to forget about what was hiding under the box. Some of it was painfully embarrassing and I would comfort her as she cried out in pain. Other things we came across made us laugh. How was bedazzling even a thing?
Eventually we came to the box. With shaking hands she lifted the last barrier between us and the 20 year secret that had caused her so much pain. For a moment neither of us could breathe.
She sat back with a sigh looked over at me and said,
“THAT’S what I’ve been hiding for 20 years?”
I smiled, handed her a piece of tissue and without another word she picked up the turd and flushed it down the toilet.
She invited over friends and family to dance with her in the free space. Some were uncomfortable and left. For they were envious of her freedom and did not want to deal with their own turd. Some left because seeing her joy and freedom inspired them to get their crap together. The rest of them stayed and danced the night away. For unknowingly most had known her secret all along and hadn’t cared. After all, it really wasn’t well hidden. Most aren’t. No matter how hard you try, boxes covering secrets are most often transparent and really not worth the effort of making pretty. Mistakes are made and shit happen. So own it. Those who love you won’t care. Those who care don’t love you.