If you don’t already have an alter ego, than I highly recommend that you invent one. For 28 years I was just myself, which for the most part worked out alright. But now I am also Lucita Flores, a widowed Mexican chef and a poetry whore. And I have to say, it is really fun to be two people.
Pior to meeting Madame Eva Leon, I was already pining on penning. My writing workshop teacher and friend suggested I join a poetry group. Poetry? No way, that was my limit. I hadn’t written a poem since high school when we had to write limericks about our friends on St. Patrick’s Day. And I definitely was not going to start writing Ode’s to hearts and get all lovey dovey.
The group was called Prostibulo Poetico (Poetry Brothel) and my friend insisted I attend their first reading. Out of curiosity, and the promise of free shots at the bar, I went. As a “client” at Bar Rouge, I wandered around the dimly lit bar in search of either a good hiding place, or perhaps a private reading. The whole evening seduced me and I wanted more. So I met Madame Eva Leon and her Poetry Whores. And pretty much in the instant they birthed Lucita Flores, my other I, this romantic I, this poetry-writing, heart-spying, love-book-writing I.
We aren’t REALLY prostitutes, mind you, though some of us may dress the part. It is a unique literary experience, where each ‘whore’ offers poetry tete-a-tete (that means face to face, not tit to tit) to their ‘clients’ or ‘johns.’ The catch is, we all have developed fictional characters and it is THEM and not US that write the poems. Lucita (I always refer to her in the third person, as she is not me!) has her own history, stories, network of friends, a facebook page (go ahead, add her as a friend!), style of dressing, character and love life. Completely separate to my own. As the months go on, she develops more and more and now acts quite independently from me.
I never really considered her as an alter ego until my close friends and peers starting asking me “How is Lucita?” and sometimes accidentally calling ME Lucita. At first I was frightened. And slightly offended. But then I realized that in fact having an alter ego can work to your advantage. The brilliant thing about an alter ego is that you can say “I didn’t do it!” – and mean it.