A Wombat Caught in the Internet

Vom Patti



I, as many others, am a human, but for seven years and nine months I’ve been mainly known as a wombat. It all began on a stormy October night. It didn’t trouble me at first. It’s all fun and games until someone ends up posting on a progressive fock forum for seven years and nine months as a wombat and recording eight albums of music as a wombat and registering on social networking sites as a wombat and making lots of lovely new friends as a wombat. It’s not that [--]*, but sometimes I can’t help wondering if they’d think differently of me if I presented myself as a human with a name and a face and a physical existence.

More than once have I thought to myself: »Isn’t it ridiculous to be a wombat when everyone around me is human? How can anyone take me seriously when I’m a wombat? Wouldn’t it be better if I announced once and for all that the wombat is no more?» But to do this I would have to cut off all the connections to the wombat, and how could this possibly be done? Whoever I would choose to be, I would always be remembered as the wombat. And if I turned my back on the wombat, what would be left of me?

One major problem is that the people who know me mainly as a person do not know me as a wombat, and most of those who know me as a wombat know me only as a wombat. And even though this double identity is a constant burden, my human self is reluctant to strip away the impenetrable veil of wombat skin, for he in his paranoid mind believes the wombat is foolishly keeping contact with numerous sociopaths who, if they figured out the address of his human counterpart, would not hesitate to pay him unexpected visits or send him undesirable presents in the mail. And while the reckless wombat has indeed revealed his human side to a select few, the human in question could not possibly imagine »coming out» as a wombat to his non-internet friends and acquaintances. For how would he go about it? How does one confess to people he has known for years that all this time he has secretly been a wombat? How would the gril with pretty hands react to that? And, oh my gosh, what would his mother think?!

A few days ago I was going through my email and came across a lengthy correspondence from years back that had abruptly ended for no apparent reason. This girl is a human and can easily be found on the internet by her real and official human name, so I decide to follow her blog (as a wombat) assuming that would enable me to message her (as a wombat) but alas! there’s no such option, so I’m forced to send her an email to the old address she probably doesn’t even have anymore, explaining that I’m the wombat but she remembers me as a human (for isn’t this the honest thing to do?), and I tell her how I always enjoyed reading what she wrote and I ask her if she [--]*, and yes I may have been drunk but that has nothing to do with it, for aren’t people allowed to attempt to tell each other how much they [--]*, and does it really matter if they happen to have been a wombat all along in addition to being a human? Even if it did matter, what could I possibly do about it now? I have crossed the line, passed the point of no return and burned all the bridges behind me. It is too late to cry over spilt milk. There is no turning back.

Fernando Pessoa, the famous poet, was anything but himself, yet he’s still being read and quoted and respected for what he was (and, in many ways, was not). Why can’t I be more like him? Why have I ever brought this misery upon myself? One can but wonder.


* unreasonably pathetic thoughts removed for your convenience.