Posts Tagged ‘names’

Your Native American Name

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Once, years ago, John and I were standing in the kitchen of my apartment. We were cooking, and I pulled a quart jar of walnuts from the top shelf of a kitchen cabinet and unscrewed the lid. They smelled funny.

“Are these good?” I asked, pointing the jar in his direction.

“I don’t know,” he said. “Maybe not.”

“They smell bad,” I said. “Really bad.”

“Yeah,” he agreed. “Let me try one.”

He popped one into his mouth, chewed thoughtfully for a moment, and then went into a full-body cringe. “Ew,” he said, weaving around me toward the compost, pawing at his tongue. “This is not good.”

After recovering from a fit of laughter, I said, “You knew that before you tasted it, didn’t you?”

“Basically,” he said.

“But you had to taste it anyway.”

Sheepish grin. And the origin of John’s Native American name: He Who Has To Taste the Rancid Walnut.

We’ve come up with several Native American names for me over the years, none of them nearly so memorable or so perfect. She Who Needs a New Book. She Who Dwells in Future Tense. She Who Reclines with Literature. She Who Corrects Others. See what I mean? Not happening.

What’s your Native American name?