Thursday, March 3, 2011

As Wilde As I Get

Illusion is the first of all pleasures. -Oscar Wilde

We are all excellent deceivers, first and foremost to ourselves. We constantly face things that we don't want to acknowledge, things that seem all to much of a coincidence...

It's not a new practice for me to go by many different names, especially on the internet. It allows me to separate my interests and market myself more effectively. There's also a side-effect to that, however: I can interact with people who refuse to interact with me on my terms. I have more people in my life who are like this than I care to acknowledge, and in this I do indeed intentionally deceive myself.

No name is safe. No demographic is safe. No security is perfect.

I remember in "the good old days" when the worst that was happening online was sexual predators making accounts on myspace and pretending to be younger than they really were. While they were doing that, I was doing the reverse, painting myself as eighteen though I was fourteen, or even twenty-one in places. Not for illict purposes, but to Wiggin-ize myself: to get people to listen to me, because if they knew my real age, they would have pushed me off and told me to go play with kids my own age.

These days, that game is moot, and I'm playing a very different one. Fortunately, pretending to be someone that I am inside, behind all the masks, is easier than than playing someone I "might be" or "could have been." I certainly am not these alternate personalities all the time, and I make no claims to alternate personalities, but I have managed to use media to influence my emotions and behaviors in such a way that a different emotion shines through, one that is otherwise buried very deep.

I am many things, and most of them are not good things, but I have enough decency in me to hide all the rest. I know I'm not the only one, and I know we are not rare in this world. All I do know is that if the people I was deceiving were paying better attention to things that seem like coincidences, the game would be up, and I would have to go find a new stone to hide under.

Fortunately, stones are not rare on this playing field, and I have traps and sleeper cells scattered all about. If you stop paying close attention, the ticking you're hearing might not just be your watch. This world is a minefield, and I planted many of them myself.