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5/22/2001

What’s reality, anyway?

Filed under:General — eric @ 12:51 pm

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I was had.

There’s no other way to say it. For over a year, I was taken in. I tend to be pretty good about spotting things like this. It’s hard for someone to lie to me for any length of time, because I can remember the smallest details that other people forget. When these small details conflict, I see it. I can also spot plot holes in movies and stories pretty well. I have a knack for sensing surprise plot twists before they happen (This has ruined many a good movie for me, especially when I predict the surprise ending from the trailers, like Sixth Sense. The only movie I recall fooling me, and it was so good it fooled me *twice*, was Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.). Still, this time I fell.

But I wasn’t the only one. I was fooled reading the journal and exchanging email. Others were fooled over the telephone and the postal mail as well.

It came to light over the weekend, while I was thankfully away from the internet, that Kaycee Nicole, the young woman I grieved over last week, never existed. The person who’s journal I read, who replied to my email, who talked to others over the phone and exchanged handwritten notes and gifts with them was a construct.

I was mighty surprised to see what had been uncovered by my fellow members over at Metafilter, but I wasn’t shocked. (For a summary of events, visit here.) Juswt Sunday, I was in the garden weeding, when the Carpenter’s song from Kaycee’s final entry popped into my head. That got me to thinking about how perfect that entry and the ones leading up to it were. How perfectly scripted. Of course, I didn’t think it was because they actually were, but maybe because she was preparing hereself as well as us for her departure. Or, I thought, maybe they were pre-written, and her mother (who was a vital part of Kaycee’s journal and who had her own adjunct journal) fed them to us as Kaycee wished.

Nope. Kaycee was just her mother Debbie’s brainchild. Every word, every image, every object, and maybe every voice came from Debbie.

So, I’m left with two possible reactions. I could become ever more cynical and cautious, and check out everyone’s story in depth before I interact with anyone. That’d keep me safe for getting needlessly emotionally attached again. Or I could consider the emotions I’ve felt and the energy I’ve spent keeping up with her to be my latest payment of an optimism tax and move on, knowing it could happen again.

I’ll take the latter.