“I’m a scuba diver.”
One day I found a silver necklace on the ground, buried in dirt. It was a man’s necklace; thick chain and large square medallion. On the medallion was an engraving of a scuba diver. For some reason, this struck me as interesting and I began wearing it. People started asking about it and I couldn’t just say I found it without attaching a story. Eventually I became an expert scuba diver, versed in the nuances of the bends, knowledgeable about the best reefs and places to dive – all of course, in my mind. I created a whole separate person who was a schooled scuba diver – impressive in a time before search engines – and would expound on the excitement of cave diving and the vast superiority of scuba vs. snorkeling.
Finally, when the chain started to turn my neck green, I took the necklace off and hoped people would stop asking about it. I had grown tired of making up facts of interest. My scuba diver persona bored me.
I tried to just be myself but I was losing grip on who that was – or not sure if I ever knew who that was. The necklace had given me an identity that was tangible. I was the Great Scuba Diver. Much better than just another Lonely Scared Girl in a small town in a land-locked midwestern state.