“Batman” She shouted
“I finally figured it out I’m going to call you.” She said with the biggest grin on her face. “You are my dark knight so batman is the only name that fits”
From that day on everyone started calling me batman. People create nicknames based upon their own needs. Some need a new insult others need a change, a fresh start. All must encounter the same problem at some point in time. What does this nickname really mean and when does it begin to take your place in life.
I had to ask myself at what point did I start sharing my life with an internal monster. One that thrived off of attention, power, and the weak will of others. At what point do you notice that you are no longer you. I quickly became Batman also known as Leeann. Friends, friends of friends, shit even family began calling me Batman. My birth name became so foreign that I no longer raised attention when it was called. All because of one person’s needs.
Angelique, a twenty year old culinary arts student, was nothing short of amazing. Her long free flowing black hair, pale tattooed skin, and soft features became my prison and my freedom. I first met her at a meeting of sorts. I spotted her in the corner doodling and it was as though the world itself had stopped and we were the only people in the room. We quickly became comfortable with each other. Our love for one another growing with every soft embrace, every tender kiss, and every dark secret shared. It was only a matter of time before everything would crumble. Soon the scattered memories and tear stained letters would be the only evidence of our 8 month relationship. All because of a name, one that I didn’t want in the first place.
“What if I don’t want to go by batman what if I just want to be Leeann” I once asked her
“Why!” She said more as a statement than a question
“Batman is so much better. What is a name except something that your parents can call you aside from child or the baby?” She said “It’s just a social constraint that you must break free of my dark knight.”
Her answer was one that puzzled me. I thought otherwise. To me your name is a memory that you should forever hold on to. It is your direct link to the past, present, and future. It is your heritage and it is how you should be remembered. She argued that birth names were as bad as brands on cattle. I wrapped her response around my brain until it cut off circulation. I couldn’t help but pass out in exhaustion and frustration. Questions dancing a deadly tango in my head. I could no longer think rationally like Leeann, soon all my thoughts and ideas were processed like Batman. There was something in this nickname that I rebelled from. Fighting a civil war within myself, attempting to be the victor. This isn’t what I signed up for when I came to college.
They say college is a place where you find yourself. Where you make important life decisions like what clubs you will join and who you will interact with. Most people find themselves but I...