Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A Blog from Under the Floor Boards, Part II

This one is even older than the last one. I am scraping the memory barrel, but let's hope it's not the bottom.


Maybe my center has been unsteady since I was christened without a middle name. And although every son has to deal with his father towering above him, I had to deal with my dad’s name blotting out mine, my George hoping to escape the eclipse of his, my penumbra an “i” in width, the name growing to the diminutive Georgie.

Until Confirmation, when I discovered the unspoken eighth gift of the Holy Spirit was a middle name of my choosing. Catholics take saints’ names to remind them how far they are from martyrdom, so each living day is guilt. And George was barely a saint at all, defrocked with Christopher and others for throwing his halo down. Dragon-slayers and car medal models are the stuff of legends and myths, of fiction, not faith. Catholics are realists, which is why they sing passionlessly. I needed a real saint’s name.

So I took two--Thomas--both Aquinas, who I knew liked books (and of whom I now know little more, beyond he made Plato Christian), and Doubting Thomas, who is the Twin, which means maybe I took three names in one. Was I lonely, cluttering my life? Did I know my dad would soon leave, and I would need many males around?

Thomas had the chance to let his fingers take the place of nails. Instead, he believed. I believe he backed down, found faith and fear are synonyms.

And yet there was another Thomas, and now when I see him uncoil his right arm home on tv replays, something stirs in me, my childhood I gave up on, taking names, my dad giving up on us, taking flight, Tom Seaver himself, his given name George struck out, like a batter taking a third strike, looking, hoping for a call to break his way.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

George, after all this time your writing still amazes me...

8:31 AM  
Blogger George said...

Very kinds words from the talented queen. Of course, I wrote this one a good 18 years ago....

8:41 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

eXTReMe Tracker