My name is Maria. Named after the Virgin Mary, of course. She and I don't have much in common, but I like to think we share at least one thing. Mary, virgin mother of Jesus and wife in name - but not body - to Joseph, led a secret life. Her marriage was a sham, if a tender one, and her son was a mystery. She had a different understanding of God from every single one of her neighbors. She, a humble, poor woman, was the mother of God! Yet she couldn't say a thing to anyone. I'd bet even Joseph didn't know much of it, though maybe she whispered in the ear of the infant Jesus. I can't even imagine what that much secrecy felt like. A heavy blanket covering her body? A brick wall dividing her soul? I don't know.
Like Mary, I have a small secret life of my own. It couldn't be any other way, I think. Perhaps it's just the legacy of my name, but I think that everyone should have a secret life. It protects us, keeps some part of our self safe, clean from the scrutiny and insinuations of others. In our secret life, we know what we do is for ourselves, or maybe for God. Now, I don't deceive myself. The presence of a secret life by no means predicates goodness. What are murderers but those who live secret lives? I know the tragedy that such secret manifestation of self can wreck. But that isn't an argument against secret life. People come in all types, and anyone can distort beauty.
But enough philosophizing. It's not like me, usually. Only on this topic. I want to tell you about my secret life, but I can tell I'm delaying the action of turning it over, relinquishing it to the anarchy of others. Still I remind myself, I am about to die, and this secret life will soon be of little use to me. Maybe it will be of use to you, if as entertainment only. And where I come from, we live off entertainment. Sometimes there's not much more to go on.
Continue to Part 2.