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D. T. Friedman

August 2009

There Are No Great Truths Here

If you truly wanted capital- Truth, you would stop at nothing to seek it on your own. You wouldn’t find it as a passing fancy from a grifter on the midway. Artwork : Photo by , used under the  license.
If you truly wanted capital-T Truth, you would stop at nothing to seek it on your own. You wouldn’t find it as a passing fancy from a grifter on the midway.

Artwork : Photo by Stu Seeger, used under the Creative Commons 2.0 license.

Just as the sign says, my friend. This booth is hardly grand, and the fair isn’t exactly surpassing its county roots, either, is it? Shouldn’t the truths match the environs? Anyway, if you truly wanted capital-T Truth, you would stop at nothing to seek it on your own. You wouldn’t find it as a passing fancy from a grifter on the midway.

(The D string on the guitar in your bedroom is slightly flat. That’ll be a nickel.)

(The ink stain on your rug was created in 1982, when a fountain pen exploded. Another, sir, thank you kindly.)

Reality comes in dribbles that you never notice, my friends. They are the way things are. They are the tiny secrets the world passes by.

They are delicious. They sustain me.

Only a nickel, my friend, and the knowledge of one of them is yours forever. Tiny truths that will astound!

(You have tripped on those heels a total of twenty-three times in the last seven years.)

(Don’t worry, sweetheart, she just fell behind the bed. Ask mommy for a flashlight when you get home.)

(There is a crack in the lower left corner of your bathroom mirror.)

It’s a cute trick, isn’t it? How do I do it? Of course that’s the real price. Gotta keep you coming back, don’t I? Come back any time; I can feel that you have a lot to offer.

You all have so much to offer! Let me reach out and grasp it. Let me gather these sweet drops of honey into my mouth. I will take your truth from you forever, yes, but I will whisper back the knowledge of its existence, which is almost the same thing.


You’ll never notice. And I will thrive.

Step right up!

(It’s been 3,820 minutes since you last stubbed your toe.)

(Your pickup is blue under all the mud.)

(Of course he feels the same way.)

You can’t imagine the flavor your truths contain! As I consume them they weave a jigsaw tapestry in my mind. I can see clearer with every nickel that drops into my bucket. They are small, but they accumulate. Closer and closer to a perfect picture of reality. In my arrogance, I see myself removing the word “No” from my sign some day.

No. No, of course that day will never come. The truth I contain will never be great. As truth gets greater, it gets more complex. More room for error, my friends, wouldn’t you agree? But does that mean I shouldn’t strive?

(When you were little, you lived by an orchard. A nickel, if you please.)

I imagine you always stretched for the unreachable apples once you had taken all the ripe ones from the lower branches.

So bring me these truths of torn pant cuffs and family heirlooms. The flowers that you haven’t managed to save from the summer heat. The roll of paper towels, almost out. The moonlight swims in the quarry. They are the way things are. They are true.

Step right up, my friends, for I hunger.

Come, my friends, for I thirst.

Closer. Closer.

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About the Author

D. T. Friedman

The eyes of D. T. Friedman

D. T. Friedman is a fourth-year medical student who lives in the hospitals around Central Indiana. Between taking care of her patients, studying for exams, and working with local at-risk teens, she writes character-oriented science fiction and fantasy stories. And in her spare time, she juggles fire.

Her fiction can be found in Shimmer Magazine and A Cappella Zoo. It is also archived for purchase on Anthology Builder. Her current projects include a YA science fiction novel, various short stories, and a practically-impossible-to-write personal statement for her residency applications.

She is a graduate of Orson Scott Card’s Literary Bootcamp and is an active member of Codex Online Writers’ Workshop.

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