By Chris F. Holm
Trust. A loaded topic if ever there was one, particularly for a cadre of professional liars to kick around.
This probably won’t come as much surprise to anyone who’s read my fiction, but I ain’t exactly the trusting sort. Not that I started out the cynical bastard I am today. I was once a pie-eyed, trusting kid; my worldview's hard-earned. I’ve met my share of hucksters, fiends, and outright unreliables in life. I’ve been knocked around both literally and figuratively by folks who were supposed to have my back; I’ve been betrayed by friends; I’ve been let down by heroes, partners, and confidantes. (That, or I'm fortunate enough to've lived a relatively charmed existence, free from strife, so I was forced to manufacture some deep-seated trust-issues for the purpose of this blog post. I am a professional liar, after all.)
So you wanna know who I trust? I trust those selfsame professional liars. As Michael mentioned in his post, the trick to trust is to do so wisely and well, and he ain’t wrong the words “Trust me” ain’t often uttered by the trustworthy. Well, if that’s the case, then maybe the reverse is true. So color fiction my Bokononism, ’cause as far as I’m concerned, fiction’s just lies to live by.
I trust Chandler when he tells me dead men are heavier than broken hearts, and I hope to God I never have the opportunity to prove him wrong.
When Christie suggests that very few of us are what we seem, I take her at her word.
Thanks to Joseph Heller, I’m convinced it’s possible to buy eggs for seven cents, sell them for for five cents, and make a tidy profit.
Doyle’s edict that if I eliminate the impossible, then whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth sure rings true to me.
Though I’ve no idea what the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything is, I’m certain Douglas Adams will be proven right in his assertion that the answer is 42. (That dude really knew where his towel was.)
Le Carré, a professional liar in more than one respect, once told me a desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world, and I believe him.
And when Vonnegut instructed the babies of the world, “God damn it, you’ve got to be kind,” I knew he was a liar I could get behind.
So there you have it: I trust the liars. And you know what? So far, the liars have done right by me. After all, every now and again, life's bound to let you down, but fiction never will. Trust me on that one.
Oh, and speaking of lies, if you’d like to read some more of mine, my debut novel DEAD HARVEST is on sale now. In it, you’ll find ten tips to a flatter stomach, pointers on getting rich by placing tiny classified ads in newspapers all over the country, and the recipe for my one-step foolproof lo-cal Hollandaise.