Friday, January 25, 2008

Princess by night

It is a little delicious having a secret identity.


I don't have a lot of experience with leading a double life, in all honesty, despite all my dreams of becoming Canada's star girl detective. However, my one clandestine period was more gratifying than I would have expected. When the Duke and I first began dating, we were a bit tangled in the remaining strings of others-- including indelible gossips and emotionally raw exes. As such, we decided to carry on a little covertly at first, and met in random coffee shops and kissed at night behind trees. On one particularly memorable weekend, he made up a work trip, I turned off my cell phone, and we rented a hotel room in a haphazardly chosen suburb far from our circles of acquaintances. It is invigorating, staring out the glass at the city, and realizing that no one has a clue where you are.

Granted, the grad-student-by-day, secret-blogger-by-night combination is hardly the calibre of Clark Kent/Superman. Still, as this nocturnal identity seeps in through my pores, I find my sense of self shifting a little.

I am reminded of how jarring it was to actually speak the words "Princess Pointful" allowed during my first meeting with a fellow blogger. I began instinctively giggling, as it seemed as though this secret identity of mine is so wrapped in the written that it is outside of the realm of the spoken word.

I've developed into one of those people who feel compelled to write. I've began pulling out my clipboard in anonymous moments and frantically scrawling down lines that beg to be spilled, in direct contrast to how such spaces use to be defined by reading snatches of journal articles and drowned out by music. I've actually evolved into one of those people who needs to capture the moment, whose passion can be witnessed by the speed of their pen, the flick of their pencil crayon, the click of their camera-- all to make sure they don't lose grasp on those random glimpses of insight and beauty.

To these people on the bus, where I sit, I am simply another student. They likely don't sense the urgency in my pen. Yet, as I mentioned previously, it is such an odd revelation that these scribblings matter to people thousands miles away from this patch of pavement. They know my words so well, yet they don't even know the colour of my eyes. I'd like to imagine they could spot me readily in a crowds, but without my words, to all of them, I'm just another person on a bus. 

How surreal to be known and not known simultaneously.

36 comments:

nicoleantoinette said...

It's really interesting for you to highlight a different side of being anonymous blogger. I really like this secret identity, escape mentality, and can totally see the appeal of the secret love and the hotel room in another city..

Psychgrad said...

There's some enjoyable about having aspects of your life that are completely private to those who know you.

On my more egotistical days, I get slight twinges of "oh no - what if someone recognizes my voice/words from my blog?" Obviously not logical. Kind of a momentary layover from preoperational thinking.

Clueless Cat said...

It's definitely weird being an anonymous blogger and living in 'the real world' at the same time, especially because no one in my real life knows that I blog!

I am thinking about starting a non-anonymous blog once I move to NY for friends & family to keep up with me, and when I mentioned that to my boyfriend he was like "I'm surprised you don't already blog!" (since I love to write) and it was kinda hard to just not say anything!

Hope said...

You're spot on with this post. And I loved that first line. It IS delicious having a secret identity. :)

sequined said...

I love this post and all these ponderings. I completely relate to the desperation of getting down an idea or phrase--both for blogging and for other writing.

I was once out somewhere without a pen and paper and so telephoned my sister to demand she write down a particularly nagging idea. She thought I was crazy, but I think a lot of bloggers would understand.

I love the way you phrase things; it's lovely to read.

lspoon said...

You know, I do picture you when I read you. I imagine I hear your voice reading to me. But like everything else I imagine, I know I'm wrong! The two anonymous bloggers I've met are completely different people from the ones in my head.

autobiographyofmyfeet said...

Your beginning story? Of how you and the Duke got together with some covert ops? Could have been me and the husband... Made me smile just to remember that time :)

And I agree, I like the "secret identity" aspect of being an anonymous blogger. Maybe I should invest in a secret-blogger costume? Oh, yeah. I already have one - it's my pyjamas ;)

La said...

I can so relate to this post, though there's no way I could have put it so eloquently. It's bizarre how much of my daytime is wrapped up in my blog and all of my friends' blogs, but no one in my real life even knows about something that gives me an immeasurable amount of pleasure!

Maxie said...

I'm with lspoon, I totally picture everyone in my head when I'm reading their blogs.

blogging is so peculiar. like the community it creates, while most are still anonymous.

Deutlich said...

love love love the anonymity.

love it.

Jess said...

I am not terribly anonymous, since I freely declare all sorts of details about myself, like my name and where I live, as well as posting pictures of myself. However, the vast majority of my audience doesn't know me in person, and that has always been a little weird to me, to think that the only vision that many people have of me is what they see on my blog. Which is why I try to be as open, as natural, as honest as possible with my blog, even though it's scary. It seems to be working.

A Margarita said...

Ooo, we are bloggers! What dangerous lives we lead! *Giggle* I like that image though.

Miriam D said...

I have to find and send you a link to this article I read in the New York Review of Books about blogs. It dissects the blogging world and it touches on this topic of having another blogger identity if you are a writer.

I kind of love that secret part about being anonymous... and it is really adorable you and Duke had little love rendezvous.

distractedspunk said...

So blogger ate my comment.

Anyhow. I was just saying, even though we talked about this last night, it was still fantastic to read this - I understood this so well, and I loved the exquisite lines of imagery that you tempered this post with.

