Every once in a while I find myself sitting at the bar of this quaint little French restaurant. I usually order a soup or salad and proceed to shoot the shit with the girl on the other side of the bar. It’s a weekly ritual. Conversations are usually laced with what seems a juvenile adoration. It’s cute and I find it refreshing.
Over the course of time, as with anything if you are smart, you pick up a thing or two about the other person. She’s a good kid; A good balance of sarcasm and friendliness. It seems as though she has a bit of a dark side or some secret shame that she struggles with. I don’t ask questions, we all have pasts. No need to make anyone uncomfortable unintentionally. One conversation that sticks out in my head is when I was telling her about some darker period in my life and that eventually you learn how not to be a monster. Her eyes got big and saucer like. She believed me. I believed me. But that was a little white lie.
Let me explain.
Later on that evening and a few beers in, I noticed she was having a hard time with a package. I reached down at my hip and procured a knife, more specifically, a larger knife with an assisted opening. She looked down at it and asked why I would carry that thing. I explained that it was a tool. I use it everyday for a million things. I’ve always had a knife. Ever since I was a little boy. All of which is true. What I didn’t explain is that I also have it as a “just in case” for whatever bad situations might come my way. I may have stopped acting a monster, but that doesn’t mean I really stopped being one. He’s still in me, somewhere not too far under the surface and if I need him, I can ask him to come out and play. That knife is a tool, but it’s also the monster’s claw. It’s there in plain sight and just a snap away if I need it.
That’s my little white lie. That’s the truth. Once you’ve lived that way it never really stops, you just learn how to control it. You can still tap into it and you can always feel it breathing down the back of your neck. You just learn to tune it out.