Considering my namesake

Names have stories, from the ones we’re given at birth (I’m named after a TV character and my father) to the ones we’re given by others (Sweet Chuck from my time in Meter Reading [a job I’m strangely proud of, even if I’m glad I’m not doing it any more]) to the ones we take for ourselves.

It’s this last when I’m talking about at the moment. brenatevi. It’s always lowercased, and it could have been easily something else. When I started my trip through the Internet, I actually started with Compuserve, which assigned numbers as email addresses, before moving for a short time to AOL, where I actually had to come up with my own email address. I have always been a Star Wars fan (and I mean always, as in, Star Wars was released the year after I was born) but of course all of the easy Star Wars address were taken, so I had to improvise a new one.

Well, I have always been well read too, and at the time I had discovered a book called Foreigner, which I had taken a particular shine to, since I felt Bren Cameron’s plight more strongly than most people might not possibly understand, from his relations with his family, to his relations with the people around him, the very different Atevi, and in case you all haven’t figured it out, you all were the Atevi to me. Or more correctly, I was an Atevi awash in a sea of humanity.

However it was, I felt like a stranger in a very strange land most of my life (to steal from another beloved book) and always felt like a foreigner in dealing with people. My emotions didn’t seem to chime in the same rhythm as everyone else’s. When I was much, much younger, I remember when the cute girl from next door proclaimed to me that she was dating a black guy, and I said “Good for you.” The same girl that had maneuvered me so that I had her alone in my bedroom one time, there was no one else in the house, and I did nothing. Yes, I understood much later that she was trying to tell me something without saying it, but at the time, it was like she doing sign-language based on the square root of -1: very deep and beyond my ability to feel. There are many, many instances of this (“The Prozac takes away your emotions!” “I’ve always been this way.” Real conversation I had one time.)

And so after my month long sojourn from emotion, with a week’s worth of vacation and not giving a damn if I accomplished anything at all, I decided to dive back into the world of Bren Cameron and the Atevi, because I was back in that disconnect between me and humanity, and damn it, why?! So I looked for my answers in the one place that I knew understood me, the one place I trusted to the point that I took it as my online persona.

My first impression was it was weird seeing the short version of my name somewhere other than message boards. And it at first it really did feel like they were talking to me. Second impression was that I had come a long, long ways since that 22 year old kid that first read the book and was casting about for an email address. My last impression is that I still have a long ways to go, since Bren Cameron had come to terms as such as he could with the fact that he wasn’t going to get exactly what he wanted from the Atevi, what he needed from them, but he could get something very close to both, which in the end was a sense of belonging. I… I have come close, but yet not quite close enough. On the other hand, both of us (as of the last book I own, Pretender[in a shameful series of events, somehow I missed the book released in 2007, a fact that I have fixed, with it being shipped… and the next one is ships in April 200, right after the Dresden Files book releases, sweet!]) err… We both still have issues with self-confidence, constantly doubting our moves, always worried about mistakes. Such is life.

But now, now I need a nap, because I had spent the entire night and into the day, reliving and remembering why I took this persona, learning and understanding what it meant when I effectively declared myself a stranger, and trying to bridge that gap that has always plagued me, even if it’s an imperfect solution. Because in the end, I was reminded that we really are strangers to each other, that none of us can really communicate everything we think and feel.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: