Whispers From A Double Life...
Where has he gone?
Under his legal name, some see a stagnant social media, a rarely updated website, a flourishing software practice left to languish. Positions not taken, a ladder not climbed, an industry not fully explored.
Secretly he leads a double life, pseudonymous. Essays are posted and gain attention. He is thanked for his insights, he is mentioned as an authority to trust. He appears in a list of microcelebrities, helping people navigate a niche within a niche. He practices the advice he preaches, and his tricky footwork sustains him. The pseudonyms pile up.
As a man of pseudonyms, he is able to speak his mind. As a man of pseudonyms, he lives the cypherpunk’s manifesto, his physical person insulated from a chaotic industry. As a man of pseudonyms, he is trapped and he is free.
He spins a protective shroud. Photographs disappear; information is quietly deleted. DMCA and CCPA whisper. A shady data broker is investigated and forced to submit. Data is strongly encrypted, and cryptographic keys are split and safeguarded. Egos are used to defeat stylometry. Accounts are separated. Footsteps are erased. An email inbox is opened in a far-off country.
He types into his computer. His words blink into a different realm, to be read by other blurry people.
Some see a stagnant social life, a lack of hobbies and travel, a potential happiness left to languish.
Secretly he leads a triple life, handicapped. Food is eaten and hurts his stomach. His laughs are hollow. He has seen more doctors than he can count. He changes diets, changes sleep schedules, changes supplements and medications. His heart skips a beat, then goes into SVT. He reflexively doubles over to increase blood volume, and the arrhythmia goes away. He wakes up in the morning, unrefreshed after six hours of sleep. He wakes up in the morning, unrefreshed after eleven hours of sleep. In the morning he is hurting, in the evening he is fine. In the morning he is fine, but by the evening he is hurting. While he gets for free what others work hard to maintain, he works hard to maintain what others get for free.
How much quinoa and vegetables can a young man eat?
He disdains sleeping pills, stimulants, meds that try to patch up symptoms. Prescriptions are offered and he refuses. He doesn’t drink, he doesn’t smoke. A sober mind is his prized asset.
The next day, he experiences a fleeting moment of joy. A deep understanding between friends. Authenticity, acceptance, an expression of his inner playfulness. He smiles inside, and the world smirks back before looking away again. He socks this rare memory away, replaying it over and over, his Patronus Charm.
As with an animal who has a stingy owner, the biscuit arrives unpredictably.
Also, the biscuit is small and stale, and half the time it turns out to be a slap across the head.
Are there any big biscuits left? I’m very sure of it. Don’t ask me how I know. They’re hidden from me right now, but I will sniff them out.
P.S. Just to let you know, my health diagnoses are not life-threatening (in particular, the arrhythmia was diagnosed as benign).
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