Every. Single. Day.

It starts the same.

“So you’re from New Mexico?” Somebody will ask, motioning down to the Zia tattoo on my forearm as I scan their frozen pizzas and canned meats.

“Yeah, all my family is from Albuquerque,” trying to end this conversation as soon as it starts.

If I’m lucky, it’ll end there, but some will go on. It turns out, a lot of my customers are from New Mexico as well and they’ll go on about how beautiful it is and I’ll nod, agreeing and commenting with things like, “yeah, it’s gorgeous there.”

The truth is, I’m not from New Mexico, I’ve never even been there. My family isn’t either.

Shortly after I turned 18, I was an angsty teenager ready to put a mark on my body forever. It could’ve been anything, I wouldn’t have cared.

However, I didn’t realize what I did get would cause me to lie every day of my life.

I had always been into everything Zodiac, doing extensive research on my rising moon, planet, things like that. I was a Leo, and extremely proud. Because the Leo’s planet is the sun (which never made sense to me, because the sun isn’t a planet) I wanted to get the sun symbol tattooed on me. However, there was one problem. The symbol for the sun was as simple as it could get – a large circle with a solid dot in the center.

Unfortunately, after being set on having it tattooed for so long, my mind changed the day of, after one of my friends convinced me it looked like part of the female anatomy.

That same day I relentlessly researched other sun symbols. Then I stumbled across the Zia, which after reading I instantly fell in love with what it represented. I showed the symbol to my dad and to my surprise found out that it was (to his knowledge) “everywhere in El Paso,” which was perfect because my mom’s side of the family all lived in El Paso.

At 11 p.m. I made the fateful decision of driving to the closest tattoo parlour and having it tattooed, for a price I later found out was way more than I should have payed. But being a naive, ignorant teenager, I was pleased.

At first, when the New Mexico question would arise, I’d explain the truth, that it related to my Zodiac sign and why I didn’t get the original sun symbol.

However, working at a fast-paced job where your conversation with customers is supposed to be similar to small talk, the explanation would take far too long.

So what did I resort to? Lying.

It’s so much easier to say, “yeah, my family is from Albuquerque.” Six simple words.

However, it’s turned me into a liar and I’ve found myself in this odd trap I can’t escape, mostly because a lot of my customers are regulars and I see them at least twice a week. Every time I see their face, I can’t help but feel guilty. I’ve totally lied to the majority of our customers.

It’s gotten to the point where even my co-workers think I’m from New Mexico because they overhear me saying it to customers. What have I done?!

In the future, it will probably turn into a cover-up, I can’t lie forever. Until then, a long-sleeved T-shirt will do.