Rarely do we find pure honesty. Even though honesty is the best policy, we often hide our true self with little dishonesties. We hold back. We offer shades of sincerity. And in doing so, we let people see the “us” we want them to see. Seldom does anyone unpack the entire box of the human soul.
Which leads me to a moment of confession.
I confess that I like a good road atlas.
I confess that I like lemon pie enough to lick the plate when I’m done with a slice.
I confess that I love the sound of rain on a tin roof.
I confess that I wear shirts with holes in them.
I have one particular shirt that comes to mind. I was working the burn pile at the farm and didn’t realize until I got home that I had a small burn hole in the front left chest area. A floating ember had landed on my shirt. A tiny brown halo. My mind immediately went back in time. Most all of Dad’s work shirts had small burn holes in them from the foundry. I know this is corny, but when I put on that green shirt, sometimes I just reach across my chest and rub that hole with the pad of my index finger. It makes me smile.
I confess that I am not a huge fan of cats. I like them well enough to pet one and scratch his ears, but not well enough to own one.
I confess that I tossed a cat across the room one time. It was an accident. My wife won’t let me forget it. I promise I didn’t mean to do it. He was an itty bitty furball. I was asleep in bed. He snuck up on me and attacked my hand. My first reflex from a deep comatose state of mind was to snatch my hand back and sling off whatever it was that had attached itself to my skin with razors. No way I could be responsible. I was dead asleep for crying out loud.
I can still see him in slow motion. Tumbling in mid-air. Eyes extremely wide open. Little paw pads reaching for anything to grab on to. A golden blur that hit the wall and fell to the floor and scrambled off into the next room without so much as a bruise while blood leaked out of the puncture wounds on my hand.
My wife was totallly sympathetic. “You could’a hurt my kitty.” She picked him up. “Oh, poor little kitty witty. Was Papa mean to you? ‘Dat mean ‘ol man. Yes he is. He’s a mean ‘ol man. You’re such a precious little thing. Yes you are. Mama loves you.”
In the meantime . . . “Don’t worry about me. I’ll get my own warm washcloth and Neosporin. I’ll be fine. You make sure the kitty is okay. I’ll clean up the blood.”
I confess that milkshakes are one of my favorite treats.
I confess that I miss watching Looney Tunes on Saturday mornings.
I confess that I have boxes of cassette tapes that I cannot bring myself to toss away.
I confess that one of the nerdy things I do is to read my thesaurus. There’s no story line, but the things you learn are wonderful, surprising, marvelous, astonishing and prodigious. I find the reading to be quite challenging, stimulating, stirring and piquant.
I confess that I don’t know how to take a screen shot and when the tech support guy asks me to do that, I usually laugh out loud.
I confess that I text with one fat fingertip and often hit the wrong key. “Hey caM you brung ne some f thosw liyyle Dixie cu[[[s hom e fron the storrrrrrrrre? Tnkas.”
I confess that I’m afraid of things like Spotify and have no idea how to get music on my phone so I can listen to it in my truck.
I confess that I miss listening to Chicago, Creedence, Jim Croce and Harry Chapin.
I confess that my guitar playing is mediocre at best. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to be Jimmy Page or James Taylor. I became neither.
I confess that I think all modern-day radio music sucks. I drive with my radio off. Seriously. Almost never turn it on. And when I do, I’m reminded why I keep it off. Why the #$*!! did they take the cassette deck out of my truck. I can’t even play a CD anymore.
I confess that I wear the same pair of socks and underwear on consecutive days in the winter. I figure it’s too cold to sweat and stink.
I confess that I lick the knife when making a PBJ sandwich.
I confess that I drink right out of the juice jug from the fridge.
I confess that I will use a knife to slice open a biscuit, wipe it off on a towel and put it right back in the drawer. No harm no foul.
This may be uncouth of me to say in the midst of a pandemic era, but I think that having a few germs around might be helpful. I think kids ought to eat a little dirt and they ought to be okay with eating a sandwich with mud under their fingernails. They shouldn’t always have to wash, and they shouldn’t grow up being afraid of doorknobs.
I confess that I love a good fireplace.
I confess that I love the aroma of a good kitchen where goods are baked and gravies are stirred in skillets.
I confess that I am one lucky son-of-a-gun being married to a woman who knows her way around a kitchen in the simple but powerful ways of southern tradition.
I confess that I miss having all my kids around the supper table. We used to talk about everything and laugh about almost anything. We still do when we’re together, but it’s not often enough.
I confess that I like home better than any place else on the planet.
I confess that front porch swings are the best seat in the house.
I confess that I don’t hold hands with my wife near enough.
And finally, I confess that I have regrets. Things I should have done better. Forgiveness I should have offered more freely. Phone calls that I should have made. Words I should have held back. Help I could have given. Bitterness that I held on to way too long. Times I should have said yes when I said no. Afternoons when I should have taken time to play instead of work. Times when I should have thought things through more thoroughly before speaking or acting out or yelling or tossing little kitty wittys across the room.
Life is so full of mistakes and misjudgments. No one sets out to accomplish a long list of miscues or blunders or failures. But that’s what you and I have in common. We have things to confess. A need to own up to who we are and to be honest with ourselves. We all hide stuff. But it’s crazy to think that a man can ever truly hide from himself.
Whew. Glad I got this off my chest. I should probably put on a clean pair of underwear today.