"I dream of a hard and brutal mysticism in which the naked self merges with the nonhuman world and somehow survives...Paradox and bedrock."-Edward Abbey

12 February 2011


By her own confession, Lady Pictureshow is a product and victim of her own construct. Well pressed and immaculate. Not a hair out of place. A Voodoo mask of warpaint make up always done just so. Every movement choreographed, like something out of a rock video.

It could be said it was bad luck she became friends someone who decided to look under the surface. Peel back the Voodoo mask to poke at the worms underneath, just to watch them squirm. It's what's beyond the facade, which is always infinitely more interesting.

Quite a bit of time has passed since we first shook hands. And it took a few years before she spotted on that the remarks about her having to always be cleaned and pressed with sterilized organs were a bit of a jab. I was trying to teach a lesson. A facade is just that. An illusion. Clinging to it can perpetuate suffering.

On our rare occasions of hanging out, I've noticed the slow changes. Not trying so hard. Subtle changes in dress. Kicking back when I mention a stereotype, sighting she's trying to change.

I have asked her if was because of me. It is the way of chameleons, changelings, and other manner of shape shifter to try and fit in. If they want the continued acquaintance of someone, they'll change form to be that cat's perfect friend/lover/ whatever. Fascinating and sad. By her own confession, Lady Pictureshow is a recovering chameleon. I may have had some influence on her, but she wants to believe she's getting past that for her own benefit, and not for some strange looking creature she sometimes talks to in cafes.

But I do press and jab with the stereotypes to make sure. I want to make sure she's not lying. Whether or not she lies to me is irrelevant. Women lie. Men lie. Monkeys lie. I could be lying right here and now. It's all true, even and especially the lies.

I want to make sure this cat isn't lying to herself. Those are the worst and most damaging kind. If Lady Pictureshow is indeed recovering from being a chameleon, I want to make sure she's being honest about it. Even and especially with herself. Another lesson to teach; when it comes down to brass tacks and bedposts, the only one someone has to own up to is that monster in the mirror. By way of comparison, everyone else is a detail, and a trivial one at that.

It's not a project and it would be cruel and not true to say it's something I do for entertainment when we encounter one another. I'm just this odd looking creature found over the occasional cup of coffee who brings up facades and constructs are for suckers. A signpost along the way. Whether or not I'm even listened to is open to debate. For all I know, Lady Pictureshow just wears a different Voodoo mask when she sees me. It doesn't matter.

The way I see it, though, is as long as she's honest with herself about whether or not she's really changing and recovering from being a chameleon, then I've helped. I've done the right thing. Maybe the lessons I present are slowly being learned.


  1. Monkeys lie?

    I found this compelling and intriguing. You've left me with many questions.

    "It's all true, even and especially the lies." My favourite line.

  2. Yes, those half-bald simians that call themselves Man are deceptive creatures. Horrible, I know. Sorry to be the one to bring that into the harsh light of day.

    Your favorite line, sort of like my one about demons and tea, is one of those metaphors I like to use, both in spoken and when I purge words unto pages.

    Thank you as always for your comments and compliments. I couldn't find the right words for your one about the brother, but I did like it.

  3. Beautiful (as alwys - and I always say this; I probably sound like a parrot...). I love your style of writing, it's so special and it seems to me like you're telling us secrets. Truly beautiful!

  4. It's hard to sound like much of anything when you type ;). We are even though, because I am always grateful for comments and I enjoy reading your stories as well.

  5. I guess you're helping her recover from learning to live the lie. :)