What it means to be Tom

Just as painters spend a lot of time doodling, I often scratch out little bits that aren’t stories but are just sketches of ideas. Maybe some element of it will find its way into a story some day, maybe not. I was talking to That Girl about a thematic fiction publication, and I thought of this little snippet I dashed off some time ago. Just for giggles I thought I’d share it with you. The idea of a name and its meaning has been with us since naming was invented, but I have often reflected that the most meaningful names are the ones we give each other.

What it Means to be Tom

Our conversation fell into a lull. He took a sip of his almost-beer and regarded me seriously. “I name you d’rhath boran,” he said. “In your language it means ‘Speaks with sadness.'”

“I don’t know your name,” I said.

“That’s all right. You can name me later. It’s best not to rush.”

“Actually, my name’s Tom,” I said.

He looked at me quizically. “I do not understand.”

“My name is Tom.”

His eyes lit up. “Ah! My apologies. Your language is difficult sometimes. You are naming me Tom. What does this mean?”

It was my turn to be confused. “Tom is what people call me.”

He looked at me intently, then nodded. “You are giving me a name that you also bear. I had not felt the kinship until this moment, but you are wise indeed to recognize it, for it is there. What does Tom mean?” He laughed in his odd wheezing way. “Nothing too bad, I hope.”

“I’m not sure, really.”

He regarded me seriously. “I am surprised and flattered that you should give me such a complex name after such a short acquaintance. I look forward to learning what it means to be Tom.”

3 thoughts on “What it means to be Tom

  1. Internet access has been problematic the last few days. I have a couple of things to post, but I may not be able to get them up before I set out on my journey back to Prague tomorrow.

  2. At first, I thought it might have been my banana bread that caused IE to make everything on your blog disappear. It was jealous, I can understand that. But now it would seem that it’s just pictures in general.

    In a way, I was happier thinking it was just the banana bread. We can isolate the banana bread.

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