Tuesday, October 14, 2014

My Written Thoughts (1)

I thought I'd start a little segment, where I would just publish these tidbits of prose that come to mind each day. You know how people doodle on the side of the page? Well I prose on the side of the page. And yes, I am aware that prose isn't a verb.

Anyway, here's the first one.

I feel like it's a poem, but it isn't really. It's kind of formatted in a poem-y way which makes me say it's a poem. But it definitely started out as prose.

And since it doesn't really go with anything that I'm currently writing, I thought I would just post it here.

Tell me what you think. Prose or Poetry?

Goffman’s theory was that everyone was an actor. Shakespeare would be the one to call the world a stage. Both are true.

Names just mean different characters. And I’ve had so many that its almost too easy to slip into the different roles each require me to be. But I’m not going to lie; it’s hard to remember the difference between the actress and the role. If the roles come so easily, is the actress but a vessel waiting to be filled?
I’m sure you’re wondering who I am. What my name is. What all the woe is for. Well hold on, that’s what this story is for.

And like the lack of sense this all makes, I’ll start at the end.

And you can call me Tracy.


Some girls from the visiting school came a week in August, just as the classes were finally in session and running smoothly. It wasn’t their fault, they hadn’t known. They called me Tracy across the quad as I ate lunch by myself.

Had I known they were coming, I would have meet them at the door and told them the name I know carried. Or was trying to carry. But the attention was already on me as they slid in at my sides and asked about my summer. For it had been to long since we had talked.

I was still too new to have the name I shared be remembered. And everyone wanted to befriend the pretty English girls who visited, who happened to be friends of mine. So everyone called me Tracy. Saying what a great athlete I was though they vaguely saw me at the gym once. Saying how smart I was because I answered that one question in class.

Thus Tracy stayed. Even after the girls left and some of the ‘new friends’ stuck around. Tracy was neither my first nor last name. It just was.

That’s the year I became Tracy.

He calls me Katie. And he’s the only one to do so. He does it only when he’s really happy. When he’s really compassionate. When he’s really sad.

It’s the name he says in the dark when we’re together. It’s the name he says in the day when we’re alone. It’s the name he whispers when he brushes my hair back. It’s the name on  his mind when we kiss.

Only one person calls me Katie.

But before Tracy I was Val. Short for Valentina. Named after the first woman to ever go to space.

One of the sister’s at the school called me Valentina because there were too many girls in the class with my first name.

But Valentina is too long for the mouth of a elementary school girl. So they called me Val on the playground and during free time. They called me Val during arts and crafts and PE. During music and math.

Only when I was in trouble did they call me Valentina.


To the boys at home, I am Kat. Named after another astronaut. But Kat is cute and fitting for the little sister whose five years younger than her youngest older brother. And ten from the oldest.

Kat is the name kind of name you can say quick and loud when you’re angry. The kind of name you can say with fun. The kind of name that you can shout when you call out in fear.

It’s the kind of name that gives the illusion of sweet, small and innocent.

It is the name my brothers call me.


Kathryn is the name my father calls me. He says it when he is mad. He says it when he is tired. He says it when he is hurt.

It’s the only thing he calls me because it’s the only thing he feels. He calls me Kathryn because that is the name he picked. Anything else reminds him too much of my mother.

And that he cannot bear.


I don’t know what my mother called me. Just as well since it would a role I cannot play. It is a role I will not play.

My mother died when I was born.

She did not have a chance to call me anything.


I carry all these names with me. They each reflect a part of who I am. They each are a different role I play. They are from my past, my present and undoubtedly my future.

I carry each one like a scar. It’s always there, though hardly visible. You see it when I point it out. You see it when I walk on that stage and  play that role.

Each name is a role I carry.

Each one fills me in some way.

There is no room for the girl who started it all.


Her name is Valentina Kathryn Tracy.

Her father calls her Kathryn.

Her brothers call her Kat.

Her school friends call her Val.

Her teachers called her Valentina.
In college they call her Tracy.

And one boy calls her Katie.

To each of them she is one of them. But to me she is a girl who lost her way along time ago.

I am Valentina. I am Kathryn. I am Tracy. But I cannot be all at once.


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