He was Edward when he was here, alone in his home. Edward
was the name on all the sticky notes, Edward was the boy his parents and teachers apparently adored. Edward was the
one who sat straight in class, who answered questions, who raised his hand.
Usually, the boy didn’t enjoy being Edward all that much.
Eddward with the three d’s was created by his friends, when
Ed, the lovable oaf, misled by his nickname, gave his given name an extra d. The boy rather liked spelling his name
this way, liked the story behind it, the history. Anything his friends gave him was treasured, and they had given him
this. So Eddward he was when involved in a scam that required he be respected, and Eddward he was in his own head.
Double D was the name his friends called him, and it was both treasured
and simply tolerated as thus. He’d never really liked nicknames – names were given for a reason, and only
in full did he believe they held their true meaning – but the love behind such a gesture as giving him a nickname was
there, and valued. And it was this name that had led to Eddward, which was still the only thing that made being Edward
But Double D was also the problem, and the pleasure. Double
D was the one who got in trouble, who messed up, who failed. But he was also the one who relaxed, who let go, who lived.
The name the boy found he cherished most was Edd. When he
was Edd he was part of a group – he belonged. Edd was an Ed, a person who fit, a person with friends.
Edd was a success, in ways Edward, Eddward, and even Double D could not be.
He had other names, of course. Double Dork, Double Drip,
simply Dork, or whatever silly, cruel name Kevin or even Eddy, one of his best friends, would throw at him. But they
didn’t matter. Those names were nothing, discarded and dull. He was never any one of them for very long.
A different person would’ve resented this, would’ve
hated being fragmented in such a way. But it was easier for this strange changeling of a boy to discover who he was
by dissecting the various puzzle pieces of his self. The scientist that was a part of every name within him rearing
his head, no doubt.
He wondered, every once in a while, what he would be left with
if all those names were stripped away. It was a terrifying thought, and inescapable for that very reason.
For he’d designed these separate compartments for his being
because he found he really wasn’t all that compatible with himself. How could he even dream of reconciling the
moralist Eddward with the Double D who, however unwillingly, went along with all of Eddy’s schemes, no matter how wrong?
Or the Edd who had friends with the Edward who’d moved into the cul-de-sac believing wholeheartedly that he never would?
And most especially, how could he reconcile the Edward who believed
his parents to be perfect, and all the other names, who’d learned that they were not?
It didn’t bear thinking about.
So he pulled his hat on, carefully hiding all evidence of the bump
on his head he’d gotten from his father, who’d returned the night before after weeks of being gone just to throw
him into a wall for no good reason except that he was there.
And thus it was Sockhead who walked out the door to meet his pals,
Sockhead who eagerly went along with Eddy’s schemes, Sockhead who loved jawbreakers and who quietly rebelled against
his parents’ rules every time he ate one, Sockhead who abandoned all decorum when the moment suited him.
It was Sockhead who had something to hide.
And it was Sockhead who kept him breathing.