It was evening; a darkness that disperses shadows and light, keeping things hidden, but revealing the tip of a nose or a twinkle in the eye when the streetlight is just right.
“Have you wondered how your life might be different?” I asked my friend. He was scrolling through his phone.
“Like, if you made different choices?” I asked. My voice was far away, but it didn’t stop me from talking. Pretty soon, the neighborhood pothead walked by.
Cough. Cough. “It’s just how my mother says, people are so cruel. She’s such a sweet lady, but nobody was nice to her, her entire life.” His 40 year-old-words are lathered with mucous and the drag of habitual addiction. The smell of stinkweed is pungent in the air.
“Take that guy for instance… he still lives with his mom and he’s a grown man. I wonder if he could’ve made different choices?”
“You got to watch this video,” my friend says. “It’s about a guy who did all kinds of drugs, joined a cult, and then found Jesus.”
The video was very entertaining and it got me thinking. “Can people keep things hidden or do they have a compulsive need to share everything?”
“The bible says what’s done in the darkness will eventually be revealed in the light.”
“So, if I decide to murder somebody, like that pothead, could I keep it hidden or would the burden be too heavy and eventually I’d need to share everything?”
“If you murdered him, you couldn’t tell anybody.”
“True, but I’d want to. Maybe I wouldn’t say it outright, but I’d be indirect or hint at the idea that I’d killed him until my best friend would guess. Then I’d have to kill my best friend. What an awful thought.”
“Andy, you’re creeping me out. Maybe you could confess to a priest or even a psychologist or lawyer to relieve the tension.”
“But then I’d get really nervous because I’d told someone and then I’d have to kill them too. Pretty soon I’d be a serial murderer because I couldn’t keep my mouth shut.”
“Hey, that would make a great story.”
“You know what, you’re right!”