Identity

I won­der if you have any idea who I am.

Obvi­ous­ly, you know my name — or at least the name you know me by. (See how I did that: sow­ing seeds of doubt right from the start? You can’t be too care­ful.) But what can a name real­ly tell you? It gives you some­thing to Google, of course. But what then? Even after you sift through all the dross, what­ev­er you get is only infor­ma­tion, and the var­i­ous sources will have to be vet­ted, their reli­a­bil­i­ty test­ed and appraised. And even if you judge the sources to be accu­rate, infor­ma­tion is always open to inter­pre­ta­tion.

And all that is only match­ing the name you have for me. It is just as like­ly that, if I have any­thing — shall we say unsa­vory? — in my per­son­al his­to­ry, I will have tak­en pains to have made that part of some­one else’s per­son­al his­to­ry already: some­one I used to be. Names are so eas­i­ly changed, dead infants’ Social Secu­ri­ty Num­bers so eas­i­ly acquired; real­ly it is a won­der to me that any­body is still who they start­ed out as. But then, not every­body lives as col­or­ful a life as I might have.

If I was not who you think.

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