Sunday, November 13, 2005

Identity Crisis

So, I had the radio on in the background Friday morning as I was reading the paper when I had a kind of "out-of-body, but not really" experience. I heard myself talking on the radio.

About a book that I had written about vampires. Only I hadn't written a book about vampires. I haven't written a book since I spent a lonely summer in my 12th year writing a noir tale about the most sociopathic spy you'd ever known. I wasn't talking about that though.

And man, was I boring. I was droning on about the vampires who could go out during the day because they were black and their melanin protected them from the sun. An interesting concept, but "I" was managing to sap the interest out of it with my monotonous delivery, peppered with too many "ums."

Speaking of black, apparently, I am a black science female fiction writer named Octavia Butler.

Or at least, s/he sounded just like me. That may be unremarkable if I had a high-pitched, girlish voice. But, I don't. I have a relatively deep voice. And so did Octavia.

I did a Google images search, and two things occured to me. One, Ms. Butler and I -- while we might sound alike -- do not look anything like each other. Second, I spent some time pouring over images, and it is not entirely clear to me whether Ms. Butler is a woman or not. There was considerable debate about the issue in the K household, but no consensus on her actual gender.

In the past few days or so, I have been feeling less and less that I may be Octavia Butler, and more than I might be me. Which may or may not be a good thing.


Blogger Chemical Billy said...

Joseph, it's time to face up to it. You are Octavia. You've been living a double life. It's time for you to have a crisis in your therapist's office - a cinematic, All About Eve, Sybil-style crisis - and come to terms with your other selves.

By the way, you are also me.

11:25 PM  
Blogger Joseph K said...

CB, that would be a huge improvement.

9:56 PM  
Blogger Earl Cootie said...

Eight or nine years ago, I was told that I sound like Steve Thomas, former host of This Old House. I'd never seen or heard him at the time, but when I did finally catch part of a show, I agreed. Yes! That's exactly what I sound like! But now when I tell people that I sound like Steve Thomas, former host of This Old House, they vehemently disagree. I don't know if they dislike Steve Thomas, former host of This Old House, or if they're appalled at my presumption.

(But I still secretly think that I sound exactly like him.)

11:20 AM  

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