March 11th – Fact or fiction
My name is Sarah Jones.
I am a compulsive liar.
Or am I?
Right now you’re thinking, ‘Is her name really Sarah Jones?’ and you’d be right to think that. Question everything I say. Doubt yourself. Doubt the words that tumble from my mouth like glass stones and crack at your feet.
I am twenty-seven years old. Or am I seventeen? Or forty-seven? You can see all of these if you look at me, and then judge for yourself. But if you’re just reading these words now, on the page or on the screen, then what do you believe? How do you know?
I am left-handed.
I am right-handed.
Again, that poses a problem. Which am I? Which do you want to believe?
You might tell yourself that you don’t care, that it doesn’t matter, that the games I’m playing with your head don’t matter, but the problem is, you’ve read this far, and so you’re somehow invested in this. You’re going to read to the end. You need to know.
And now you think of my first line. ‘I am a compulsive liar.’ My first line, or my first lie. Or both. It’s like one of those puzzles you remember, where one person always lies and one person always tells the truth, and you need to ask the right question to find out the right answer.
Except here there’s just me.
I’ve given you no balance, no counterweight, no-one to set my words against. Would a compulsive liar tell you that they were a compulsive liar? Would you believe them if they did?
Do you believe me?
You want to believe me, you want to frame this narrative in something, give it some sort of meaning, impose your view of an ordered world onto this to make sense of it, but what if there is no order. What if I’m telling the truth? What if I’m lying?
My name is Susan James.
I always tell the truth.
Inspired by a prompt from here
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