It occurred to me this morning in the shower that ever since I created Dorien, he has been increasingly taking over our shared life to the point where I am occasionally but frankly concerned that Roger will be totally lost and forgotten. Because the bulk of my life is spent in writing in one form or another, it’s the Dorien side which takes up the majority of my time and attention, and the Roger side seems increasingly relegated to breathing, eating, sleeping, and performing those utterly mundane details that make up reality. I am not a little concerned that Roger’s individuality is being lost to Dorien’s.
I suppose it’s only natural. Dorien, after all can do and be anything or go anywhere he chooses. It’s easy for him to ignore reality because he never has to deal with it.
I know, I know, Roger is Dorien as much as Dorien is Roger. Roger came first and has been around a lot longer. But far more people know Dorien’s name than Roger’s. In the early stages of our dual relationship, I preferred to keep the Roger part of me suppressed, partly as a matter of self-protection. I wrote my first few books while living in the Great North Woods, the land of beer-drinking, deer-hunting Packer fans locked in a time somewhere around 1950. To be known (as I eventually was despite my efforts to keep a very low profile) as a writer of books with fags and perverts in them inevitably provided those who were trapped in an area of few jobs and little hope for improvement a badly needed sense of absolute superiority over them uppity queers. Luckily it never went beyond the occasional terribly clever phone call from local teens. (“Hi, Roger. It’s your old buddy Jack...Jack Meoff!” Snickers and dial tone.)
At any rate, with Dorien’s emergence, Roger began slipping into the background, and I must admit my own complicity. The more freedoms Dorien enjoyed, the more I identified with him, sometimes at Roger’s expense.
It’s confusing for people not to know whether to refer to me as Roger or Dorien. To those I knew before Dorien came along, of course, I remain Roger. But for those who know me through my books, blogs, and other writing, very few...if they even know my duality...call me Roger, and I see little point in adding to the confusion.
I honestly don’t know of anyone else in this same position, though I have no doubt there are many.
And, speaking honestly, as I really always try to do, the fact is that Roger is not the person I would have him be. As you may have noted in these blogs, I frequently grow furious with myself for my seemingly endless shortcomings—which makes it easier for me to look to Dorien for those things that Roger lacks. Dorien is far more patient, far more thoughtful, far more able to express himself than Roger. Dorien can eat anything he wants and go anywhere he wants and do anything he wants and sleep with anyone he wants. Roger cannot.
I honestly doubt I will ever reach the point where my self-delusions will become a real issue for either me or the outside world. I don’t think I’ll start hearing Dorien’s voice in my head, telling me to do things Roger would never consider. So while I fully admit to being delusional, it is a benign delusion from which I can and do take a great deal of comfort and strange pleasure.
As the Roger part of me grows older and less able to do all those physical things I once could do, I find new reasons to turn more and more to Dorien. I’m rather like a passenger on the Titanic running up the slanting decks to keep ahead of the advancing water.
But I know all of this is just my Roger side giving into my tendency toward melodrama. Neither Roger nor Dorien is in any real danger of disappearing. The division between us is...like Dorien himself...far more imagined than real. But I do feel there is some justification for my concern that I am in effect neglecting my Roger side. I really must concentrate on fully appreciating that everything I love about Dorien began with and stems from Roger, and despite my notorious penchant for self-deprecation, I have to remind myself of the one rule I have successfully observed throughout my life: never, ever take myself too seriously. It’s a good rule to live by.
This blog is from Dorien's ebook of blogs, Short Circuits; it can be purchased at Amazon, UntreedReads.com, and as an audio book from Amazon.