Today’s experiment, in which I used Iris in lieu of my real name at the local cafe.
It was jarring, to say the least. Names are perhaps the closest thing to tangible identity—they’re much stronger than labels and descriptions. So it was odd, the feeling I had when that name came out of my mouth and the barista read it back. Funny, the way it was the first time I didn’t have to deal with a misspelled name, when the name wasn’t even mine. But I suppose it’s made me appreciate my real name a great deal more, along with the long string of nicknames that have come to symbolize terms of endearment and friendship. Because in the end, a name is a silent companion: a friend that follows you and carries your history in its humble letters, until you decide to shed it and forge a new identity. Then, it is merely a broken past held by the string of memory—in other words, remember your names, or rather, your name. It’s peculiarly important.