10.29.2012

Hurricane Miranda.

There's a hurricane rolling through New York right now, and it's not like down south where everyone's used to it; there we throw parties and wade through the standing water in flood pants to our favorite bars to enjoy their drink specials during the storm. People here are scared, and we don't have the infrastructure to handle it in the same way--we don't have hurricane shutters and our basements flood and all the trains have stopped running--people are still split on what will actually happen, will we fare okay or will we be destroyed by this Frankenstorm? 

Some [like me, actually] think yes, we'll be fine. I wear my former Floridian-ness like a badge of honor in weather like this, and I, like everyone, refer to her by the somewhat endearing name Sandy, and forget what kind of damage she can actually do.

My name, like most American kids, was given to me on the day of my birth, 32 years ago today. It's weird that we are identified by a string of letters that were imparted onto you rather than chosen by you; this huge piece of your identity that most carry until their grave. Even though I didn't chose it myself I hold my first name very dear; I relate myself to other Miranda's, both those real and in literature and movies, I find the similarities between us and carry them with me like a sign that my name has somehow influenced my character and now becomes me more than any other could.

This doesn't mean that I haven't loved my many nicknames, because I do.

I love nicknames. I both grant them and own them; I have had so many over the years, all the endearing colloquialisms and pet-names that I have been called, and when I think back over them it looks like a chronology of everyone I've loved so hard, and I feel fortunate that I may never have to be divorced from them, and I giggle when I am called one from long ago and am fond of the memories that this affords me. 

Maybe it's just me, but do me a favor and, just briefly, think about the people who routinely call you by your first name. If you're anything like me, then these people are your co-workers and acquaintances, maybe the people who make your coffee, while the people in your inner circle have no doubt granted you a diminutive, engendered form of that word that makes you you; those close to you have likely dubbed you babe or dude or brother, maybe even, as I am so fond of calling people, fave.

Look, you guys, it's my birthday. There's a storm outside and I've been drinking all day and it's warm in here. But I want a cigarette, and as much as I'd like to sit with you all forever and wrap this beautifully and eloquently I don't have much for you. Except, maybe, for this.

I pretended for a long time that this was okay with me and it's not. I wish it was, I do, but real life Miranda and here on this very blog Miranda and my work and me and me, goddamnit are all the same thing, at least they were before I wrapped my life in all of this. And even if I wasn't exactly sure yet when I told you no, said that this can't continue, that the naked part of us had to be removed from us, I was positive by the time half my hair laid tight in the grip of your palm and I heard, several times, my given name escape your lips .

Im not saying that I indicatively dislike hearing my first name in bed, I'm just saying that in this instance it belies the notion that you would delight in holding me at arms length forever, as you do most, and before you jump to disagree with me let me assure you that this is evidenced by all the times I have lain naked beside you and listened to you lie to your best friend on the phone because of, and about my, presence. Both in your bed and in your life.

And see, this is why I don't really need to wait anymore for your input on this; I just can't do it. I can't live in your world where your personhood is faceted and different people see different portions of you, and I definitely can't let you continue to, as you have, influence me to do the same. I promised myself, and Lisa, that I would be better. I promised that last Christmas day would see the end of that Miranda that hides the poor parts of her relationships from the other people that she, meaning me, loves.

Our names, they are a part of us. They are ours, but we set them aside for those that deserve to rename us.

That is a right that, as it seems, you don't feel like you have.

So if you'll excuse me, if you'll all excuse me, I'm stepping out into Sandy's wake for a cigarette and some French wine. You see, we call her that, the hurricane I mean, so that we are no longer afraid to be within her, to feel her so scarily close to us.

I'm sorry, fave. I'm sorry I got too close.

--M

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