I send myself emails all the time: reminders, shopping lists, ideas for stories or manuscripts or choice bits of conversation I’ve overheard. Sometimes I even send myself emails to remind myself to respond to an email I have just read, which is something I need to do now because the internet has ruined my memory-thingamy. So it took me several befuddled minutes to work out why, a few weeks back, I emailed myself a long self-addressed correspondence that I had no recollection of writing. Turns out there are many Claire Varleys in this world. Ego placed back into box.
Other Claire Varley – for this is how I refer to her in conversation so as not to sound like either a nut job or royal – was happily going about her business on Twitter when suddenly she started getting linked to tweets about my book. At this stage I wasn’t on the Twitter-beast so any Claire Varley’ll do, right? She ignored it for a while and then when it wouldn’t quit, wondered what to do about it. She contacted me, thereby doubling the number of Claire Varleys currently emailing my account, and we caught up to both ponder this conundrum and stare into the infinite abyss that opens up before you when you realise you are neither unique nor special.
Mostly, we chatted about who gets to be Claire Varley. Clearly we both do. It’s not really a prize, seeing as we’ve both been Claire Varley since birth, and unless one of us does something really demented or shameful it’s not much of a curse either. Undoubtably there are many other Claire Varleys out there and perhaps one day I shall organise a convention or some such. A Festival of Claires or Varley-palooza. The UN could declare an International Day for us. It’d be great, and long overdue.
Because Other Claire Varley is a savvy journalism student, she knew a story when she was one. She’s written about the whole thing here. (Just for everyone’s reference, in response to her question ‘Would the real Claire Varley please stand up?’, clearly I am the real Claire Varley because if I start to think otherwise I will no longer exist. Nietzsche et al etc etc)