OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALiz breezes in and catches the edge of my office door as if fighting the hall tide. “Hey, you have those photos ready from yesterday’s shoot?”

From where I’m standing I can just see the photos, poking out from under my portfolio on the desk. I discreetly tuck them under without drawing her attention. “Oh… no,” I say, feigning concern. “You know, I left them at home? I feel like such an idiot!”

My coworker is no longer breezing. “Hold on,” she says. “You do know we need those photos for the review, Jeff. We need the photos, or there is no review!”

“Of course I know,” I say, holding up my hands in concession. “I just… maybe I can run home and get them.”

Liz looks at her watch. “If you can get home and back in a half-”

“Oh, wait, but I took the bus this morning,” I say. “So that’s probably out.”

There is a place in my mind where I can discriminate between truth and utter fabrication, but that place is not unlike an art gallery. Some items are closer to reality, certainly, but does that make the impressionist pieces any less valid from an artistic standpoint? There is beauty in deceit, without question. I lie just to see the resultant frustration bloom–it’s the same satisfaction a gardener feels standing ankle deep in loam, his bag of seed empty. People lie to cover their asses, to make themselves look good, or to evade punishment. But any half-rate actor could tell you that drama is only interesting when obstacles are overcome, when the stakes are high. When people are happy and satisfied, well, that can hardly be called living.
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