A few years ago, when I was kicking around ideas for a blog, trying to come up with how and what I wanted to present to the world, I developed an alternate online persona. You see, I had decided that I needed a persona to take on the enormous and then-seemingly unconfrontable task of blogging to the world.
Perhaps you have had such notions before. Some super-personality that can do things you can’t. The one who shows up when you have to address a crowd and whips said crowd into gales of laughter without even feeling a twinge of nervous tension. The one who charms his way out of any bad interpersonal situation you may have gotten yourself into. That kind of thing.
Well, this persona was that way online. Online, he would be able to amass hordes of followers, friends by the hundreds, Likes by the millions. This online guy would blog and all around the world, people would tune in and hang on his every word. This guy had a signature fashion mark, he wore blue boots.
His name: Michael Blue.
Now, Michael Blue came and went pretty quick. He did a kind of exit stage left in all of about three days. But in those three days, he burned very brightly. He was, after all, The One and Only Michael Blue.
Well, life has a funny habit of knocking you sideways and shortly after the birth and death of my super-person, I entered into the Divorce Chapter. The Divorce Chapter wrote itself very wildly and incoherently in a sort of fugue state, stream of consciousness. Many portions of this special chapter did the literary equivalent of describing the wall paper for three pages, followed by a spate of expletives and then a round of poetic verse. A very incongruous chapter indeed.
It wasn’t too long after that I met my new wife-to-be and experienced the joys of a blooming love interest all over again. Life, as you know, has a habit of moving on, whether you’re ready or not.
Anyhow, it was on one of those evenings when I was telling my new love interest about all of my special details when I remembered an old, old friend. He came unbidden to me, but there he was in all of his colorful splendor.
I began to tell her of my blue shoe wearing brother, when something very odd occurred. I had not expected it at all, but, well, there it was right before my eyes. Mr. Michael Blue had changed.
Gone was the somewhat aloof youth who could blog to a million subscribers and here was the man himself. He walked like Nicolas Cage in Face Off, an almost dancey swagger. He possessed all the grace of Andy Kauffman’s Tony Clifton. And when he spoke, a cheap southern accent oozed from his lips, a speech which had to do mainly with womanizing and self-aggrandizing.
Here was the new and improved Michael Blueshoes.
He wore those fancy blue shoes, but also that cheap suit, and those silver rings. He didn’t shave but once every three or four days and he drank like a fish.
Well, my new wife-to-be had an instant rejection of our new party guest. I mean, without so much as thirty seconds, she adamantly informed me that she hated Michael Stupid-Ass Blueshoes.
What was I to do? Well, there was nothing I could do. I did admit that Micheal Blueshoes was as obnoxious a relation as ever there could be, especially with the smell of stale liquor on his breath. But he was having one hell of a good time strutting around like some kind of defunct peacock, telling his lewd jokes and proclaiming himself a master of sexual exploits.
You see, from one angle, Michael Blueshoes was exactly what I needed him to be. He liked about two things: booze and women. He simply could not be emotionally hurt. He didn’t care one iota what people thought about him. And that swagger. My God, he was so full of himself, there simply was no putting that boy down. “No sah, Michael Blowshowes was gonna paint this here town red, honey! Red as rain, ah huh!”
I even found pictures of Michael Blueshoes on my computer I hadn’t known existed. It seems a couple years earlier he had done a little photo shoot with a fedora and a fake black rose. The images were blurred, appropriate for an alter-ego, but there they were, about five photos in all. Oh, I remembered taking them, but only now, had I realized who they were.
The very sight of them unnerved my wife-to-be.
Michael Blueshoes called me out then. He wanted to know, basically, if he and I were going to go and do all the things he wanted to do. And we would do all of that in those blue shoes, of course. “Just gotta put on the shooooes,” he would say. “And off we go! To the staaaars!” Needless to say, I knew that if I went off with Micheal Blueshoes, I wasn’t coming back.
Years have gone by now and Michael Blueshoes every now and again makes an appearance. He always enters the same way. He swaggers in stage left, some lascivious quip on the tip of his tongue, a smile that has nothing to do with, well, anything, but his own antics. And he usually offends my wife for a few minutes before slipping away again to do whatever deeds he does.
And then last night someone else showed up. Someone quite unexpected. Her name: Sassafras Redshoes. And just guess what she wants?