The phonecall woke me. It was early morning. Summer. A few months after graduation. I was a freelancer. I had started freelancing during college, so the transition to full-time freelancing after graduation was natural.
The phone rang again. This could be work. I scrambled for the phone. I didn’t recognize the number. Maybe a new client. It rang again. I answered.
“Hello, James speaking.”
“This is James Provost?”
“Yes it is.”
“Hello, this is John Smith. You posted a message on my blog yesterday?”
“I don’t think so…” Who the heck is John Smith??
“Do you know my blog?”
“Sorry, I don’t…”
“Could you please go to suchandsuch.com/johnsmith?”
John is an illustrator, and like many illustrators, John blogs about his work. To my horror, in the comment section of the latest post on his blog was a rather inflammatory message. The author: James Provost. The message itself was standard internet troll-ism, your typical YouTube comment. But instead of using a disposable, anonymous identity, the troll had decided to use mine.