#reverb10 Day 23: New Name

20 04 2011

PROMPT: New Name. Let’s meet again, for the first time. If you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why?

Sylvester sat in front of me in my history class in high school.  We were doing our family trees and he showed me his.  My cousin was also in the class so I copied half of her tree and my other half was empty.  I didn’t know the names for the sperm side of my tree.

Sylvester’s great-grandma’s name was “Alynia”.  The name instantly resonated with me and I wanted to be an “Alynia”.  I would imagine Sylvester’s great-grandma as always a young, beautiful woman with a wide nose, angular face and long, graceful body like Sylvester’s.  Her eyes, like his, carried smiles and kindness.

In my history class fantasies, she and my grandmother were friends.  Eventually, they merged to one: Alynia Irene, my grandma’s Italian blood mixing with his great-grandma’s African roots to create the most beautiful dark brown almond eyes to hide a quick fiery temper.  She didn’t let anyone take her for granted and didn’t care who tried to define her.  She knew her strength, she knew her path, she knew her heart.  They could turn, twist, manipulate to fulfill whatever inner angst needed to be fed, but it would never cost Alynia Irene.  Instead, she laughed and shook her hips and put marigolds in her hair.  She and I danced through history as Mr. Whinna spoke of wars, winners and timelines.

When I was pregnant, I dreamed of giving birth to Alynia Irene. The dream ended with the ultrasound that had an arrow pointing to the little extra bit of white, not-finger-not-toe.  Afterward, Alynia became my unborn daughter, my guardian angel, my goddess, my existential best friend.

When my thoughts drift to her, I find myself  wishing for the big cosmic soup where all souls blend together so that when I die we can meet, and she can hold me and tell me that I am HER unborn daughter, that there was a mistake, dear, let’s just try this whole Life thing one more time.

(Photo by Charles Perry)