Insert Chassis Albuquerque: The Philosophy Of Honesty For The Writer.

The Philosophy Of Honesty For The Writer.


Image result for ear coordination problemsPeople share interesting variations on the philosophy of honesty. For instance, my mother refuses to lie and maintains she’s only ever lied once in her life. And she says the enormity of her truthfulness over the years is such that - statistically speaking – she’s therefore never lied.
As a writer I’m prone to exaggeration. I guess it's inevitable. I believe it’s okay to exaggerate as long as you don’t lie; these subtle differences you should be aware of, for it’s a very fine line we tread. An ironic fact: I was almost kept back a grade because I was unable to read.
Diagnosis? Severe co-ordination problems.
These “co-ordination” problems manifested themselves this way: If you were unable to extend your arm over the crown of your head and grab - or at least finger - an ear then you had “co-ordination” problems. A rudimentary yet irrefutable test in those days apparently reflected in my poor reading, which was “sub-standard” my teachers said.
`Can you do it?’ my wife will wonder every now and then. `Go on, try, grab an ear over your head, let’s see!’ she’ll urge. She’s so quick, so nimble herself and her obvious lack of any co-ordination problems annoying. She can probably touch her ears with her toes if she wished. `Huh! You wish!’ she’ll cry, lunging away nimbly.
But, of course, she’s not like us, American I mean, but that’s another story. I notice subtle changes in her and around the house. Are these signs of something ominous? Or am I exaggerating my own insecurities?
`How will you co-ordinate the rest of your life?’ she’d said recently and stared at me, awaiting an answer. Well, it was a big question and kind of threw me just then.
`Are you okay?” I asked.
`Are you?’ she’d replied, staring my way again.
`You think I lied about something?’ I ventured, wondering, but couldn’t quite recall what.
`I don’t know - did you? Why would you think I meant you lied about something? Do you have a guilty conscience?’
`No. Do you? Did you lie about something?’ I asked her.
`Did I say I did?’ she said, staring and staring. `You know, I wish for once you could just be as brave as your father.’
And I said, from someplace deep, deep inside myself: `I wish I could be as brave as my father is made out to be, too!’
My father. My father died as the result of  a plane crash. Perhaps the pilot was having co-ordination problems of his own that day. Maybe he’d been busy extending a hand over his head, trying to grasp an ear at the request of his disbelieving co-pilot! Over the years I’ve romanticized him a little. He must have made some sort of aviation history - he flew such a fine distance, from one long point to another, a distance of only minor aviation importance but wingless. He gained just not quite enough momentum to fly to the moon, once the mathematics of such a feat had been calculated. It’s an exaggeration to say he could have flown all the way to the moon, but it is by no means a small exaggeration.
Because that’s what it had seemed like to those of us remaining, to my small mind and the speed with which he’d left us behind: The moon...!