When I first started writing, I didn’t use my real name due to admonitions from my mom. She claimed that putting your real name on anything was an invitation to danger, a chance for the thousands of neighborhood and internet predators to stalk, rape and kill you. So I didn’t. There were numerous alternatives that are scribbled on terrible drawings and spastic “manuscripts” from my youth, but none of them were particularly interesting, imaginative, or “right.”
As I got older, I learned to despise my name. It represented a lot of things that I was unhappy with, that I didn’t want associated with me, that just were generally depressing. I opted to create my own name, an identity that was all me, all my choices. Everything since then has been under Kaine Andrews.
That’s all fine and well, except for those somewhat awkward moments where you deal with someone who only knows you as Kaine at the same time as someone who knows your real name. Apparently some folks think it’s weird. But oh well.
But then there’s the other end of the spectrum. The ones who refuse to believe that I am Kaine, when they have been first introduced to me under my “street persona.” Had a conversation with a friend’s family where they ultimately seemed to believe that I was “making up” the claims that I am a writer, and that I should be ashamed for attempting to “steal credit for someone else’s hard work.” They continued on this line of reasoning even after being directed to all of my locations on the internet and the dozens of photographs of “Kaine” that suspiciously look just like me. They even continued when I whipped out the tablet and showed them that I possess the logins to all of “Kaine’s” accounts; they now believe me to be some form of hacker, which then led to them berating me for my living conditions and job, since I’m “wasting my life” doing menial labor for menial pay, all while “stealing” Kaine’s (undoubtedly vast) royalties, when I should be defending our country from ISIS and Korea with my incredible identity theft skills. And one of them believes I’m a secret agent of the Illuminati, but he’s crazy anyway.
I really don’t even know what to say to any of that. Because apparently I’m also an arrogant know-it-all, so anything I say to clarify or explain the situation just comes off as pedantic and pointless.
I wonder if I’d be having these sorts of conversations if my actual name appeared on the covers, or this website, or anywhere else Kaine appears. Probably not. I’d probably be having other conversations about why I’m beneath these people.
I’m whiny and irritated. I think I’m going to go, now. But to cheer up those of you who endured my whimpering, here’s a cat.