A Life Lie – Impostor Truth
This has been weighing on my heart ever since I told my family and close friends this story, and after going through my recent centering exercise, I am going to hold true to my principles and values. Truthfulness, transparency, and ownership are pillars of my mindset and I am going to stay steadfast. If you do not want to read the whole letter, please know up front that I am sorry for lying to you.
I’m in the middle of a 2-day fast, sitting in the woods, and trying to figure out how to put my thoughts and actions into truthful words that follow what I believe. I don’t have any excuses for my action, but I have thoughts on my motives. In the end, I fucked up.
When I told my family this story I was searching for an identity. I lost my mind, including my mission and values, and it took me a long time to find them. When I told them, the story of me fighting two would-be-rapists downtown, I had laid a narrative of who I wanted to be and voiced it as a factual event. That was wrong, and I am saying that I am deeply sorry for telling you this, and even more so for not owning the truth earlier. The time passed since telling them this lie, is what I am most ashamed of. All this time you’ve potentially had this picture of me in your mind.
I used this narrative to build myself into that person, by which I hope you can forgive me. That being said, I know that it may take time to build trust again. I want you to know that this is the only lie I know of that I have told multiple people.
The story was published on my blog after I told this story (as stated truthfully, “in a moment of ego-weakness”). I remember realizing that I was telling the story (after not telling it for probably 10 years) while wondering why I was doing it. I justified telling the story because I had told my family the story too and it was just part of who I am. No. I was telling the story, now, because I was looking to project who I thought I was and was trying to get validation. This was insecure and wrong. I panicked and wrote the blog to solidify my imposter actions. Again, wrong.
I am ready for the consequences of my actions and will approach them with as much openness and ego-less-ness as I can. If you can see it in yourself to let me build trust again I would be hugely grateful for the opportunity. If not, I understand. Thank you for hearing me.
With humble love,
It was a cloudy, crisp, dark Thursday evening at the tail-end of autumn in 2005, and my heart was racing.
We were really busy at the restaurant that night, where I was a white-jacket wearing busboy, clearing decadent and expensive plates of delectable food for the wealthy and setting tables to pay the bills. It was my turn to close that night which usually left me to be the last one, or second to last one, to leave, and I was ready to go party with the boys.
I left the back of the building and started off swiftly to my car through the alley, crossed over Elm st. and headed into the McFarland St. Alley. Part of our uniform for work was black slacks and dress shoes, and I would always wear a white undershirt. That night I forgot a winter jacket, so I was pretty chilled and was, therefore, rushing to get home.
As soon as I got into the alley I heard the muffled screams of a woman and it was immediately unnerving. I jumped behind a dumpster and peered around the corner to see what was going on. The alley was dimly lit by the parking garage which gave off a foggy yellow tint.
There were two men wearing black pants, shirts, and ski masks holding down a woman. One was above her holding her face and the other was on his knees trying to take her pants off; she was flailing about in a panicked state. By fighting with all her might she had managed to keep her pants and undergarments on to around mid-thigh at the point I could see them.
I was not going to let my conscience eat at me for the rest of my life for what was going to happen to that woman if I didn’t do something. So, while huddled behind the dumpster, I looked around for something to use against those fucks. Not finding anything immediately, I looked under the dumpster and found a rusty pipe that was about two feet long and had a hinge on it. Maybe it was from some scaffolding. The hinge wouldn’t come off, but trying to pry it gave me a moment to collect myself; what the fuck was I doing?
It was go-time. I grabbed the pipe with both hands around the hinge and ran towards the group as fast as I could. I swung like Ken Griffey Jr. at the side of the guys head who was on his knees – they didn’t see me coming. He crumpled and lay there while I recoiled and tried to swing at the second piece of shit. I missed, and that’s when I saw the glint of a blade that had just passed by me and heard the screams of the assaulted woman. I swung my weapon with all my might as the knife came back at me and I missed my target. Instead of hitting his head I hit his shoulder with a thud and he ran off into the alley, around the corner, and vanished.
I wanted to see if the woman was hurt, but she had immediately started running and pulling her pants up. She vanished just as fast as he did, and I wasn’t about to give a fuck about the guy I just smashed, so I started running down the alley too. My heart was pounding with adrenaline. Did I just kill a guy? Is she ok? Honestly, WTF?
I got to my shitty car and sped off to my house where I sat outside for a half hour before I could calm down. On the ride home through Clifton, I noticed blood on my white T and discovered it was me. There wasn’t a ton of it, but the gash was pretty telling that he got me and it made me furious. I was a scrawny guy at the time as I was just getting over my drug abuse, and getting slashed made me realize that it was time to start building my body. It was quite the ego trip – I felt like Batman. But Batman wouldn’t have gotten slashed and would’ve caught the other assailant. Who was I, though, to have maybe taken a life? I couldn’t tell anyone about this night for quite a while. Too scared. And, I wish that I never did. [Since I’ve already told several people about this, I want to stay transparent – hence this post.]
For two weeks I watched the news to see if the incident would get reported and feared that I would get a knock on the front door; getting arrested for homicide. Maybe the police would come to interrogate me. There was never any mention of it on the news or in the papers, and I cautiously started to calm down; assuming that the guy didn’t die and that the woman was safe. I suppose I’ll never know the truth, but I’m happy with the results of my actions that night – not because of the ego boost, but because that woman got out of a crazy situation, and I can assume that I didn’t kill someone. To be honest, fuck him.
Yes. Yes, I would like to think that if I came across that situation again I would act similarly. Do I think I have the right to decide life/death? No. With a caveat – if someone is doing something completely immoral, hurting my family/friends/people around me, being evil essentially, yes, I want to intervene. And I stand by that.
Be safe. Stay safe. Do good.