“Right but suppose I get misremembered by everyone and then by getting it all wrong they make up a new version of me that I just have to go alone with, otherwise I look like a dick. Nobody gets it wrong in the right way either. They’re not going to mistake me for a film star or a pop icon. They won’t say that I was a mass murderer or was obsessed with living off the grid. It’s not even that they’ll spin too far to the other end of the spectrum, which is the part that makes me furious.
These fuckers will get it wrong just slightly.
They’ll say that I studied history instead of politics, or that I was allergic to nuts instead of shellfish, or that I hated Tommy Lee Jones movies when I actually didn’t mind No Country for Old Men.
I’ll try an explain these things to them as patiently as possible but instead of realizing the simple errors that they’ve made everybody just gets super annoyed because I’m not usually one with a prevailing sense of humor.
Identity must be arbitrary, right? Don’t you think? Like, contextual?
It would be like having a ghostly pebble in the shoe of your soul that you never get out no matter how hard you twist and shake your foot.
You know what I mean? Because at least if a person completely forgets something about you then it’s an easy fix. You say oh no, you’re mistaken, I actually hate dragon fruit. No it’s more of a texture thing for me. Or maybe: nah man you’ve got the wrong guy, I don’t even know the first thing about selling ecstasy. Easy. But can you imagine if they just assumed information that was just slightly wrong, and then you’re faced with this decision to correct them or let an amalgamation of small misgivings completely change the world’s perception of you? Like a thousand piece jigsaw puzzle adding up to the new you in minuscule quantities. It would be like dropping nuclear bombs on anthills day after day after day.
Wouldn’t that just be absolute dog shit?”
Mr. Bergknoff sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose, pushing his glasses halfway up his unusually shiny forehead. He let them drop back down. He stifled a yawn before saying “Casey I’m not going to ask you again. No talking. It’s written on the board. Just sit quietly for the next two hours for God’s sake and then we can all go home. I honestly don’t know what’s gotten into you. You’ve never been a problem student before.”
He flicked the paper back up and continued to read.