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THE TRUTH ABOUT FICTION
by: Max Burbank

Recently in therapy I recovered memories of having been ritually abused by my parents. Not my memories, mind you. When my therapist took a quick "powder room" break, I availed myself of the opportunity to rewind her cassette recorder and listen to some of her last session. It was hysterical. I then appropriated the memory as my own and repeated it verbatim when my therapist returned. I'm sure had she'd have tumbled to my little prank had she not nodded off, particularly as the patient whoıs traumatic experiences I stole was a woman, a detail I didnıt bother to alter.

Okay, almost none of the above is true. I donıt see a therapist. I discuss my problems with my wife who rarely falls asleep during our conversations although if I "kept my voice down" as she repeatedly urges, she might. She would be hard pressed to mistake me for a woman, as that was before we met and was on a strictly professional basis. She doesn't know and wonıt, unless she reads this. So hush now. Shhhh.

The second paragraph of this piece contained only one truth. I am indeed married. How many times so far have I fooled you? And how do you know I'm telling the truth now? You can't. You don't know me. Or, more accurately you do. You're reading this piece on the internet, a media that makes cable access look classy. You're almost certainly a friend or spouse I told about this piece. I sent you an e-mail with a link to the site. Otherwise, and lets be honest here, youıd never even know this site existed. But my point remains the same. Whether you're a close friend, my contact in the Federal Witness Protection Program or some complete stranger who ended up here by accident while searching for free porn involving Firemen, you're ready, even eager to believe whatever the hell pap I lay down. That's the nature of fiction. You, gentle reader, want to believe it, as opposed to news coverage which you're convinced is managed by the United Nations, the Tri-Lateral Commission or Aliens, depending on which medications you take to manage your chemical imbalance of choice.

Who is the author, really, and what can you tell about him? And why the hell do you even want to know? What's wrong with you, what do you people want, blood? I think that's what Stendahl was trying to say in "The Red and the Black" and I say this without fear of conviction because if you:

  1. Ever read Stendahl

  2. Can recall one damn word of anything by him since
    virtually all your time in Comparative Lit was spent wondering which of your classmates might sleep with you if you asked them nicely, and

  3. Are on this web site reading this essay The statistical likelihood of your existence is so small as to render you impossible.

Come on, admit it. You said "Shazam" when you were a kid, just to see what happened. After reading "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe" you climbed to the back of every wardrobe you could find, right after you got a dictionary and found out what the hell a wardrobe was. You won't admit this to anyone, but in your heart of hearts, you're pretty certain right now that Anne Rice actually knows real vampires! Why? That's just the kind of U.S.D.A, Prime Choice Dork you are. But thatıs okay. We all are. All us "bookworms". They told us way back in grade school we were wieners 'cause we used big words, and you know what? They were right. We leap on fiction as truth, because the truth would make damn slow fiction. The tedious, humdrum, crushing regularity of our tawdry little lives would make a late night, Animal Channel documentary on the life cycle of the Boll Weevil look like a by God Action Adventure movie and not the Steven Segal kind, either! And Hah! I got you again! Because my life is spectacular and huge and wonderful in every way! This is just a "voice", see, I'm adopting for this piece, a P.O.V., O.K.? Any reflection on the real me, who you do not know at all, is misdirection! This may read like the work of a disaffected, chronically alienated, heavy drinkinı sauce hound who can barely finish a sentence without flailing for the bottle with clammy, shaking mitts, but the truth is Iım buff as hell and I have sex constantly!

All, right, all right, Iım not married. At least not when Iım out at the bars! Thank you, and goodnight!

note: -RoG- would like to add that he gets all of his reading done on the internet and he knows who Max really is: a sanitation engineer from Nebraska who's hooked on amphetamines and is the son of Gilbert Godfried.


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