You don’t know me.
I take a giddy pride in that fact. The bare-knuckle truth is I don’t want you to know me. Especially on here, the internet. I do have online friends, all of whom I’ve never met, and will never meet. And I’m perfectly fine with that.
I don’t mean to be standoffish. I’m sure if I did meet you, let’s say in a park, I’d be exceedingly polite and shake your hand, or give you a hug, or perform a respectful bow. I would acknowledge your existence as an autonomous human being, even embrace it. I would care.
I’m not being sarcastic. I really would care. I’d care in the third-person. I would need to feel removed from my caring about you, because I would have no idea what your intentions were. I would perform for you.
I’d perform so convincingly, you wouldn’t even know that I was performing. You’d say, “That guy is so down-to-earth.”
You’d be wrong.
You’d see an actor playing a down-to-earth character, a performance artist performing street theatre. Every movement would be calculated, every word thought out beforehand. If you knew what kind of play you were now part of, you’d probably become nervous.
But what about being real, being yourself? Okay, let’s go over that. Imagine your best friend/girlfriend/boyfriend/lover/family member/teacher/spiritual guru. Are they “being real” with you? Are you “being real” with them? In your heart of hearts, you know there’s a whole lot of acting going on.
It’s okay that you don’t know me. Am I real? Sure. I’m as real as any other ghost.