7. Truth or dare?
I dare you to tell the truth. Double dare you. Double DOG dare you.
Chicken! I knew you wouldn't do it, too scared to reveal who you are instead of who you want me to think you are. Bwaaack!
Who was the first girl you kissed? Who broke your heart? Did you ever beat someone up, just because you could? Did you steal a candy bar, a book, a car, a credit card, money from your mother's wallet? Did you kick a dog, slash a tire, cheat on math homework, forge a signature, lie, lie, and lie again, ingeniously and without qualms? Did you curse at the dinner table, put glue in the shampoo bottle, break those dishes on purpose, run the car into a tree, gossip about the new kid, destroy the English textbook, tell stories about the gym coach, hide the street clothes of kids during athletic practice? Do you edit your photo albums, call your parents, send thank you notes to spinster aunts, run over squirrels, sabotage friendships, pad out your resume, tell tales that could almost be true?
You won't play this game? Fine, then, climb on the table and dance a jig during the moment of silence at a funeral, place a personal ad for the romantic acquisition of your dreams, swim across the Channel, parachute out over the mountains, write a letter protesting the Republican military industrial complex to every state and national representative in every level of bureaucracy, start a community garden in an abandoned lot, growing sunflowers and beans with neither ownership rights nor permits, dance in the graveyard to live accordion accompaniment from midnight to dawn, construct all of da Vinci's designs, hitchhike to Yellowstone, do a spot of drug running between NYC and Montreal, gain a cosmetology degree, take a job on the third shift at a local industrial site.
No? You decline to accept the dare? Are we to return to the truth? You didn't like it last time, refused to play. Okay. Truth. Do you love me? Did you love your college sweetheart, or was she just pretty, and different? Did you drown the kitten, sabotage the plumbing, cancel the trip reservations, change the dental appointment, consider changing your name, father a child; did you tell the truth? Did you hide, omit, elide, pause at an inopportune moment, neglect, alter, super-impose, reconsider, waver, decline, and step away?
No? I don't believe you. I never did.
The Miracle of Mindfulness / Thich Nhat Hanh
a waning gibbous
a gentle snowfall
and a bonfire, whose sparks leap up to meet the snow