You are, and aren’t, me
Dear Susan Saybrook,
As if you were a pastry, or a secret lover, or anything else that’s both illicit and compelling, I am just about to give you up… and then, I can’t.
I invented you so I could write on Medium anonymously, speak freely about things I otherwise would not say because I am polite, or afraid. Because if I wrote my actual, legal name, my writing might slander, embarrass, or implicate someone.
Quite possibly, myself.
Writing as you works, to an extent.
But the danger in taking a secret lover is, it becomes easy to stop trying to make magic in your “real" relationship.
And the danger in sneaking a pastry is, your food diary may not know about it, but your blood sugar will.
And since I feel you the way I feel any other vice, it stands to reason that there is some equivalent risk, a danger of expressing myself through you.
I think it’s the danger that I will become truer as a pseudonym than I am in my every day life.
Isn’t it astonishing how difficult it can feel in adulthood to just be your genuine self?
Today, I am feeling a particularly chilled and bottomless type of lonely. The kind I can only write about as you.
So, if there is a day for giving you up, it is not today. You may be my guilty secret, but at least for the short run, you are making me feel heard and seen.
In the short run, you are setting me free.