I never thought of myself as a secret identity kinda girl, but it does make me laugh to think of someone saying, "Distracted spunk? Is that you?"

Yoda said...

Haha! I don't know if I ever can call myself Yoda face-to-face with another blogger. I'll be in splits by Y-O :-p

You write on the bus? Oh man, people taking their blogging seriously! I just sit down with my laptop and write my posts straight out -- and publish! No wonder my posts suck and yours shine :-)

Sooo, you've done the lovers getaway thing! Was it a seedy motel frequented by truck drivers? LOL!

Ant said...

I'm not happy with anonymity in general, but I *love* (and have occasionally engaged in) furtive affairs. The kind that you describe at the top does send a bit of a thrill through me...

I also love the fact that because I'm ostensibly honest and open, everyone assumes that they know most things about me, and need only read my blog to find out "what is going on in my life". They are so wrong, and I loves it like that.

Loved this post.

Michelle said...

so... what IS your eye color?

Princess Extraordinaire said...

The duality of anonymity is intoxicating at times - I feel you when you say you were looking out at the grass in your town and knew that no one knew where you were - exhilerating isn't it?

PrincessPolly said...

Me and my boyf are still at the stage of not really telling anyone about us. Not because it's dodgy, but because we sort of work together and people in work are big gossips! I quite like it that way though - its fun having to make up what I did at the weekend, and leave work saying "see you tomorrow" knowing that I'm actually seeing him that night. It's kinda thrilling, almost. I know, I'm so sad. Although I couldn't call my blog anonymous, given I have pics of myself and so on, it still to me feels pretty anonymous as the only other person in my real life who knows about it is my man, and I don't really intend on telling anyone else. I kinda like the fact that no one knows me, or knows the people I talk about. It's somehow freeing. You write so beautifully by the way.

Larissa said...

This makes me want a secret cool identity. Alas, I only have time for one blog, and am too self-absorbed to remain anonymous.

Surfergrrl said...

I "write" in my blog in my head at all kinds of random moments. It's like being in a movie and you hear your own voice over. I want to write then and there, but usually I just have to try and remember what I was thinking earlier in the day.

mcgee said...

How beautiful. So many great images from your lovely lines. This post is just another example of why all of us love you and your writing so much!

ana said...

This makes me wish I'd opted for anonymity, called myself secret agent t.o. and then feel all kick ass powerful (for in the world of The Matrix I'd be The One)

But I didn't. Which is okay too, because one of 'me' is all I can handle...

Yoda said...

Turning off cell phones??!?! That's some pretty hardcore shit. You were digitally blacked out all weekend? Don't tell me you were shut in the room all weekend ordering pizza and having bloaty, gassy sex??

:-p

Beth said...

"To be known and not known" - perhaps that is actually having the best of both worlds.

Jamie Lovely said...

I'm only semi anonymous. Sometimes I wish I never told boyfriend or my sister about it!

Therapeutic Ramblings said...

I know what you mean about scrawling down little things while out and about....I do the same thing, but I get far too busy and I end up leaving so much great material out there.

As for being anonymous, I still feel very out there, I think it is because oy career is quite visible, and if people were smart enough and/or determined enough, they could piece it all together.

Tina Vaziri said...

I wonder if I'll ever get used to knowing that a lot of people I know read my blog. It still weirds me out every time my dad says "Oh, yeah, I read that on your blog".

Half-Past Kissin' Time said...

I can TOTALLY relate to the part about jotting stuff down for possible blog use. For example, just this afternoon, when a male, 13 year old student defended his offensive GAS he had just dropped practically ON ME by saying, "I'm sorry; I thought it was only the hot ones that smelled," I thought to myself, "Now that's perfect for a blog post!" Seriously, I THOUGHT that, standing in the middle of the library at school (but no, I won't write a post about it.) We bloggers have developed a new sense of awareness of our surroundings (always open to potential material, I guess). Maybe we should think up a name for that...?

LeeEeeMuR said...

I would go out of my mind if I were to be an anonymous blogger. I like the attention or being able to tell people that I wrote something. Granted I may not be as good as others but it's nice to know that people visit the page just to see what I wrote.

course it would be even better to have lots of comments as well but spose I'll need a bigger fan base haha

Rachel said...

Sometimes I wish I had a secret identity so I didn't have to censor so much.

Lisa said...

This was an interesting read for me, as a non-anonymous blogger and a girl who wishes she was a teen detective.

Ps. GREAT opening line.

Lisa said...

This was a fantastic read. Seriously. Makes me wish I went completely anonymous. Do consider publishing full feed? Yeah, yeah, I'm a pest. I need my Princess Pointful fix.

eric1313 said...

I like to think I could spot you, too. Just by your demeanor, or the light in your eyes, even if I don't know the color.

Thank you for your wishes. I've been OK with all the other stuff. I was actually very ill last week. Sorry to have worried you, it's nice that you check in on me and it is very appreciated.

Your words are sterling, as always.

willbraden said...

it's mire important to write something than to say it anyway. isn't it? and in (relative) anonymity, all the more so, then there is a record of the most basic voice, (relatively) free of ego, self-preservation, group thought.

willbraden said...

also, I think I blew it when I gave my mom the link to my blog...can't get that one back, can you?