Moon in Aquarius

With Celia it was mostly “Persephone” with the occasional “Seph” when truly informal. Danny and Marie tended to go with “Peri” softly sweet. I was 5 when he left. Marie carried forward the tradition. I was 12 when she left, more permanently. He still called me Peri when we talked by phone, on his very occasional letters, when he came back for that short time to bury his sister, though I was less innocently sweet by then. I was turning bitter. Why not? My world seemed to be in a steady state of crumbling. But I loved for him to call me Peri, when I was his little girl. All I wanted was to be his Peri whom he loved enough to take back with him to his real family in California. I was even willing to be big sister to precious Maya and baby Osiris (Sy). Gwen was eclectic in her deities, in her lifestyle, in all her ways, but staunchly firm against Danny’s previous life intertwining with the life they shared. She was adamant that he cut his ties with Celia, apparently some big loyalty test he had to continually pass. His trip back East for Marie’s funeral must not renew ties to us.

He was not cruel. Far from it, he was completely loving, even apologetic. How could I feel anything but love, and misery in knowing that he would soon be gone again? And contempt for Celia, how could I feel anything but? What is it about kids? We would do anything for a loving glance from the rejecting parent, while spitting in the face of the parent who is always there. Such contrary creatures.

I love it when Tom calls me “Purr” “Purrsephone” though I am way too clumsy to be catlike. With him, I do purr with contentment.

I won’t abide “Percy.” Friends will generally put up with the whole mouthful, but will often fall into the easier “Seph” as Celia did, or even “Peri.” I am not exclusive about these names. They are only attention-getting sounds. I was (secretly) bothered back in school when the popular kids and hangers-on dubbed me “Phoney.” I think they thought they were clever. Names. Symbols that attach to us, as if some kind of definition. Mostly we are so accustomed to this designation of sound and letters by the time we have any coherent awareness, we simply accept that this is who we are. At least I didn’t have the cognitive dissonance of responding to my name in the midst of other children designated by the same vowels and consonants. At least as a child, I got to feel that my unique name might be tied to a marvelous destiny. I had only a vague idea of the myth, then, that I had been named for. I didn’t think about my ancient namesake, torn between two worlds. All I knew was that I was named for a goddess. I wonder what her friends called her. Did her husband, God of the Underworld, call her “Purr”? Did she feel content in his realm? This is what we writers do. We wonder about things that never were, and spin out tales from our wondering. I mean, why should what is called “reality” be seen as more truthful than fiction? So much of our reality is made up, stories we tell ourselves or everybody knows. Names that are imposed when we are too young to understand that it is only a name, a word, a metaphor for who we really are. Still, our names are certainly more colorful and meaningful than some random alphanumeric designation.