On Names

I'm sitting on the bus. There's a stain on the seat beside mine and an oily smudge on the window. The bus is like a merry-go-round for adults. Same price. Same smells. You go round and round until you don't. The city landscape has changed from small boutiques and urban greenery to signs touting cheap lube (two for the price of one!) and rainbow-flavored condoms (apple-cheeked red, orange-you-sexy, happy lemon, lick-da-lime, ballsy blue, and purple ninja) behind neon-lit windows. Posters with Girls! Girls! Girls! in big, black font feature names with one too many letters like Nikki, Jenni, and Alexxis.

A name is never just a name, and I prefer not having one. The anonymity from being a recluse affords me the freedom of not being anyone. Not even of being me. When it's time to move on, I hop off the bus.

Kai Jordan is a pseudonym. I picked it because I liked it. So imagine my surprise when I came across the name while rereading Anansi Boys the other day:

"This dog rejoiced in the name of Campbell's Macinrory Arbuthnot the Seventh, and its owners, when they were feeling familiar, called it Kai." —Neil Gaiman

I think I like this name even more now, though I suppose for my next one, I could always call myself Macinrory Arbuthnot the Eight.