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Three Lives—Public, Private, and Secret

I stare into the mirror, horrified by a new crop of gray hairs sprouting in my eyebrows. Counting the grays, I remind myself how these grays conquered my scalp and mustache. And I whisper, “Well, that’s life.”

And as I say the word “life,” a Gabriel García Márquez quote pops into my mind:

“Everyone has three lives: a public life, a private life, and a secret life.”

I love its simplicity.

I love its beauty.

I know my public life is shared and exposed with my readers. How sad or lucky for you.

I know my private life is only shared with my inner circle. How sad or lucky for them.

Finally, I wonder, “What about my secret life?”

I share it with no one.

I’m not Catholic, so I don’t share it with a priest.

I don’t visit a psychiatrist, so I don’t share it with a shrink.

But I do share it with G-d? (Yom Kippur)

Well, it’s still a secret life because G-d isn’t going to blab about it.

I might be sharing it with my departed relatives, if heaven forbid, they’re watching me.

Who knows? But they’re not going to rat me out.

Most of my secret life is buried in the earth of my past. Where I have edited it into strands of graying memories. Memories of what could have been, if only I had done that or taken a risk. Sad memories of lost opportunities. Happy memories of courageous acts leading to unforgettable experiences.

And some of these memories turn into dreams which I do not share with friends or family.

Secret white dreams hidden in my dark secret life. Where my imagination runs wild. And X-rated scenes appear from the land of make believe.

A make-believe world filled with thoughts created in the shower or on the bowl or in bed when I am alone;

A solitude world filled with sniffs and licks and X-rated thoughts.

Thoughts not to be voiced for fear of being labeled a “pervert.”

Okay perverts, now ask yourselves, “Would anybody pay the price of a movie ticket to see your public life or your private life? You know the answer.

But confess, your secret life would draw a line of viewers circling the theater.

And we all should thank G-d, for those short gray hairs, for the genius of Gabriel García Márquez, and for our X-rated secret lives.

For they make our lives so much more interesting.

About the Author
Florida's Jewish short-story writer, speaker, film producer and retired attorney. He has authored, "A Hebraic Obsession", "The Hanukkah Bunny" and "The Greatest Gift." He produced an award-winning short film entitled, "The Stairs". Movie can be viewed on my TOI blog. ChatGPT says, Mort is known for his works that often explore themes of love, loss, and the human connection. Laitner has published several books , including “A Hebraic Obsession.” His writing style is characterized by its emotional depth and introspection. Laitner’s works have garnered praise for their heartfelt expression and keen insight into the human experience.
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