Identity

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Many years ago before you were born, it seems that a certain proprietor of a small hotel out west was welcoming a traveler to the hostelry. The individual in question, a decidedly bearded and elderly mountain man, was the type who spoke as few words as possible.

Upon giving his name, the proprietor recognized his guest by reputation as one of famous pioneers and prospectors of the region, noted for his daring deeds as a young man. The fellow had disappeared into the hills and hadn't been seen for over 30 years.

The traveler signed the register with an "X" and awaited his key.

"Excuse me," began the hotelier, "But I'd sure be grateful for your autograph. You're a mighty famous person in these parts."

"Never sign autographs," came the reply; "hate people, hate publicity."

With that the guest took the hotel register and carefully drew a circle around his "X."

"What's that mean?" asked the proprietor.

"I've left a false name," was the answer.

----------------A Final Thought ...

"The writer is either a practicing recluse or a delinquent, guilt-ridden one; or both. Usually both."

- Susan Sontag (b. 1933), US essayist