Friday, May 02, 2014

Quite a Moniker


“Question.”
DL giggles as we take our seats in Utopia.
“What’s so funny?” Sandy asks from her usual supine position on the top shelf of the sauna.
“Oh, nothing,” DL murmurs. “It was just cute how you asked us that right away.”
“Well, I know that Time is of the Essence,” Sandy replies, not looking at the clock.
I grin, thinking to myself how Sandy’s Tour Guide Persona is probably never far from the surface. Time is part of this, I’m sure, but also is the asking and answering of questions.

“Who was Orion?” she asks now. “Was he part of a Greek or Roman myth?”
“Greek, I think,” DL answers. Of course she knows. I’m terrible at the Myths. Always have been. Not sure why. It seems like, being a literary type, that the Myths would be part of my unconscious literary being at least.
But they’re not. So I was glad DL knew who Orion was. Poets are so smart about such things.

“And I also think he was the Archer?” DL continues, making a Bow and Arrow motion to demonstrate.
“Ah, very good,” Sandy nods. “The reason I ask is that my Sweetie’s stepson just had a child and they named him Orion Eugene Constantine. That’s quite a moniker, isn’t it?”

DL and I both laugh. “Yes, it is,” I exclaim.
“The middle name is the father’s first name passed on to the next generation. That’s how he got Eugene. But Orion, I’m not sure how they came up with that. Maybe it’s a constellation that’s in the sky right now?”

“I dunno,” I answer, shaking my head. “I’m terrible at the stars.”
Another woman lying face down on the shelf next to me shakes with silent giggles. I hadn’t even noticed her till this moment since I was so caught up in Orion and his origins.

“My name,” Sandy continues, “was Lorraine Marie. And I was never a Lorraine Marie!” She snorts as we all giggle. “And so at great expense to the family at the time, a family that did not have much money mind you, they changed my name to Sandy and so I only use Lorraine Marie when I’m incognito.”

“Names are so interesting,” I say. “When I used to teach up at Merritt College, I’d have my students do a What does my name mean? writing after reading Sandra Cisneros’ House on Mango Street. Esperanza, Cisneros' feisty protagonist, hated her name and wanted to be called ZZ the X or something snazzy like that.”


“Yes, well, my name was also a family name. Larraine for my grandmother and Frances for my grandfather.”

“My middle name is my grandfather’s name!” I contribute.
“That so? And what is it?”
“Leslie.”
Sandy pauses for a moment, “Leslie, yes, that can be a man’s name. And you, DL, what’s your middle name?”
“Michelle.”
“Michelle. Very nice.”

I space out for a moment, remembering how DL and I had gone to get our passports a couple of years back and they spelled Michelle wrong on her passport with one l instead of two or two instead of one—I can’t remember which, but I do remember what a big headache this was. The spelling of the name.

I spell Orion with two r’s. This is wrong. Later I go to look him up in Grave’s Greek Myths. He’s got quite a story. He’s falls for some maiden, Merope, daughter of Dionysus’s son Oenopion. Oneopion promises Orion that he can marry Merope if Orion slays a bunch of wild beasts, but when Orion does this, Oneopion keeps Merope for himself cuz he’s in love with his own daughter. They love incest in the Myths. And then Orion is blinded. And then he’s in the sky with his bow and arrow. And well, it goes on and on.

What does all of this have to do with swimming?
Well, Orion is the son of Poseidon. And wasn’t Poseidon the king of the sea? So….
Okay that’s a stretch and this blog is too long already.
But….DL’s name is the best: Denise is from the God Dionysus, the creator of wine and pleasure. And Leto is a Greek Goddess, mother of Apollo and Artemis.
DL knew all this in a text later.
See, quite a moniker too.
And Carol is a Christmas song and Jameson is an Irish whisky.
Another moniker worth noting.
If you’re in the mood for song and drink.


But that's an entirely Other Question, isn't it? Nothing to do with Orion, or middle names, or swimming.

DL stumbles out of Utopia, Sandy rises and saunters out. I exit after her, leaving the silent giggling woman alone in the Sauna.

Wonder what her name is? I pause for a moment, poised to ask. But then think better of it.

Sometimes a little mystery is a good thing. Esp. when it comes to a name....

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Always in the mood for a drink and a song! >^..^<

Ruth Jameson said...

What’s in a Name…?

Ruth a biblical name is one that I have never liked for it implies that all comes from the expectations of “Whether you shall go I will go, Your People shall be my people” etc. While this made for nice wedding vows at least it did in the 50’s, it really doesn’t make sense today and really never did. The implications of subservience of what a woman should do were passed down through the ages and it still survives today in more subtle terms…

Many years since, the Husband still asks why I “Challenge” him if I disagree with him. Not my place…hmmm…

Johanna my middle name given to me by my Mother is German in origin and has the strength of her heritage. Thus the inherent conflict of who I was supposed to be. My nom de plume is my own identity. Gilda Bronzé … the sublime freedom of the world of art, pursued in private, and ultimately my person cast in an unbreakable material in a form shaped in my own crucible of the imagination.

Cj said...

Ruth Johanna Gilda!
Thanks for all of this story round your name. I have always liked the name, Ruthie, but I guess, that's a nickname, which is another story, and blog, altogether! Thanks as always for reading!
Carol, Cj, Missy

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