When I was younger, my mother’s nickname for me was Monkey. I used to climb on everything. I would obviously climb trees and the railing in my house. Also, I loved being called her little monkey. There is nothing better then being claimed again by the person who gave birth to you.

As I got older, the child nickname couldn’t stick anymore. I was into writing death poetry, listening to The Beatles and planning my own death (okay, maybe I am a fucked up person, but you all know being a teen is a gift from Satan himself and you all thought about the same shit. I just have the balls to admit that I had those thoughts. Kiss my ass you freakin’ coward…anyhow…I digress). I was seriously just your average American teen growing up fatherless and poor in America. Who hasn’t been there?

So, with all this new self-loathing, my mom felt to rename me.

This time I became Mickey.

I have no idea why really, but that is the beauty of a nickname. It is what it is and that is all there is to it. I mean, you can get lucky and your nickname might have a meaning attached to it. But mine didn’t. I wasn’t all into Disney and Mickey Mouse. I wasn’t a huge fan of Toni Basil. My mom just one day called me Mickey and I answered her. She was my mom and all and I wasn’t about to get smacked in the head for ignoring her. I heard her voice…I answered…a nickname was born.

Then 1993 rolled around and she rolled on. With her death, I buried many things. Of course my nickname went with her as well.

One day someone in my family tried to call me her nickname. I freaked out and almost punched this person in the face. It wasn’t their fault or anything. They were just repeating what they had heard me being called for years. But it sounded so strange coming from someone else’s mouth. Also, that was her name for me and I could not let anyone else call me that.

Now, fast forward to…what…2009. In a small, cold room filled with a bed, brown wooden dresser and an air conditioner on the floor, someone looks at me and calls me Mickey. I do a double take. What? Did I hear that right? Did you just call me my nickname that hasn’t been spoken in sixteen years? How did you know that was a name that no one can call me? You never called me that before and where did that come from?

Although I was about to go all gut reaction and freak out and say, “never call me that” my mind was so confused. I had thirty different axons firing and I didn’t know which one to listen to first. I just let the comment slide without saying a word, but I still didn’t understand where you pulled that name from.

What is more, I am not too sure why it didn’t hurt so much.

I guess the shock of it pulled me out of the pain.

But it was still so odd. Out of all the nicknames in the world…you pulled that one out of your ass.