“The Naked Truth”

 Aggeliki Mintzia / Αγγελική Μίντζια

Listening to the political campaigns in the last days, I recalled a phrase that I heard some years ago: “This is the naked truth”. When I first heard it, I was somewhat impressed, since I couldn’t decode its meaning right away. Actually, I had the assumption that we use the word “truth” when we want to refer to a real situation; when we want to refer to a fact, or a series of facts, something that might have taken place at a specific moment in time. In other words, “truth” is reality. Given therefore that truth is reality, what does the usage of the adjective “naked” serve? How does it describe the noun “truth”? I mean that something either happened or not; either exists or not. Afterwards, being unable to reach a logical conclusion, I decided that the adjective “naked” in this case was a weakness, an example of wordiness.

Some years later, namely right now as I’m writing these lines, I have completely changed my mind. Now, I compare truth to a naked woman who is physically damaged. In order for the politicians to cover these injuries, they turn themselves into dressmakers, and they grasp the opportunity to properly dress her. Or so they think. By the way, for the May 6th elections, I have been called to vote for the political party which will take the initiative in the struggle to achieve a better tomorrow for my country. But, I have not understood yet how that word is any better defined. It’s like “truth,” suddenly suspect: I have also been told that I must make “the correct choice.” I have answered that I cannot make a correct choice, because I don’t know what the incorrect one is. As I am no longer sure how “untruth” is different from what politicians and others are calling “truth.” I have pointed out that I choose neither the right nor the wrong, because I don’t know how serious the injuries are which are hidden beneath the woman’s dress. There was no response to this. However, they keep insisting that I, the voter, must make the correct choice, a “true” choice. And I keep wondering what else I must tell them, as I like the woman Alethia (“truth”), am speechless.

About akalfopoulou

Author of three poetry collections, a book of essays, Ruin, Essays in Exilic Living, and most recently, A History of Too Much (Red Hen Press 2018).
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