Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) was a man of many talents: blood spatter expert, master detective, murder room feng shui artist, and the foremost authority on eating while driving. However, the one thing that he most excelled at (besides surprise neck injections) was his ability to keep a secret. Over eight seasons on Showtime’s Dexter (which you can stream on Showtime Anytime), we watched the title character carefully add new levels to his house of cards, working tirelessly to keep his secret life as a compulsive and meticulous serial killer under wraps. So, the next time you need to keep something (far less murder-y and crime-y) a secret (like your love of reality TV or the fact that you lie about your age on dating sites… as examples of more innocent types of secrets), let these Dexter Morgan quotes be your guide.
“People fake a lot of human interactions, but I feel like I fake them all, and I fake them very well. That’s my burden, I guess.”
This is Dexter Morgan in a nutshell, scoffing at humanity while at the same time wishing he were more a part of it. Dexter’s world was one built entirely out of secrets, and just as his adopted father, Harry (James Remar), trained him to do his whole life, he hides those secrets behind his effort to look, act, and be normal. If you’re trying to keep something sensitive to yourself, or at least away from the prying ears of others, act like nothing’s out of the ordinary, and it should be smooth sailing.
“It’s simple human nature to keep little secrets about ourselves. We all do it. I dye my hair. I watch Internet pornography.”
Keeping a secret can prove to be a heavy burden. You can start to feel like everyone’s watching you and they all just know that you’re hiding something, don’t they? That kind of pressure can be too much for some people, and if you start to worry that you might not be able to handle it, just remember that you’re not alone here. As Dexter’s quick to point out, everyone has at least one thing about themselves they’d like to keep hidden, so suddenly your secret won’t seem like so much of a burden. Although let’s hope that nothing you’re keeping to yourself would require you to, say, make a last-minute dash to Budapest or constantly stress over the possibility that someone will give your air conditioner a thorough cleaning.
“I’m more of a crying-on-the-inside kind of guy.”
Let’s say you’ve got the secrecy thing down, you’ll want to remember not to be too good at it. If that happens your covert demeanor may, ironically, be what calls attention to you. When Rita (Julie Benz) laments to Dexter about the awfulness of the day-to-day world, she asks him why he doesn’t seem to be impacted by these things on any level. He does his best to cover it up by telling a lie, making himself out to be the guarded, yet sensitive type instead of someone who is cold on the inside.
“Maybe if I don’t blink, my eyes will tear up.”
If a surreptitious life has left you a little hollowed out in the emotions department, claiming to be a “crying-on-the-inside” guy might get you out of some incidental moments where feigning an emotional reaction would be commonplace. Should you find yourself in a more intimate setting, however, like when Dexter watches Terms of Endearment with Rita, you’re going to have to do better than that. Honestly, your best bet is to rip out a nose hair. That’ll really get the waterworks flowing.
“My best hope of losing him is to act relentlessly normal. Dull. So I bowl. What’s really disturbing is that I’m good at it.”
Dexter’s always been aware that Sergeant Doakes’ (Erik King) was always a little off-put by him, and after he makes his killing of his brother, Brian (Christian Carmado), aka The Ice Truck Killer, look like a suicide, Doakes is the only member of the Miami PD not fooled by it. Instead, Doakes’ suspicions toward Dexter reaches a fevered peak, following him night after night, hoping to catch him in the act of… anything, really. So, Dexter does what he can to throw him off his scent, like joining his department’s bowling league. When you’ve got a coworker breathing down your neck and looking for answers (because you’re not as good at covering up your long lunches as you think you are), your best bet is to try and act as normal as possible. All that mind-numbing boredom might just save your butt.
“You pretend the feelings are there — for the world, for the people around you. Who knows? Maybe one day they will be.”
One thing that Dexter knew was that whatever pretense he used to shroud his secrets, it needed to be believable. Luckily, he had Harry to help him navigate his early years when he had to come to terms with what he called his “Dark Passenger.” When Dexter once again crosses paths with teenage psychopath Jeremy Downs (Mark L. Young), you can tell that he longs to house normal feelings within himself but he also explains the value of deception in the effort to keep one’s secrets in a metaphorical garbage bag at the bottom of the bay… which is to say, well-covered.
Don’t let that get out, though. That can be our little secret.