I know who I am!

I am often described as self-deprecating, self-loathing, and self-abusive.  I cannot deny these assertions, because I am one more thing.  I am also self-aware.  I know who I am.  Show me the naked silhouette of ten men and I can pick out my own.  On second thought, let’s skip looking at other naked guys and just assume I know what my naked shadow looks like.  Really, any excuse to be naked is all I need.  Leave the lights on if need be.  Let’s just move on.

If Mickey Rourke ever gave a great performance—and there is still some debate about that—it was in the 1988 flick Angel Heart.  The climax of the movie involves ol’ Mickey, as Harry Angel, screaming, “I know who I am!”  In recent days, I’ve found myself in much the same situation, although at no time did I see a naked Lisa Bonet covered in blood.  At least, I didn’t see it in my house.  Let’s just move on.

In the span of couple of weeks, I’ve been confused for the following people:

  • Tom Green—Just read the old post to decide for yourself if I really am a Tom green look-alike.
  • Otis Sidler—Someone who apparently lives in my area code, has a phone number similar to mine, and apparently has some arrangement with a guy named Mark.   The more I think about it and recall the strangeness of the phone call, I was probably unknowingly involved in a drug transaction until Mark realized I was the wrong Otis.  Probably a good thing unless Mark slings acid reflux medicine.
  • Tomato Jenkins’ father—I have one son, and as Sam Malone once said, I haven’t been receiving any other Father’s Day cards.  Despite that, the Department of Social services sent me what my wife termed a Baby Daddy letter this week.  That’s just about as unsettling a letter a guy can get after being married for eight years.  [And if you don’t click through to read, it was a mistake.]
  • A former Iraq war correspondent—The latter happened a couple of nights ago.  I got an e-mail from a retired California cop saying that it was pretty hard to track me down, but he’d done it.  That was it.  Needless to say, I was confused.

During times of high traffic here at Rapid Eye Reality (and Google, we still need to have dinner and talk this out), I tend to get a lot of e-mails from people I don’t know.   Most of them readily acknowledge they don’t know me from Adam or Harry Angel.  This e-mail, though, made it sound like we were old buddies. 

Admittedly, I know a lot of people around the world by only their first name, or in some cases, only a nickname.  So, I replied with a rather vague response and a question aimed at figuring out who the person was.  I got a very detailed (and, I gotta say very interesting) account of the e-mailer’s past.  He closed with, “Last I saw you, you were with your head in a fox hole somewhere in Iraq or Kuwait.”

That was enough for me to figure it out.  There used to be an NBC news correspondent with whom I shared a name.  He did some time in the Gulf during the first war and enjoyed a brief amount of fame (and, actually infamy) before fading into relative obscurity.  Now, it’s a lot easier to find me than it is him (which, as long as I’m abusing the parenthetical, is pretty silly, because that guy was probably a lot better reporter than I was).  The Internet is funny sometimes.

And so, after all of this, I’m rather wondering if I’m not having a bit of Harry Angel moment and whether Bobby DeNiro is going to show up at my house with a boiled egg.  I’m not easily rattled, but that might just do it for my fragile psyche.

If for some reason I start referring to myself as Johnny Favourite, you’ll know what happened.

Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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9 Responses

  1. Mean Gene says:

    Any chance that “Dave Ritter” is German or Romanian or whatever for “Mephistopheles”? More obscure than “Louis Cypher”, sure, but it fits.

  2. pokertart says:

    are you still moving to Canada? Sorry for the random question – I’ve been out of the blogosphere for a bit (just had a baby), and was curious as to if/when you’d be in my neck of the woods.

  3. iggy says:

    i’ve always thought you were moonlighting as edgar hanson on the Northwestern.

  4. hmm.. thank you very much. usefull information

  5. KenP says:

    It was a good move when your wife went back to writing your name on your underwear like at camp. In Vegas you at least figured out who you are once a week.

  6. Grayson says:

    I have to agree with iggy. I’d have thought you’d get more mileage out of that one.

    Of course, I’ve never seen you bite the head off of a herring….

  7. Dr. Chako says:

    Great story in Truckin’. You need a radiologist. The odds of it being cancer are almost nil, but there is something called Barrett’s esophagus, that could cause your symptoms. It isn’t cancer, but could become cancer if not treated.

    Just sayin’



  8. Mickey Rourke plays masterful role in Spun. it is a disturbing yet funny look at everyones favorite diet supplement…meth. great cast and a must see if you have not already seen it. see you tonight mr senior el fucking camino.


  1. December 28, 2008

    […] In July, I had the oddest and scariest case of mistaken identity I’ve ever had. Read about it in Baby Daddy. It was part of a series of odd cases that I chronicled in I Know Who I Am. […]