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⚑ October 9, 2014

Introducing the New Me ... πŸ”

A selfie from 2012 or 2013. It's winter and I'm sitting in front of Bill's bestseller-framed memorabilia. There's quite an interesting story behind our aquisition of this piece.

A selfie from 2012 or 2013. It's winter and I'm sitting in front of Bill's bestseller-framed memorabilia. There's quite an interesting story behind our aquisition of this piece.

… which is basically the very very old me, composed of all the personae that a compliant female living and working between two centuries might have accumulated as an ever-growing coral reef of rigid names and crooked experiences.

Thus, I’m thinking about amending my signature on all my emails to my full and entire name of Nancy Hayfield Duthie Birnes. I have a solid reason for doing this, now that I find myself unfortunately unemployed. In order to list all my accomplishments, you see, I have to lay claim to all the bylines from all the past lives; each and every one of them. This is especially important because of the sticky field I am currently encased within.

Paul Davids, me, Bruce Maccabee.

Paul Davids, me, Bruce Maccabee.

The photo, above, was taken sometime in 2004. I am showing filmmaker Paul Davids and physicist Bruce Maccabee the new cover I’d just come up with after being inspired by the conference I was currently attending. In retrospect, it wasn’t too bad a conference, and I met many people for the first time; so many people who have since transmogrified into bigger and bigger celebrities. There’s a story here, I think; the story I tried in vain to get the good Vicki Ecker to write.

The Sticky Field

Cover of UFO Magazine 110.

Cover of UFO Magazine 110.

In this field, the most insane conclusions are adeptly leapt to with the greatest of ease. Coincidences are everywhere and everything is suspect and there is a tightly wound murmuring minyan of men running the clockwork behind the scenes. It’s a lot of fun, actually. Tesla coils are awesome, and Tesla the man is mysterious. The field is ripe with juicy fruitful conundrum.

In this field, you have to lay out the facts very carefully and deliberately, hacking your path through the thickets and always cherishing the samizdat nature of your job. Never watch the mainstream for news, but rather for clues to the conspiracy. Cautiously step back, and back and back, but don’t fall off the platform.

In this field, you must speak plainly and then repeat yourself many times. Little by little people will understand that you are solid and responsible and dependable as a hitching post outside the saloon. This is the field I have worked in as Nancy Birnes for the past ten years, the ectoplasmic field of the paranormal, where a cold wind rakes up and down your spine and your doors are never locked tight enough.

Nancy Hayfield is another whole person who has had a very successful career in a wholly different place; Nancy Duthie has done her fair share of good things too, including some darn fine mothering. I have become a Matryoshka doll full of real people, each one bearing only a slight resemblance to the others.

I once sat across the table from a man who was buying some of our property in a deal that was heavily weighted in his favor. However, even though he was a famous lawyer and was winning his own piece of the pie, he still felt the need to make me uncomfortable because that was his job. The internet had not yet been born, but he had done a background check on me and had found what he was calling aliases of mine. Aliases! AKAs. It sounded so shady, but it wasn’t. Not at all.

It was my married name of Duthie, a name so often misspelled that I made a collection of variations for my first-born that included even her hospital bracelet. It is a name I had assumed with such pride and excitement and a twenty-foot veil and many many bridesmaids … and here is just one photo from that happy day exactly 42 years and one day ago in Chester, Pa., the birthplace of the hoagie.

I emerge from the car and have my veil adjusted by Mrs. Shields.

I emerge from the car and have my veil adjusted by Mrs. Shields.

… where you see the happy 19-year old bride who did not have to get married, but rather wanted to get married … here I am getting my veil adjusted by the lovely Mrs. Shields, who had sewn all the gowns from Vogue patterns, including one for my pretty little flower-girl Michelle.

I love weddings, so there’s more to come. The scanner is flashing and time is collapsing in upon itself. πŸ”