John? Greg? Gregory? John Gregory?
Fuck my name. Here was the start of my road to mental destruction. I was born nameless, and should have stayed that way, but I didn’t. I was given the name, John Gregory Parks. Sure it sounds impressive; however, it has scarred me deeply. I’m sure most of you have normal names and have been called by that for your entire. Not me. Listen to my tell of woe.
Your name can define you. It is the most important decision your parents can make while you’re in the womb. Well, maybe whether or not to abort you; might be more important, but, again, I digress. While you’re laid up in placenta heaven for nine months, mommy and daddy work their way through countless baby name books, relative suggestions and celebrity magazines, searching for the perfect name for their little darling.
The name you’re given at birth sets you on your life path. When my kids were being hatched from the ex-wife, aka the BFC, I was adamant that the name not be easily rhymable, to close to an opposite sex name, or a fad name. Being a smartass in school, I knew how kids are; they’re bad, cruel, and hilarious. I knew a kid with a glass eye, who wore glasses; of course we called him three-eyes.
My mother thought wanted me called John Gregory. Say it a French accent, it could have worked, if I was French. Seriously, who has time to call someone two names, unless of course you’re calling someone a mother fucker. Sorry losing my focus. Some debate was given to calling me John, as it was my grandfather’s name. I like “John” it is a good, strong sounding name. Think of all the famous John’s; the Baptist, the Apostle, various Popes, Kennedy, and Lennon. Not bad. Notice I didn’t mention Port-a, but I’ll bet you did.
There was some discussion of being called Greg, not Gregory, again a length issue. The first of many length issues in my life, but more about my tragic relationships some other time. Greg isn’t a bad name. There have been famous Gregorys: Peck, Louganis, a Pope or two, but no real famous Gregs. Perhaps there are, but to this day, I can’t think of many. I guess in theory, it would have been a chance to carve out a niche in the world unbridled by a famous moniker.
However it was decided, I believe by a coin toss, Greg was the chosen name. With little fanfare I left Kessler AFB, “Greg Parks.” Oh, for the simpler times on infancy. No papers to file, no schools to attend, no jobs, and a less confusing time for all. As most of you know, whatever is on you birth certificate, is how all your paperwork will be filled out.
In school the first day of roll call, I’d have to explain I was “Greg,” not John, to every teacher. At various jobs, filling out the paperwork one way, identifying myself another; try to straighten out payroll or health benefit issues. Try getting a loan for a house. Any aliases? Then I’d have to list the different variations of my name. It was the same when running for office.
How about my days as a police officer, testifying in court? The defense attorney asking, if it’s John or Greg? Yes. The military was the biggest pain, they don’t deviate from the official paperwork. At work I was John, socially I was Greg. Can you see the mental and work/life issues growing?
I have often sat and wondered about the possibilities of a normal life as a Matt, Tom, even a Dick. There are those that will argue I have achieved a life as a dick, but I would disagree. Needless to say, my mental instability can be traced back to my mother and her decision to make me different; and man, am I different.