The Cocoon: "Enemies"

I thought long and hard about this topic and I wasn’t able to come up with any people I could safely categorize as enemies of mine. I’m just too damn likeable of a guy, what can I say?


But I was able to recall a group of people who I’ve sworn to kill, and who are committed to doing the same to me, so I’ll just talk about them.

So when Facebook first came out, your friend count was of utmost importance. It qualified you as a human being. Were you a 1000- friend socialite? Or a 50-friend hermit, essentially shunned from society for your presumably rancid smell and long curling toenails?

Well, since I was in college, I was vitally concerned about mating with the opposite sex, and I figured having a robust friend count would be one of the proof points demonstrating my capability and prowess as a lover. So I set about finding and adding all the obscure acquaintances I could from the many schools I attended growing up around the world.

But after I’d scoured through all the old friends I could remember, I was at an impasse. Was this it? Would I have to — God forbid — go out and make new friends? In person? There must be some other source of friends!

That’s when I started searching for my own name, and derivatives thereof. William Tran. Will Tran. Bill Tran. Billy Tran. Will-I-Am Tran.

I added all of them. And I continue to periodically search for new ones now too.

They were software engineers, financial analysts, attorneys, software engineers, college students, software engineers. Quite a few were from Australia, some from Canada, others from Southern California.

After I added a few, I noticed they started adding each other. Soon we had a little network of William Trans. It wasn’t long before the death threats started getting thrown around.

Ok, I’ll admit. I may have started it. But in my mind, it made perfect sense. This was The Highlander. There can only be one. So on a Will Tran’s birthday, I’ll post a cheery death threat on their wall. Then some of the other Wills would pile on too. It’s a Will Tran thing, you wouldn’t get it.

I have yet to defeat a Will Tran in combat and harvest their powers, but it’s come close. Two years ago, I moved from New York out to LA, and suddenly the Will Tran power balance shifted drastically. I used to go rock climbing in New York, so I decided to try and keep that up here as well. So I went to Rockreation — a climbing gym out in West LA. When I checked in, I gave my name: Will Tran. And the receptionist said: which one?

Which one?

Turns out one of the Will Trans frequents this very climbing gym! I was ecstatic. I asked the receptionist if Will Tran had been around recently, and he… well, he didn’t really answer me. But it was an exciting close call. Because I mean, a climbing gym? That’d be so easy. Just tamper with one rope, or the clasp on a harness and… it’s an accident, right?

This incident has left me vigilant and on constant alert. There really could be a William Tran lurking around any street corner, reading the paper, walking their dog, or engineering software. And when that day comes when I finally meet one… well, I’ll be ready.

So like I said, I don’t think I have any enemies out there. But I do have some sworn nemeses. So if there are any Will Trans out there in the crowd tonight… come say hi. First round’s on me.

William Tran