We all have secrets. Some are unspeakable. Some we just don't speak of. We carry them around with us all day. In our back pocket, our change purse, the back of our mind. But we never allow them to ride in the front seat.We have secret things: rituals we perform to ward off evil (I used to avoid using the word 'goodbye' so the person who was leaving would not die), charms we hold on to because, even though we don't really believe its lucky, we cannot bring ourselves to throw it away - just in case. We say secret words so that we will not blow a fuse, get a divorce, hurt a child, or get too big for our britches.
We have places we go, real or imagined. We go to a place that is our own and do things there that we tell no one else about. We long for these places. We miss them when we cannot go there. A chair, a song, a memory, a fantasy. We can say and do what we like in these places. We hide there when the world is big and hairy.Sometimes they are places of peace, where we take center stage and feel good. Sometimes they are places of sorrow, where we feel pain in a way we can control. A place where we can hold the knife ourselves. We tell no one of these secret places. That way we do not have to justify them, share them, joke about them, or feel ashamed about them.
We are all afraid of something we do not talk about.I knew a woman who was afraid for her marriage; that her husband would never leave her. She wanted him too, but she feared he never would. I used to sleep with the covers over my neck so that the vampires would not come and suck the blood from my veins while I slept.We tell no one of our secret fears. Because one of our fears is being found out. Afraid of being judged. Of being misunderstood. Of ourselves, and what we are capable of.
I tell secrets. They are your secrets. I write them out on white sheets of paper. I confess them, share them, pass them to others in the hallway at school. I do this for your own good. For my good. For the common good. You read your secrets, the ones I have written out. You read them to yourself, to others, to the audience in your secret place, out loud. It makes you sigh to see them there, in black and white. It makes you glad that someone else told. For you. Instead of you. You read them and you know you are not alone, crazy, going to hell. I tell your secrets, and you are secretly glad. Relieved. Un-burdened. And so am I.