"We all lead double lives."
We do? I pondered the notion for a bit, thinking about my friends and family, wondering who's moonlighting as a sex slave, who's sneaking out to underground gay sex gatherings and who's cheating on their special someone. Okay, so I mainly thought about sex. But then I took a huge leap backwards to think about double lives on a less severe level, less deep into the separate distinctions of self. Who shows their true colors, and who masks the unattractive qualities of their personalities? There, that's a little easier on the brain.
|Clark Kent & Superman. DC Comics.|
Here's another fictional example - Dexter: bloodstain pattern analyst by day, socially conscious serial killer by night. Speaking of serial killers, let's not forget about Patrick Bateman in "American Psycho." The affluent NYC banking exec slaughters women when the sun retires, sometimes in the midst of fornication. Note: Do not watch this film at night in a cabin in the woods. You will not sleep well.
But people who lead double lives are exciting, right? Of course, in reality, no one's supposed to know about the dueling existences. In fiction, the readers and viewers are let in on the closeted information, making for a common character theme in both film and television. The anticipation of the character getting caught is enthralling, injects anxiety and hooks the audience.
Although entertaining, is leading a mildly double life healthy? I highly doubt leading a true double life is good for the mind, body or soul. Shouldn't we just be who we are regardless of whether or not the doors are closed or open, the curtains drawn or lifted? I wish we as humans could be honest with and accepting of the truth. Maybe the gentle, benevolent girl rushes home at night to beat her boyfriend. Perhaps the well-educated scholar with a graduate degree nailed to his wall projects an image of intellect and enlightenment but is sadly unable to apply any of his skills in society - though he'll never admit it. Does the seemingly successful entrepreneur dispersing thick, glossy business cards day in and day out retire to her cramped abode to sulk over life's repeated failures? What if the homophobe sporting a penis slips under the covers to enjoy a penis peek on occasion (or rather consistently)? Are these examples of double lives or just normalities of being human?
The truth is, there is little truth in this world. So that makes the wonderful world of the arcane normal. Masks are common, and I think we all harbor a constantly evolving collection.
I posted the following query on my Facebook wall last week: "I'm curious friends. Do you think humans all lead double lives?" Psted below are the few comments, which tickled me.
"it's possible... Some of us may have been put on earth with a plan given by the higher ups from planet nebula.. i think I'm giving too much away." -Keri LaLena
"Each person has four within their brains competing and complimenting: anima/animus, persona, shadow and self. Maybe a person only manifests two and yields a double life, but often there are more. It seems to me people often have different lives for different social milieus." -GB Hajim
"Yes one with my kids and one without them!" -Monica Wagner
"You just made me wanna watch Confessions of a Dangerous Mind." -Erin Von Wompwomp
"No, I think some people really are genuine all the time. I do think, though, that everyone shows different aspects of themselves in different situations and for different people. The ones that do that and it all comes from the same place inside them, though - those are the real gems! :)" - Gabriela Worrel
Do I lead a double life? I'll never tell.