Roleplaying through life.
You’ve probably heard the one about having three faces: the one you show to the world, the one you show to your close friends and family, and the one you never show to anyone.
Every time I hear that, I think, “Three? Really? Are you kidding me?”
You have to be kidding me.
Strangers. Hostile strangers. Friendly strangers. Acquaintances. Friends. Different levels of friends, operating in different contexts. Co-workers. Bosses. Bosses’ bosses. Family members I hardly/never talk to. Family members I only talk to because I have to. Family members I actually like. All of them get a different version of me; even when the differences seem minor, they really aren’t. There are things I’ll show to one person that I would never show to another, and that can make a significant difference.
I think most of us are like that, but then again, what do I know?
Well, I know that the me who gives directions to lost strangers is a very different person from the me who’s dealing with a stranger following me down the street. How could I show the same face in both of those situations? I’m coping with very different circumstances, and there are completely different emotions involved. The very idea is ludicrous.
What’s scary is the idea that the person you care most about in the world isn’t the person you think they are. The idea that there are things buried inside them that they never show you. Things that might completely change your view of them. Things that might make them a stranger to you.
I’m just full of cheery thoughts. They aren’t new or particularly original thoughts, but they did inspire the character in this next short story. The main character in “Desert” is that person who’s hiding so much from you that you really don’t know them at all… and you have no idea that there’s a problem in the first place. Someone like that sounds like a nightmare to me… but to certain others, that person might look like an opportunity.