I’m a Fake so I Can be Real
An ego-driven introduction to me, a fake person on the internet.
I really loathe “about me” stories, about as much as I hate brioche buns on hamburgers, overhead lighting, and the phrase “girl boss.” But I find myself writing one now because somehow overnight my follower count exploded (no complaints, obviously) and in a moment of unadulterated egocentricity, I started to worry that the new followers wouldn’t find my previous stories. Is this something I should lose sleep over? No. But my ego is driving this runaway train.
Hi, I’m Adeline, which is not my real name. In my real life, I work for the feds, and I just didn’t feel like wondering every time I wrote something if I was engaging in “conduct unbecoming” according to my agency. Plus, a few years ago I was on the board of animal rescue, and some psychopathic twat started an online harassment campaign against anyone associated with the rescue. I didn’t feel like dealing with her again — although if someone knows a good, legal way to get revenge, I’m all ears — so a fake name, a nom de plume, seemed the way to go. I write more about this decision here, musing about the difference between the online and the “real” world.
The upside of the using a fake name — a mishmash of my grandmothers’ names — is that I’m able to write about things like abortion, and specifically my own abortion, without worrying that I am going to get a brick thrown through my window. I also tap into my law degree to wade into the legal ramifications of the completely insane Texas abortion law, pointing out how truly bonkers it is. I’ve wondered why it doesn’t seem to be occurring to men — you know, the folks that knock women up — that if Roe is overturned, that they too will be in a world of hurt. I wrote the last piece before it was clear — as it is now — that Roe will most certainly be overturned, and I still can’t figure out why men aren’t panicking. It’s an enduring mystery. Maybe it’s science.
But overall, I can’t say I’m sure why I started writing in the first place. There was an itch I wanted to scratch; I wanted to figure out out how to put words together in a way that felt punchy, fresh, thick with meaning. Admittedly, I betrayed this goal multiple times. I made the mistake early on of trying to chase algorithms, and that…