No, I am not going all new-age metaphysical on you — I’m far too grounded in Yankee practicality to float off into the calming comforts of other dimensions.
I can’t even indulge in a nice juicy private fantasy without spoiling it with questions of logistics and petty details and common-sense obstacles. I feel too foolish to even attempt imagining myself on a luxurious tropical beach with a handsome pool boy rubbing coconut oil on my back:
How did I come to be there?
How did I come to be there alone?
Why in the world would Pool Boy even want to be there rubbing coconut oil on my back, unless I’d paid him handsomely?
And what’s the fun in paying for such personal services? Pool Boy would be bored and resentful and repulsed by the depths to which he’d sunk, quietly inventorying my liver spots and precancerous lesions and wrinkles and rehearsing the absurdities of his day to regale his friends at the bar with that night.
Besides, I’d want a Pool Man rather than a boy.
There’s also the sunburn problem – I could never lie on the beach baking in oil and soaking up the sun without badly scorching myself.
So much for fantasy.
Sincere Eternity is what struck my fancy today – fancies are much easier for me to entertain than fantasies.
Would there be any other kind, for instance? What would Insincere Eternity seem like? You think you made it to heaven, but God doesn’t really mean it? You’ve not been granted his sincere version of the vision? And would that matter, really? If I’m happily deluded, perhaps insincerity is all I need in the great beyond. It works for me in the present.
Sincere Eternity Smith is the name of a young woman I just met. She goes by Cindy, and I don’t blame her. What sort of mother would write Sincere Eternity on a birth certificate application? This name is worse than the one inflicted upon my friend Blue Jeans, the child of flower children.
I’ve long thought I should start a baby-name consulting business. I ought to be right there in the recovery room to intervene constructively as the nurse hands the mother that pen and clipboard. My own mother often sends me birth announcements from our wonderful hometown weekly – we savor and save them. Our favorite so far is for a young man named Duhkotuh. What a bleak and hopeless future that name portends –Duhkotuh’s only recourse will be to blame the phonics teaching craze (as well as his mother) and to live for the day he turns 18 and can legally correct his spelling.
In league with Sincere Eternity is Cainann Able Jones. Yes, he exists. Is it any wonder that this young man has a long and troubled history with the law? How could anyone in his right mind saddle a baby boy with such a name? Intervention is needed. My rates would be reasonable.
Sincere Eternity joins the traditional list of cardinal virtue names – Prudence, Justice, Temperance, and Fortitude, with Faith, Hope and Charity thrown in for good measure.
Why are these names invariably assigned to females? They are terms of admonition – if a girl is named Prudence, she mustn’t be sleeping around with the football team. They are terms of censure and opprobrium, cautioning women to maintain temperance and fortitude at all costs. They are scarlet tattoos of the letter A.
In fairness, we need to start naming our sons for these virtues, as well. Might just improve the state of the world.
Or perhaps, in an effort to avoid sexist bias, we should simply start calling our boys Gluttony, Sloth, Envy, Wrath, Lust, Pride, and Greed. Transparency and total honesty are “in,” after all.