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Heather Kirk

Telling the Truth

I have this terrible habit of telling the truth, even when it gets me in trouble and I vow to not do it anymore. The affliction has something to do with my late onset Attention Deficit Disorder. Heather KirkAs a child, I was a model student. Now I'm incapable of sitting through a TV commercial. Bad example, especially since I haven't owned a television set in 10 years. I could run a real racket on selling TV's donated by compassionate others. They think I am TV-less because I can't afford it. There is no paradigm in which people can comprehend this being a conscious choice.

So what was my point? Oh yes, the ADD seems to have short circuited the portion of my brain that provides verbal impulse control, intercepting and evaluating thoughts before they leave my mouth. I'm not mean, necessarily, just not tactful. I routinely warn people about my condition, especially when prompted with, "Can I ask you a question?" "If you don't want the answer, don't ask." Some forge ahead in spite of my preparatory honesty. Examples run the gamut from the typical "Do I look like I've gained weight?" - "Well, ya, kind of. I mean, you have, haven't you?"; to dangerous over the phone conversations "What are you wearing right now?" "A bra and underwear." (Note: My desired goal was to cool this relationship) "You weren't actually supposed to tell me!", he explains. "Oh.")

At times I feel transmuted into Jim Carey's Liar! Liar! character, who is physically unable to lie. The scene: I exit the Post Office, after hours, vending machine-bought stamps in hand. A beggar asks, "Do you have any change?" I freeze, look him straight in the eye, strangely quiet as I run through the range of a "normal" person's possible excuses. He becomes nervous, backs away slowly, still caught in my gaze. Suddenly the answer, "Yes. But I'm going to keep it." The man, in shock, begins a mantra,Heather Kirk "Thank you, thank you ...", bowing like an old Japanese caricature. "It's good to have a little change in your pocket, isn't it?", he exclaims, ecstatic at my response. I feel good, almost ecstatic myself. Telling the truth rarely has such a positive effect.

Which brings me to why I write. Not that you can tell, but the act of writing allows me to edit and purposely form thoughts and create a desired result. Writing still has its drawbacks. Since anyone who has met me knows my inexperience at lying, my poems, essays, and even fiction (get it, "fiction") still create unintended problems. I get in trouble when I write in 2nd or 3rd person, because everybody thinks I am writing about them. I get in trouble when I write in first person, because everyone thinks the "I" is me.

So, who am I? I'll have to think about it.

You can reach Heather at heather@conversely.com.

Heather Kirk's writing on Conversely

Listed from the most recent.

Playing the Fool
Getting it all wrong. Heather takes a look at her own contradictory tendencies and comes to a simple conclusion. Date: 11/1/02

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