The Daddy Complex

David, I was wondering about how you chose your sons' names. Boone, Wyatt... did you and your wife choose one each? Or a different strategy. As an identical twin I always thought about how my parents decided on mine and my brother's names, but when I made it a point to ask them I was offered a very unremarkable answer: "We just liked them." I'm counting on you for an interesting response.

Asked by bryanvana

Here’s my interesting response:

My wife and I wanted names that went together, but weren’t cutesy twin-type names. One day, after meeting my wife for lunch, an old gypsy woman stopped me on the street. Her breath smelled of wine and potatoes. She grabbed my wrist, leaned close to me and whispered “Poughkeepsie.”

Naturally, I was flummoxed as to just what she meant and what it had to do with me. It plagued me, kept me awake at night. Finally, I convinced my wife we had to go to Poughkeepsie. We hopped a flight and, upon our arrival, were met at the baggage claim carousel by a midget dressed in a wetsuit. He said, “You’re having twins.” It totally freaked us out because, even though my wife was starting to show, we hadn’t told anyone yet. He then said, “Come with me.” We followed him as his flippers slapped the linoleum. He led us out into the sun and gestured to a waiting cab. “The Lamplighter Inn,” he said and nothing more.

The cab wound through an industrial area south of the airport. It rolled to a stop in front of an abandoned tavern. Some of the windows were shattered and my wife grimaced as two large rats scurried through a hole in the broken façade. “How much?” I asked the cabbie. He turned back to us and said, “No charge.” And that’s when I saw his eyes were milky white, ghostly. The dude was totally blind.

We climbed out and the cab sped away. The streets seemed to breathe as we cautiously entered the empty pub. Shafts of light from broken windows split the dark room. We heard a rustle, then a flutter. We both jumped as a raven, black and sleek, flew past us. It let out a single cry, then landed on a tilting mantle over a crumbling fireplace. We crossed to the raven and saw it had landed on a large, dusty frame leaning against the brick. It let out one more raspy cry and flew away.

My wife picked up the frame and brushed the layers of time from the glass. Beneath the pane was a newspaper front page from July 14, 1887. The main story was about a train derailment. The photo accompanying the story showed two strapping men, shirtsleeves rolled to the elbows, standing before a toppled locomotive. Around them, people smiled and cheered. The caption read: “Boone and Wyatt Vienna, legendary time travelers, save hundreds from death.”

My wife and I looked at each other, then back to the photo. In the image, Boone’s shirt was unbuttoned at the top, exposing his undershirt. We looked closer at Boone’s chest. Barely visible in the old photo we finally saw it. My MC5 tour shirt.

With a gasp, we looked at the man identified as Wyatt. In his right hand, he held a well-worn leather jacket. My jacket. You could even make out the place on the sleeve where the leather had rubbed down to the lining, the place that my wife, just two days ago, pointed out. She said we should get it fixed.

Clearly, our sons would grow up to be famous time traveling heroes. And for whatever reason, they were to be named Wyatt and Boone. If we varied from this path, chose other names for them, the future — and the past — could be altered drastically.

So, that’s why we picked the names we did. To save the past.

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  1. thedaddycomplex posted this