Over the course of my life, I've told a lot of secrets to a lot of people. But mostly, none of those people are around any more. I've thought about what it would mean to keep those secrets all in one book and what that book would be. It would be like the portrait of Dorian Gray -- ever showing my corruption and evil while nothing happens to me. Except that it wouldn't be a work of art to caress. It would be the icon of my awfulness.
Oh, I paint myself as horrible, I know. One of my secrets -- one that I told recently to my best friend -- is that I have to be "on" all the time. I have to be ever aware of who I'm with, what I'm doing, what I say. Most of my peers think that I'm a pretty nifty fellow. They might be wrong.
You see, they don't know me. No one knows me anymore. No one has known me since I can remember.
I don't talk a lot anymore. If you pay attention, you'll see that I stop talking if I'm not holding the conch. You'll see that I eventually walk away. It's not that I don't want to be there participating. It's that I've learned when it's a good idea to hush and be absent.
I'm far too large to be invisible, but I can be silent. And I can listen. I don't miss a word. Maybe that's why no one stays around me for very long. It's because I listen to what people say. And you know what? They tell me their secrets.
They don't even know they're doing it.