I am me. Really.

Yesterday I had to visit a solicitor’s office to have my identity validated. I’d failed a money laundering test because I have two addresses and it wasn’t clear to anybody, including me, in which one I lived. According to the test I was a paradox; an object that had failed to satisfy any condition.

Fortunately, these days, solicitors offer an existential service, and for £15 they confirmed that I am the person I’ve been claiming to be all these years. Me. And they stamped a letter to confirm it. But can I still launder money? I don’t know. I paid in cash.

As I walked home to one of my possible addresses I wondered what other philosophical uncertainties the solicitor could resolve and stamp.

  • Why is there something rather than nothing? Because there is. Bring in a photo ID and a recent utility bill. £15. Stamp.
  • Do we have free will? No. Bring in a current council tax bill and a current driver’s licence. £15. Stamp.
  • If I see blue, what colour do you see? Blue. Bring in a letter from your parent or guardian and proof of postage. £15. Stamp.

The possibilities seemed endless. After all, who can argue with a stamped, legal document? But when I walked into my house I was surprised to find myself already there. So I went back out to demand the return of my £15. They were closed.

 

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About James Ellis

James is a freelance writer and editor. He is the author of two novels, The Wrong Story and An Other’s Look (which is in the process of being published). He is currently working on my third novel. In addition to his own creative writing, James provides one-on-one structural and developmental mentoring for fiction writers, and develops and facilitates creative writing workshops.
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