A Million Lies

Written by David Dylan

Lyrics quoted: "Chrome" -VNV Nation-

Winter was coming to an end, as it so often does, with a stutter and a sigh. Snow had given way to mud, damp and the kind of smell that tells of spring to come but does not, yet, bring it.

The platform was empty. The few late travellers on the last train did not speak, the cold light revealing what they had hoped make-up and the warm lights of bars and clubs would conceal.

"... against all wisdom you heed no warningyour desires giving you away ..."

He nodded off, he was tired. It had been a decent party but he wondered, as he so often did, why it was worth three hours of travel. He hated public transport. He hated trains, buses, if it wasn't a car, he hated it.

But it wasn't cold. It was quite comfortable, in fact. The night was dark, with an almost blue sheen to the sky. Dirty yellow lights streaked past as the rumbling rusty old train brought home closer with every shaking mile.

"... If I could change your mindI wouldn't save you from the path you wanderin desperation dreams any soul can set you free ..."

Then, what else would he do? Not go any more? It was always that, wasn't it; either you go, or they don't come. And then you either play host, or the host plays nice. You meet faces, they talk to you, you listen. Then, sometimes, there's one face you like. It becomes a person. A person with faults and saving graces.

Then there's those that don't even become a face. The clouds that walk in and darken the room. People you instantly dislike are usually the ones that deserve it the most. And there's always one.

"... and I still hear you screamin every breath, in every single motionburning innocence the fire to set you free ..."

But what made him wonder about going to these social events was not the trip. He'd spent his life with the world on his shoulders, until it came bearing down with all of it's weight and crushed him.

He'd shrugged off the weight. Given up, perhaps. He'd cut loose all those who were a drain on him, for one reason or another. It felt good.

"... All creation has the promise of heavenand still you travel the road to hellI'm saying nothing for the good of myselfbut I'm still talking and you're not listening ..."

The party was in full swing. Lights danced on the tarred plateau.

Up on a roof, thirty or so meters above the tempting, wet and glistening, ground; he sometimes imagined how cool it would feel in those last few seconds, she was outlined against the almost luminescent city sky.

The world had come back, looking for that spot right above the neck where it can press you down. No-one climbed after her, as a sweet smelling cigarette made its round.

Hello my old friend. Hello world. There we go again, right?

He climbed after her, ignoring a blinding fear of heights that made every fibre of his being fight his actions.

"... as night descends upon the citythe streets are cold, the lights go by ..."

The train pulled into the station. He walked down the steps towards the bus that would take him home, where he wouldn't have to see things that made him nice again. Where people don't get raped, don't cry on your shoulder, don't sit in a wicker chair like a wounded puppy, looking at you as if you have any of the answers they seek. Only to go back to let it all happen again.

"... and in the stories of the peoplea million faces, a million lies ..."

Never is a lie a greater deception, when it is a truth denied. And in the end it comes down to two options; do you push or pull? Away from the ledge for one last time, until the next? Offer your shoulder once again, as other people's sorrow eats away at your life a little bit at a time, a sacrifice you know you will not receive in return. Retribution is easier given than reward.

Such is the weight of the world.

"... and in their faces, their expressionsa million faces, a million lies ..."

And when the tears dry comes the time to deny them. Go do it all again, because there's always that shoulder.

That's the third kind of person that is not a face. The consolation-taker.

And again, and again.

"... All creation has the promise of heavenand still you travel the road to hell ..."

He closed his front door behind him. He was tired, so tired. He fell backwards onto his bed. Sleep would not come, he knew. The cycle was not complete yet. He hadn't had his reward yet, but soon he would, he knew.

She would stomp on his heart, confident that the shoulder would still be there next time. His or someone else's.

Until, and this was strangely enough a comforting thought, one day it wouldn't be.

"... and in their faces, their expressionsa million faces, a million lies ..."