In the last post I added something pretty much in the twelfth hour, at the very end. I said “your vanity” and then in parentheses I added “this one would be me, alas”. This kind of came out of me. I wrote it without really becoming aware of what I was uttering until I saw it on the page itself. Now that it is out, I think I do need to look at this confession a little bit.
First the name: My Real Life name is Elif Ayiter. Elif is the first letter of the Arabic alphabet, the Arabic Alpha, in other words. Not that Turkish has any affinity with Arabic, but we did use the arabic alphabet for a very long time due to the influence of Islam. Elif, I think, is also the first letter of the Koran. So, Elif is a Turkish woman’s name (oddly enough, apparently Arab’s do not have Elif as a name), the translation of which is Alpha. When I was going through the list of surnames to pick as I was creating my account I immediately honed in on Auer, because Auer is very similar to Ayiter. Also, I am partially German and Auer does have a Germanic ring to it, I guess. Thus, the urge to make Alpha as closely related as possible to Elif was there from the word go.
So am I vain? Well, I most certainly wasn’t at the time when I went into Second Life. I sat here in an oversized grey tracksuit, fumbling my way around Orientation Island. I remember that day quite vividly. I also had this technique developed to perfection whereby I would manage to totally avoid looking at any reflection of myself in shop windows and what have you. I was that revolted by what I saw. This has become so ingrained in me that even today, after a weight loss of 32 kilos I tend to keep it up.
But why did I get so fat in the first place? Was it some kind of punishment for the vanity of my younger days? Was my superego trying to teach me a lesson somehow? I do have a feeling that it was something along those lines. So why Alpha? If I was in fact meant to learn a lesson by depriving myself of my looks, why did my superego not stop me from creating Alpha in the image of what I used to be before I became fat? I already wrote here earlier that Alpha became the dragoman that led me out of one state of being into another. So, did my superego allow me to create Alpha because it reckoned that I had learned my lesson and was now ready to be discharged once again into the world of the living as a better person?
So, again, am I vain? Have I learned the lesson? Has anything changed in the intervening decade of the”fat years”? I cannot be sure. Of course, I would like to think so. I do know that parts of me are terribly insecure, have been since I was a child. But the rest? Am I vain? I also wrote a while ago, in the Diametric Opposite that I had tried to do the photo assignment that Murat gave to his students in the spirit that Ufuk had undertaken it. And that I had failed quite miserably. Is that thing, that fatal flaw that I cannot even bring myself to acknowledge, vanity then?
In the end, is vanity the thing that the look-alike avatar is really all about? I truly do not know…