Vignette: The pathological liar

Ok, I know I’m terribly late in posting this, but it’s 11pm here as I write, so technically it’s still Tuesday, right?

Alright, fine, I have no excuse…except that I’m actually flying to China tomorrow and am frantically packing for the trip right about now. I’m not sure if I can actually manage to post on friday/next tuesday from China, depending on my schedule but I will try my best to make it!

Some time back I did say that occasionally I might try something different and experiment on this site. Well, today’s one of those days I guess! I once read about creative writing and how some writers actually do create vignettes of their characters, to give them some sort of form, and I thought I’d try it myself, even if I’m not actually going to write a novel.

“Why do I lie? Why do humans lie?”

No, I’m not talking about those crappy white lies you tell your relatives because you’re afraid they can’t handle the truth. I’m talking lies. The kind I tell. I’m an accomplished novelist who started out ghostwriting for Stephen King. No, I’m an insurance agent with a electrical engineering diploma who’ve made it to the top 100 agents at Dennis Properties. Or the like. You get the idea.

People lie, because they want to look better. They want to be perceived as having a higher value than you. They lie because they know they’ll be despised if they don’t do it. Honesty doesn’t pay. But I’ve seen past it. If I were to ask you, who are you? What would you answer?

“My name is Angeline Chan.”

no, I’m not asking for that label your parents gave you to distinguish you from other humans.

“I’m…a high school teacher.”

no, I’m not asking for that label that defines society’s expectations of you.

“I’m human?”

no, I’m not asking for that label that separates you from the other creatures that inhabit this planet.

“I…I AM ME!”

Yes, but who are you? Truth is, you’re nothing. You had no purpose, and entered the world by chance, and when you started being conscious of labels you started wrapping yourself in it, like everyone else. If I were to strip off all these labels, one by one, like layers of onion, you’ll be nothing.

We talk about an egalitarian society, but deep down we all know it’s bullshit. From the moment we’re conscious of labels, we’re stuck in an eternal power struggle with other human beings. We want to be better than the guy next door. We want to exhibit power. We want to have power. We want to be power itself. I simply take it to the extreme. Don’t tell me you’ve never indulged in a little bit of exaggeration yourself. On your CV, perhaps? Or when you wanted to fuck that girl.

We’re judgmental, but we hate to be judged. And we hate to have people know we judge them. Think about it. The girl who suddenly had something crop up and had to leave your “interesting date”? That guy at networking who decided to “help himself to more coffee” after hearing you’re a lowly executive assistant at an unknown startup?

Such pathetic animals we are.

And it is this fundamental failing I detest in all of you. Think back. I inflated my worth. I’m an accomplished novelist, experienced surgeon, or a portfolio manager, depending on when you talk to me and what I had for breakfast.


You prejudge and turn down that date, leaving midway. You inflate your worth on a worthless piece of paper. You judge, and you lie, and you stand feeling smug about the righteousness of your deed. It can’t be helped. It’s only what we can do to survive in this harsh reality, so you say. And then you call me a pathological liar, someone who doesn’t feed you the information you want so you can make an accurate judgment and banish me accordingly. You and your fucked up morals.

That’s why I lie. I detest the word “pathological”. Pathos imply it’s a disease, yet it’s not. It’s my response. This is what you do to get ahead in life. This is what I take to the extremes and bring everyone for a ride.

It’s my response to this crummy little corner of filth you call your moral values. And I will continue to respond, to lie, to mindfuck you into believing the most fantastic lies you could never make in your wildest dreams. Look at my bespoke suit, my Patek Phillipe, my memorized-by-rote rendition of Satie’s Gymnopédie.

“Hi, name’s Steven, risk manager at…oh wait, here let me pass you my card…”

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