And so I lived like a double-agent. I kept a day job to pay my bills, and wrote obscene short stories (incorrect grammar, bad words) to express my inner feelings. I paid ransom to the professional world in many jobs where I had to act calm, professional and capable while snidely condescending inside my head: This isn't the real me. At other times I mingled with the art-kid set, teenagers whose parents could afford to let them frolic through their youth. All the while subtly aware that I did not belong because I was either too poor or else too chicken-shit to give up my double life. So while never throwing one's whole self into either reality, never accepting anything as real (either the day-to-day slew of e-mails or the nightly fantasies, desires and feelings). Giving half to inside and outside, I straddled two worlds, neither of which I deigned to think of as real. Not present at work, my waking life, nor even in my dreams (which I would take various solutions so that I could forget, to achieve sleep without thought, dreams, memories or feelings). I began to live as a ghost in my own life. Haunting the places I used to live, people I knew once or could have decided to be.

It is the scariest and also the easiest costume.

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