The Secret Desert

Not a desert whose existence is a secret!

Not at all.


The secret desert is an analogy with the “food desert” — a part of America where nutritious food is not available, just ho-hos and cokes.

In the secret desert no secrets are available! Dad goes to work. Mom is frustrated. Sometimes she is so frustrated she just goes to the store instead of cooking us dinner and comes back with deli slices, ho-hos and cokes.

You could die in that desert and no one would care or notice.

You could live in that desert and no one would care or notice.

Because nobody would feel — Kaplan died! And we never took advantage of his brief life to learn his secret. Because here in the secret desert, there are no secrets.

And that is why, although nobody knows it, in those houses and supermarkets people are dying, starving to death, famished, emaciated, all because they have no secrets.

Starving for a lack of secrets? What nonsense is this? No nonsense. Plain honest fact.


I think we need secrets for two reasons.

What are the two reasons?

The two reasons we need secrets are: to share them and not to share them.

To those of us who grow up in the secret desert, we make up secrets to share them.

And oh, what a day, what a night it is, when the stranger becomes a friend and we share our self-made secrets!

And oh what a night, what a day it is, when we make the stranger our friend, because we share with him our self-made secrets.

But uncannily enough, we also make up secrets not to share them. You might say that that is the only way we are able to be strangers to ourselves. You might say, also, that if we are unable to be strangers to ourselves, we can never be friends to ourselves, and thus, never make it out of of the desert.

But if you did say that you would be forced to ask yourself certain questions.

For example:

How do we know what those made-up secrets are, the ones we do not tell to anybody, not even ourselves? How do we know when we have started to make them, how do we know when we have finished making them, how do we know they are cooked and ready to be not-shared?

And how can we smell that freshly-baked bread of the untold secret when we meet a stranger under the fluorescent lights of the super-market when we go, in the middle of the night, years after Mom and Dad are dead, and we are hungry for yodels, and ring-dings, and ho-hos?

That, my friend, (stranger no more!) is the secret!


Don’t tell anybody!


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