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Rick Aster
Lyrics

The Hidden Costs of a Secret Life

Rick Aster
February 19, 1999

You can’t keep something quiet forever
You look for a way to make it right
But people can’t see you go where you go
So you can only go there at night
You come home late, and then you lie awake
Thinking about the places you’ve been
One voice in your head says it’s what you deserve
Another voice says it’s a sin
You can’t let anyone see you yawn
When the world comes calling in the cold light of dawn
That’s when you know what it feels like
To pay the hidden costs of a secret life

You try to find ways to pull it together
But you can’t face what people would say
And that light that calls you at the end of the tunnel
Is looking farther and farther away
You know you’ve got problems you can’t figure out
But you can’t ask your friends for advice
And when you look for the answers inside your own head
You only tell yourself lies
You fall into shadows, you don’t know what’s real
You don’t even know anymore what you feel
That’s when you know what it feels like
To pay the hidden costs of a secret life

People somehow believe the story you weave
The same way they believe in each other’s
As you dimly remember the world they describe
With their dreams and their hopes and their lovers
You wish for the day when you bring it all back
When the same things can happen to you
You look for a way that the phantoms you chase
Could turn into something that’s true
Still you keep a secret inside your heart
That it’s tattered and torn and it’s broken apart
That’s when you know what it feels like
To pay the hidden costs of a secret life

Then silence takes hold, and you start to believe
You can never undo what you’ve done
You can’t break the chains and you can’t shake the smell
And there’s nowhere to turn if you run
You yell out for help, people yell back at you
They can’t see the demons you face
You can’t bring yourself to tell them the truth
And your story of shame and disgrace
No one knows what you’re talking about
And skeletons litter the only road out
That’s when you know what it feels like
To pay the hidden costs of a secret life

Go sit on a log and pick up a rock
And look at the edges and lines
Then turn it over and look at the back
To see what else you might find
A castle cannot be built out of smoke
It will simply all blow away
And your dreams too, you have to let them all go
If you just want to live through today
Thought is a luxury you cannot buy
You stop asking how and you stop asking why
That’s when you know what it feels like
To pay the hidden costs of a secret life