I was reading this piece Digby wrote about today’s anniversary of the Kent State shootings, and I had a sudden flashback of the alcoholic judge I used to date.
I honestly don’t know if it was the grandiosity typical of the advanced alcoholic, or simply hardwired into his psyche, but he was the biggest liar I’ve ever met. He was so prolific, so over the top, he reminded me of the Michael Keaton character in “The Dream Team”. (In a scene where they’re driving past the World Trade Center, Keaton points to it and says, “See that? I designed them.”)
He was forever name-dropping, but it simply doesn’t work with me. I’ve known lots of interesting, creative people (some of them famous) and it’s just not such a big deal. (The only time I’ve ever been starstruck was just a few weeks ago, when I found out someone I know hung out with Laura Nyro for a year. “Really?” I said, and started pressing for details.)
Some of the whoppers the judge told me:
* The FBI hounded him because of his high-profile anti-war activities.
* He was an Olympic lacrosse coach.
* He played keyboards with Al Kooper.
* He was a semiotics genius who’d invented the smile button. (And apparently thought that was something to brag about!)
* His marriage broke up when he caught his wife in bed with her girlfriend. (They split up because she gave him an ultimatum about his drinking.)
* He was a helicopter pilot in Vietnam who helped evacuate the Saigon embassy. When I challenged him, saying the Marines evacuated it, he gave me a knowing smile and said he’d been on assignment with the CIA – but he couldn’t tell me about it.
* Oh and by the way, he’d recently been diagnosed with leukemia and wasn’t it ironic that he’d found true love with me, only to have it snatched away by a cruel fate?
The real kicker, though, was when he told me he was best friends with one of the guys killed at Kent State, and was even supposed to be there that day. “I thought you went to Michigan State,” I said.
“Yes, but I was supposed to be there that day,” he said.
Whatever. When I broke things off with him, people started cautiously approaching me. “You’re not dating him anymore, right?” Nope, I told them. Then the stories came, and I was floored. I couldn’t believe I’d been involved with someone so very duplicitous. (It was not the last time I was to wonder.) Turned out he was one of those people who sort of appropriated stories he heard from other people and passed them off as his own, and I was in shock. Devastated, really. (My shrink told me not to beat myself up. “You only went out with him for a few months,” he said. “It’s not as if you married him.”)
I did get over him eventually, and cautiously moved on to less obvious liars. But now I realize that I just like storytellers – like me. They may not have been writers in the literal sense, but they wove such glittering tall tales for me, and for a long time, I loved to listen. So I’m not mad anymore, just amused.
I loved how many people were insisting this man was set up for raping a hotel maid. I’m sure this one’s a setup, too:
A 25-year-old Belgian sex worker has accused former French finance minister and head of the IMF Dominique Strauss-Kahn of gang rape, saying that he and three other men forcibly restrained and sodomized her in a room at Washington, DC’s tony W hotel. U.K. news daily The Telegraph reports that the alleged incident took place in December of 2010. It has come to light as part of an ongoing investigation of Strauss-Kahn by French authorities, who have charged him with “aggravated pimping in an organized gang.”
The young woman, who called Strauss-Kahn “a nasty piece of work,” was a prostitute based out of Lille, France and is known to the court as “Marie-Anne S.” The “violent scene” she described to prosecutors, however, took place here in the U.S., where earlier this week, a judge denied DSK’s plea of diplomatic immunity in a civil suit filed against him regarding an alleged assault on a hotel maid in New York City. Criminal charges were dismissed against the diplomat in that investigation last year amid questions about the accuser’s credibility.