Do you ever feel invisible? I do. Often. People I meet too often don’t remember my name or who I am. I have heard too frequently: “Oh you are So& So’s daughter. I don’t remember you. I must have met their other daughter.” But there is no other daughter; I am the only one. Or: “What was your name? I don’t believe we’ve met” My name is N., which hasn’t changed since the last two times I have met you. Or: “Oh, you are So & So’s girlfriend? Wonderful to meet you. You know he never brings anybody around.” Well, I guess I’m not anybody, then, because we met last time and you said the same thing.
I am N. Do you hear me? I am N. N. not for nothing; N. not for nobody; N. not for negate, not for no one, not for nil, not for naught, not for no. N. is for me. And I am tired of being overlooked. Too long have I been So & So’s daughter or So & So’s sister or So & So’s girlfriend or wife or So & So’s secretary; I am never simply N. How is it that, in the mind of others, my face is always in the shadow of someone else?
And yet I can yell loud enough when it is just me and this computer screen, me and this keyboard, me and myself in my anonymity; I can revolt silently to the vast emptiness of the world of the internet that I know will merely swallow up my words into the infinite void that it is. I can scream and shout, pour forth what begs to be released, weep and moan from pain or anger, and I know I am safe; I know these words will never touch the eyes of another human being. So perhaps I am just N. for nothing, N. for nobody, N. for naught.