Friday, December 17, 2010


Sure it is a bit of a 'tool' song, but it is a pretty good starting point for this post. It is, after all, all about secrets and giving them away. I am sure we all understand that we all have secrets, and giving them all away is one fucking dangerous idea. Freud had his secrets, mostly the identity of his patients. I mean who remembers Ernst Lazner, other than his family members (if any are still alive), but mention the 'Rat Man' and you will get a glimmer of recognition. Or at least that is the hope, if you don't, well then Freud secret is lost on the person, and will remain a mystery to them.

You do not have to be the founder of modern psycho-analysis to have a ton of secrets in your luggage, all you need to be is alive, and paying attention. Although paying attention is not strictly necessary. All you really need to do is be in the right place at the right time, and be able to listen closely. You manage that trick, and you have secrets galore being poured into your ear whether you want to know them or not.  Did you hear that what's his name, and his wife are separated? Or what about Mrs. Y who is married, but rather enjoying fucking two boyfriends? You didn't know that? Well just be sitting on the right bar stool at the right time, and you will find it out soon enough. What about Mr. X, who is in the middle of a very nasty divorce, and still finds time to have a girlfriend. Oh? You didn't know, well now you do, and now you have some dangerous knowledge to use.

Using that knowledge can be dangerous as well, after all, you have secrets too right? No one alive on the planet can fail to have a couple of things they consider to be a 'secret'. Things they would prefer the general public not be privy to.  Like to dress up as a cowgirl, and be tied down in the shower? Pretty sure you don't what that little peccadillo getting out to the world wide web. Like to be covered in peanut butter, and have it licked off by a combination of the family pet, and the pool boy? That is not something you would want the postman to know about you now is it? We all have these secrets, things we would prefer not to have to discuss with people we don't know. However, at some point we told someone, maybe our closest friend, and poof! There goes our attempt at keeping it a secret. Because that is the nature of secrets, they are just so very much fun to share. Usually with the old 'nudge, nudge, hint, hint, wink, wink' don't tell anyone else but I heard so and so about so and so.

In that way secrets become a kind of currency. You know a good bit of juicy gossip about your boss? Trade that little tidbit for an even juicier rumor about the guy in the mail room, and then pass it along later for a kick ass story about the boss's secretary, and midgets.  By now you are knee deep in the rumor mill, and loving ever minute of it, unless of course in your wanderings you happen to hear some awful, awful secret about yourself. It doesn't matter if it is true or not, and it may be quite false, and much less damaging that your real secret, but there you are smacked in the face with some piece of information about yourself that is circulating in the world about YOU. Information that is whispered in a low tone, with narrowed eyes, and a quick glance around to make sure you aren't anywhere within hearing distance. 

You may laugh it off as absurd, or it might hurt your feeling, or worse yet, you might be able to (based on the content alone) be able to trace it back to its source. Either way it is going to be a shock to the system, and something you have to address. After all, you were just the person that people told secrets to, not the person that gave away their secrets like candy at a county fair.  And that is the trick isn't it? Having other people give all their secrets away for nothing. We all want to know stuff, stuff that might be bad, or damaging to other people, but we don't want to give similar information about ourselves away to other people.

If you are clever, or brave, you might feel the need to start a good old fashioned, saw dust on the floor type rumor about yourself, and see how long it takes to get back to you. Also, seeing what form it is in when you hear it again is always instructive. How much has been added or subtracted? Is it the same general rumor, or has it taken on a complete new life of its own? More likely than not, it has changed in some significant way, and you will be aghast at the change, but such is the nature of secrets.

This is the 'secret game' that we all play, and that we all try to avoid as much as possible. The trick to avoiding being a victim of the 'secret game' is quite simple. You have, at least two choices, and which one you choose says a lot about you as a person. Option 1 is that you don't tell ANYONE your secrets, and that means anyone. Your mother, your best friend, your postman, or your priest. NO ONE ever gets the intimate details of your life, that way they can't be used against you. This option is tough, I mean after all if you choose this option is it unlikely that you will get told any secrets about anyone else because you aren't playing the 'game'.  It is a tough option, but probably, in the long run, the best option to pick. Option two (and the one that I generally pick) is just the opposite. That is, to tell everyone that will sit still long enough to listen, EVERY little secret you possess. That way you take yourself out of the rumor mill.  If everyone knows it, then it really isn't a secret now is it? Since it isn't a secret it really isn't worth knowing or repeating, and therefore will probably remove you from the rumor mill. It is a brave choice to make, and requires you to have nerves of steel, because even if you put the secret 'out there' it is always possible that it gets embellished in a not so good way for you. The trick is to not give a shit to show just enough honesty and indifference where giving all of your secrets away just isn't any fun.

As for me, I will continue to quietly sit on my bar stool and listen. Paying attention is free, and you can find out wonderfully juicy information, by just keeping your big mouth shut. I find having a full beer to wrap your lips around helps to keep them from flapping, and it is quite easy to listen and drink at the same time.  Until of course the person pouring out secrets wishes to be paid back in kind, then things get a bit dicey, but alcohol and a stern glance should get you through to the end.  

1 comment:

Cynnie said...

i know way too many secrets :)