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Dorien Grey

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Blogs by Dorien Grey

Dorien
10/5/2009 5:02:44 AM
The evolution...and importance...of an alter-ego. From Dorien Grey and Me (http://www.doriengreyandme.com)
I was sitting here having a bit of fun with Dorien, of the type I did when he first entered my life. For those of you who haven't already heard the story, I had just started using the name Dorien Grey as a pseudonym and was working part time at my local credit union (a disaster to be related at another time), which was just moving into a new facility. While discussing possible decor and a new advertising slogan I suddenly pictured those decals that run around the top walls of a child’s room…specifically of happy little Easter bunnies carrying baskets of eggs. The slogan came to me at the same time: “Where your savings multiply like rabbits!”

Being the modest sort that I am, when I proposed the idea to my boss, I credited my friend Dorien for the idea (which, I suppose I don’t need to tell you, was politely dismissed with thanks). And thus was Dorien born. I loved him from the moment I/he thought of the bunnies...and his love of bunnies continues to this day. (If you've read my Dick Hardesty mystery series, you may have noticed that Joshua, Dick and Jonathan’s young charge, has a favorite toy: a huge stuffed rabbit he named “Bunny.” No coincidence, I assure you.)

Dorien is, as I have often said, childlike without being childish. He retains the sense of wonder for all things which I have struggled not always successfully to hold onto. But by giving him unlimited potential for delight and mischief and fun and silliness “unbefitting” one of advancing years, I was able to preserve them and enjoy them for myself. As more books came along, Dorien took over more and more of the writing chores, and he began appearing in the books himself, though disguised. First as Jonathan in his charm and innocence, and then in Joshua who is himself a child.

Dorien has become more important to me as the gap between my mental and physical ages grows wider. The Roger part of me recognizes and is terrified by the toll time continues to take. But this is of no concern to Dorien, who is far from stupid and who knows what I am going through. He acts as something of a guardian angel, telling me that things are not nearly as bad as I dramatically tend to try to make them, and encouraging me to keep my tongue planted firmly in my cheek whenever I start getting too serious with myself. And whereas I cannot avoid being my physical age, Dorien can be and is any age he happens to feel like being at the moment. Because he exists separately from my reality-bound body, he can be as physically graceful and beautiful and talented and desirable as he chooses to be, and can change bodies and faces at his whim. All he has to do is want something or someone, and they are his.

One can have dreams without being delusional, and Dorien is, in a very real way, my dream. And as long as he provides comfort and pleasure and harms no one, who could dare deny me the pleasure of his company?

I sometimes think of my body as a ship of which my mind is captain. And I know that, however unwillingly, the day will come when my ship, battered by the storms of life and even now taking on water, must sink beneath the waves of time. At that moment, I shall join Dorien in the lifeboat, to open a bottle of champagne and sing and laugh and tell each other stories as we sail off together to a wonderful tropical island populated with all the people, real and imagined, who have meant so much to me.

There are worse things.

***

I'll be posting another entry next Monday, and I hope you might stop by to read it. In the meantime, I'd be pleased to have you visit my website (http://www.doriengrey.com) or drop me a note with your comments or suggestions to doriengrey.att.net.


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More Blogs by Dorien Grey
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