Several years ago, my good friend Bruce told me that I was finally going to get to meet her mother. She was dropping by to pick up some crystals Bruce had bought for her. In case you’re wondering, I did ask Bruce if, by any chance, she had been named after a family member and she said “Yes. I have an aunt called Bruce.” Anyway – I digress. Bruce had already told me that her mum was a little ‘odd.’ She was, apparently, a psychic and had no ‘filters.’ She said whatever came into her mind and, if you didn’t like it… well, tough noogies. Being duly warned, I put Bruce’s mum out of my mind as we got on with our visit.
AND THEN, THE DOORBELL RANG.
Bruce’s mum walked in; her mouth fell open and her eyes grew large. Without even being introduced, she stared at me and said “Why aren’t you famous?”
Me, all flustered and confused; “I, I, I don’t know!”
Bruce’s mum, with a look of disappointment and a hint of disgust; “Well, you’re supposed to be.”
And that was the end of that. Bruce’s mum grabbed her crystals and left. To say that I was flabbergasted would be an understatement, but that wasn’t the weirdest thing about this confrontation. I felt embarrassed.
Embarrassed by the outburst of a crazy woman? NO. Embarrassed at myself? YES. I felt like I had been exposed. Exposed like Clark Kent would have been if the geeky glasses were ripped off and the cape waved in front of his face. “You are Superman! SUPERMAN, you idiot! What the hell are you doing, pretending to be a mild-mannered reporter?!”
You, with bated breath; “Go on! Go on! What happened next?”
NOTHING. Nothing happened. I stuffed this milestone revelation into the back of my memory, polished my geeky glasses and carried on pretending to be a mild-mannered reporter.
What happens when you keep acting a part you were never meant to play? Slowly, the threads start to unravel and you scramble to hold it all together. But it never works. In the end too many threads fray and you fall through the hole in the net you so carefully crafted.
For me, the net finally broke a year ago; almost to the day. It’s OK… it was never really MY net anyway.
Meanwhile, in an ancient box covered with spiders’ webs, there is a shiny suit and a cape that need to be dusted off.
Bruce’s mum would have been proud.