Simon Smith's Autobiography
Chapter 5 The Myth of Trust
Billy Bragg, the politically inspired singer song writer, once wrote the lines, “I woke up this morning to find out that we had outlived the myth of trust”.
I recently had a few friends read over the first drafts of this and they all questioned the validity of Boris' stories. I told Boris this and he suggested that maybe I should tone down his stories so that people would find them easier to believe.
If there's something my childhood experiences taught me it was that trust is a hard earned and fragile commodity. In relationships I yearn to trust but am continuously dubious.
I want to take you to a recent experience of mine before taking you to earlier ones because it is the cold clammy fear that comes to me right now that is partly behind my desire to write this.
The past would just be a story if it didn't continue to affect me now.
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One day I was in a hotel room in Israel with my father and Barney Smith, I told them I was going somewhere for 5 minutes and left my pda recording without telling them. When I got back I told them I had recorded them but had the graciousness to tell them. I asked their permission to listen in, which they gave. So I proceeded to do so which included Boris telling Barney about my mother.
Listening in on someone talking about oneself or reading a diary or someone's mail I have learnt is not a good idea. When I was seventeen I looked at a girlfriend's diary and saw the words “The bastard. Simon came around”. Once I saw this I couldn't contain myself and asked her about it. She showed me it and I realised that the words “the Bastard” referred to the previous few lines rant about a teacher and the full stop between bastard and Simon made all the difference. In that situation I had shown my paranoia, shown that I had pried and also shown that I was not strong enough to burden myself with a secret. The burden of prying is one that tends to be far more emotionally tolling than it's worth.
Tonight I was out with my most recent girlfriend well we've just split up and are trying to remain friends. We were sitting in a theatre bar chatting with a mutual friend. I needed to go to the toilet so I turned my phone to silent because my ex hates its petulant ring and I walked away. When I returned I picked the phone up to turn its ringer back on and realised it was recording. I looked puzzled for a moment and my ex said “why are you recording us?” to which I said I didn't do it on purpose. I had no motive to. They were not likely to talk about me in such a way that would be of any great interest.
He might have asked her how it was going and she might have said we'd split up but there wouldn't be any great revelations. She keeps her feelings very much to herself. But as it hit me that they both thought I was prying on them I had a cold shudder run through me.
I felt fate had dealt me a blow, in fact one of many that had been dealt in this relationship, and I wondered to myself what damage this would do to our attempt at a friendship. I had already told our mutual friend that my insecurity had led partly to our downfall but now in front of him he possibly would interpret that I really was far more insecure than I'd let on. I wanted to cry because I hadn't cared about what they said about me but now I cared very much about what they would think of me because they might no longer trust me. I felt paralysed in front of the blazing headlights of fate.
End of chapter 5