Honesty comes at a cost
That lies earn and save
In wallets filled with
Finance charges owed by
Inner moral institutions
Built by the soul
The further into the hills I drove, the more nervous I became. The location made no sense to me, in fact it felt suspicious, so I knew it was. Wanting to shake it, and not arrive in a spirit of judgment, I entered with an open smile that covered the blood in my mouth that had pooled from biting my cheek to calm myself down. I was late and felt unprepared, but it turned out I was the only prepared at all.
They seemed nervous too, but their reasons could not have been the same. Still, all were welcoming. Suddenly, I didn’t know why I was there, and the thought of anal probes entered my mind. It seemed the gathering would continue to feel alien for the duration of my stay.
As we sat around the fireplace, a soft spoken doctor of hippie descent began chatting with me. It seemed we had a lot in common, at least I think we did. I’m hard of hearing, so between the voice and the surroundings, I’m not entirely sure what we were laughing about for an hour.
Dinner was served, my curiosity tripling along with the number of attendees. The new arrivals were greeted with hugs, the nature of them notable. They were long embraces that felt intimate, the kind you give before stripping one another’s clothes off.
Dessert was served, an announcement was made, and finally, everything clicked. It wasn’t anal probes, yet, not too far fetched from the idea. I stood to say my goodbyes, and all the hands I’d shaken previously had become hugs, though none too long or intimate, not like those they would share again after I left.
I felt stupid, realizing too late what wasn’t real. Tears accompanied me on the way home, expressing something I couldn’t say, not even to myself.