Yes, there is very definitely a possibility that there is more than one me.
If you look carefully at the colored pencil drawing above, you will see that it is titled “The Wizard of Edo” and signed by someone called Leah Cim Reyeb. A sinister sounding Asian name, you think? I told college friends that my research uncovered the fact that he was an Etruscan artist who started his art career more than two thousand years ago in a cave in France. But, of course, if you are clever enough to read the name backward, you get, “beyeR miC haeL”. So, that stupid Etruscan cave artist is actually me.
It turns out that it is a conceit about signing my name as an artist that I stole from an old episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show and have used for well over two decades through college and my teaching career.
And of course, the cartoonist me is Mickey. Mickey also writes this blog. Mickey is the humorist identity that I use to write all my published novels and blog posts since I published the novel Catch a Falling Star.
Michael Beyer is the truest form of my secret identity. That was my teacher name. It was often simplified by students to simply “Mr. B”. I was known by that secret identity for 31 years.
Even more sinister are my various fictional identities occurring in my art and my fiction. You see one of them in this Paffooney. The name Dr. Seabreez appears in Catch a Falling Star as the Engineer who makes a steam engine train fly into space in the 1890’s with alien technology. He appears again in The Bicycle-Wheel Genius as a time-traveler.
The young writer in the novel Superchicken, Branch Macmillan, is also me. As is the English teacher Lawrance “Rance” Kellogg used in multiple novels.
So, disturbing as it may be to realize, there is more than one name and identity that signifies me. But if you are a writer of fiction, a cartoonist, an artist, or a poet, you will probably understand this idea better. And you may even have more than one you too.