Everybody Lies


First of all, I’m not guilty. Totally innocent. I wasn’t even in the same city when she died. From what I hear, she had lots of enemies. So why pick on me?

I barely knew her. Sure we had sex a few times, but that sort of thing means nothing nowadays. I’m not sure she even knew my name. She kept calling me “big guy,” but I think that was just to cover the fact that she couldn’t remember by name.

She was a troubled person. I never saw her when she wasn’t high on something. Those times we had sex I met her at a bar. I got the impression she was a regular customer. She seemed to have a thing for the bartender. Have you talked to him?

Everybody knew she had lots of guys coming around all the time. I bet she knew some of their names. Surely you can find somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody else and get some real leads on this case. So why pick on me?

You’ve got video? Me leaving her house and throwing the murder weapon into a garbage can? You retrieved the weapon. My prints are on it. Hmm. OK, well that’s different. That’s a whole lot different. Can I talk to a lawyer?

I know what my lawyer will advise. Don’t say anything. So I’m not going to say any more, OK? No, nothing. Not a word. You’re not my friend. We’re not all friends here. You want to pin this crime on me, and nothing you can say or do will make me forget that’s your intention.

It’s hard not to say anything while we’re waiting for a lawyer. I’ll tell you about my life. If you don’t want to listen you can go do something else. You’re free to come and go. Me, I’m stuck here, right?

OK, my problems really began when my father died and Mom starting hooking. She brought different men home every night. They were all my “uncles.” One night, one of my uncles woke up out of a blackout and found me asleep on the couch. He picked me up and threw me out the window. Fortunately, it was summer and the window was open. We didn’t have much in the way of screens. I woke up on the lawn.

Then I tried working for a living, but even I could see there wasn’t going to be much of a future in that. So when I met a kid who showed me how easy it was to buy and sell pot, I followed in his footsteps. Pretty soon, I had enough money to move out and find my own place. Then I got a motorcycle. Then a car. Then a girlfriend who got pregnant right away. By the time I was nineteen, I was a father.

Then we started having money problems, and I discovered you could buy a few days of illusory affluence by writing bad checks. Sure, the piper would demand to be paid in a few days, but that was an eternity for someone who had as little emotional maturity and ability to think long-term as I. The first couple of times I bounced checks I got off by paying fines, but the third time I got to spend a week in jail. You would have thought that would have taught me a lesson, but it just got me to discover credit cards.

I escaped jail this time by claiming that medical bills for the baby caused me to take those cash advances. Another friend of mine ran a chop shop where stolen cars and motorcycles were turned into parts and then sold to repair shops at a sharp discount. Those shops often billed their customers for new parts. So everybody was in on it, to some degree. At least that’s what I told myself in order to not feel like a crumb.

The problem with a life of petty crime is that it’s addictive. I remember talking to a lady who had a job running a halfway house for women who had just been released from prison. She was supposed to get them entry-level jobs in fast food restaurants. They were mostly hookers who had also been drug addicts. They’d get a job at a fast food restaurant and their pimp would drive by and say “what are you doing wearing that funny hat. Get down from there and let’s go make some real money.” So that’s what they’d do. Nobody lasted at their fast food job longer than a few days.

Once you get used to easy money, it’s hard to want to turn around and play the man’s game. And that’s why…oh, what? You say somebody confessed? I’m free to go? See, I told you I wasn’t guilty. What was that videotape story all about? You say that to all the suspects. I see. Hard to tell the cops from the criminals. Everybody lies. I guess I already knew that.


Actions You Must Perform to Leave This Group


You must obtain written permission to do so from a group administrator. If you don’t know one, you must ask around.

If you can’t contact a group administrator, you must petition the National Security Agency for a Ad Hoc Release From Page Membership (form 1099A-EX) or hire counsel to do the same in your stead.

If you are under the age of sixteen, or over the age of sixty-five, you must also ask that prayers be said for you at the Vatican, preferably on Holy Tuesday, a slow day during Holy Week, which as everyone knows, culminates with Easter Sunday.

If you are Vitamin B deficient, or suffer from restless leg syndrome or a transient certainty that nothing matters anymore, then there is no point in trying to leave this group, for we shall never let you go!

If your name is, or used to be, “Barnabas” then you have already automatically been kicked out of this group.

If you have ever attended a Bing Crosby Road Movie Film Festival and found Dorothy Lamour to be more interesting than either Bing or Bob, then write that in block lettering on a four by six inch card and mail it first class to PO Box 35446, Radio City Music Hall, New York, New York 10045. Allow six to eight weeks for processing, and your name will be expunged from this group.






You must be able to swim ten meters underwater on one breath.

You must be able to derive square roots without the aid of a calculator.

You must know which of these three words is not a word: irregardless, irrespective, immaterial.

Explain in fewer than 100 words why most harmonicas are sold in the key of C but most blues songs are written in B flat or E.

You must be able to whistle.

You must be able to recall the seven cardinal virtues and the six deadly sins.

You must be able to find on the map Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

You must not be Vitamin B deficient.

You must be able to discern the difference between the Elmore James songs “Look on Yonder Wall” and “The Sky is Crying”

You must be immunized against Mad Cow disease and Epstein-Barre syndrome.

You must speak at least three languages besides your native tongue.

You must have spent at least a week in Albania.

You must believe that Artie Shaw’s band was at least the equal of Benny Goodman’s.

You must certify that the concept of spending your retirement years “kicking back in some beach community” sounds stultifying.

You must attest that you lost “that Christmas spirit” years ago and find most holiday promotions tiresome at best.

You must wake up in the middle of the night at least twice a month convinced that your body is riddled with cancer and it’s too late to do anything about it.

You must miss the character actors one used to frequently see in movies and on television fifty years ago more than the “stars” who got top billing and most of the attention.

You must admit to yourself and to others that you find the act of yodeling unmusical and watching old men in lederhosen perform it, distasteful.

You must refuse to accept the notion that all religions have some value, and are at least partially good.

You must get down on your knees and beg God for mercy.

You must admit the fact that you are hopelessly addicted to social media, and that its impact on your life has been almost wholly negative, except for providing a way to stay in touch with old friends, but the more you see or hear about them the more you realize there’s a reason you lost touch with them in the first place, and the only reason you log on so frequently is because you have absolutely nothing else going on in your life to fill the seemingly bottomless void that social media attempts to address.