By Alexa Day
If I’m doing my job correctly, my boss thinks that butter wouldn’t melt in my mouth.
It’s probably more correct to say that if I’m doing things right, he has no fact-based reason to think I am anything other than the competent woman with the frumpy clothes. I don’t know what he’s really thinking. I could drive myself crazy trying to figure that out, but I bet the trip would be as enjoyable as it would be brief.
Earlier this year, I had a little fun with the proper care and feeding of a secret identity. If I sit still long enough to really think about it, I have to admit that it is pretty cool to have a double life as an erotica writer. If I’m really looking for a good time on a slow work day, though, I start thinking about the secrets other people are keeping. That’s the sort of thing I do wherever I go — as a writer, I’m quick to make up a backstory for all the strangers who cross my path. My day job is a real gold mine for this sort of thing.
I’m convinced that my line of work is a magnet for folks who don’t fit the traditional career model, and I’ve met some fascinating people on the job. Truck drivers, former cops, musicians, you name it. We’re all doing the best we can in a conservative industry in a conservative part of the country. We’re all in this weird, gossipy, judgmental Petri dish of personalities, and we all spend a certain amount of time wearing our Competent Employee masks so that we can afford the secret lives we love so much.
Hell, some of us might even be wearing the Tough But Fair Boss mask to support a secret life as —
See? I was just trying to avoid thinking about that, wasn’t I? I need to be able to look at all the people in my web of command (we do not have anything as linear as a chain at my job) without wondering about what else they might be up to. I know my limits. Once I start thinking about what my bosses are doing outside the office, I know I’m going to have a hard time stopping, and that’s where awkwardness really starts. It starts in the mind, along with the struggle to keep it there.
Maintaining a double life isn’t all roses and cake frosting. (Or cake-frosting roses, which are the best thing ever.) It’d really be nice to tell an alumni magazine, or a job interviewer, or a date about my secret identity. It’d be nice to tell them about both my names or that the trip I took a few months ago was actually a conference with demonstrations. It’d be nice to use some of my publishing credits on my resume.
Today, I can keep my mind busy with making sure the boss thinks butter wouldn’t melt in my mouth. And maybe I can plan another one of those innocent trips. That always starts my work day with a smile.
You want to add a little secret spice to your life? You need to check out Liz Everly’s Like Honey. It’s coming out on April 3, it features a hot hero with a secret, and it opens with some sizzling outdoor action at a masked ball. It’s enough to make you wonder about the things other people are keeping under wraps, right?
And get to following Lady Smut. We are full of surprises around here.