Call it

My cubicle doesn’t have a nameplate. Some temps who’ve been here fewer months than me have a nameplate. Hmm. How much more time will pass before I am no longer anonymous? This nameless thing isn’t so bad. If you’re in the Witness Protection Program. My name looks pretty good in print. It looks good on trophies and certificates. Probably even on a marquee. My fourth grade music/art teacher said my name was pretty fun to do in calligraphy, especially my whole name. Maya Conchita Esperanza Valenzuela Iglesias Antediluvian. Jingleheimer Schmidt.

Adam and Eve named stuff while they were in the Garden of Eden. How did they know to name it “dog” and to name its babies “puppies”? They must have had fun. They probably also realized how significant and deeply serious the responsibility was. Even Adam and Eve’s names have special meanings. How did they know to name their babies Seth, Cain, Abel, and so forth? All the names stuck. That’s what we call what we call. However many thousands of years later, we still call it “tree” or “rainbow” or “snail” or “mealy worm.” What a powerful thing, to give a thing a name and have it be such.

Our parents pronounced names on us. We’ll give names to our children. Like casting a spell, only more commanding. It’s an ordinance, really. A sacred ordinance, to be treated with the utmost reverence. My name is May. Rather, I am May. Your name is Dan. Or Bob. Or Chester. Or Glick. But that’s actually who you are. Names aren’t just labels; they’re not just tags fastened to us to get us to the right terminal (if THAT were only the case!). Names are a matter of existence. Entrance into this world palpablizes the idea of Dan. Chester. Glick. Elena. Lydia. Shepherd. They’ll stick, because they are.

We are set in stone. We are the tattoos inked into the concepts. We embody our names.

A nameplate would be nice, though.

2 thoughts on “Call it

  1. If they won’t spring for a nameplate, maybe get them to pass out a program.

    Because you sing, girl. And I don’t mean choir.

    These beginnings, middles and endings of your days that I read here have become the leitmotifs of many a dull (go read about it) afternoon of mine.

    Just wanted to say that before I turn into the catatose and comatonic one:)

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