Name Twins

Name Twins

We went to the Wood Buffalo for drinks. I heard someone leaving and say to our bartender, “Thanks Stephen,” but she said it like she would say my name. When our bartender came back to us I asked him how he spelled his name. He looked at me suspiciously and said, “S T E P H E N.” I said, “Wow, I have only met one of us before.” He asked, “Is your name Stephen?” Well, I thought my response should have made that obvious. He did not seem to be so excited about what had happened but he eventually came around. I asked him if he has ever met one of us before and he said he had not. He said, “It is a rare name.” I told him about the Stephen I met in Shelby, Montana, and how he was not excited about it at all, and that day was on the 33rd anniversary of me being titled with such a troublesome name. Bartender Stephen began to appreciate our situation more as the night went on. We called each other by our first names excessively because unlike people with names like Dwayne or Agustus, we never get to do that, “Hey Stephen, need another beer?” “No, Stephen, I am good for now. Thanks though Stephen.” I wanted to give Stephen a hug and just be like, “Pal, I understand…” I know what he has been through every day of having to deal with this name. We shared stories of trauma and the war we have to fight daily. He told me he has given up on it and he has just accepted Stephan, Stephon, and Steven. I told him I gave up the battle a few years ago and just became Beaver instead. It was a nice moment of really understanding someone about something. I think it is the first time I have ever been able to be 100% completely and fully empathetic about anything in my entire life…!

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