2023-02-21: name drift

if i know you as something, that's your name forever. mostly.

i'm reminded of this in the group chat, where there's two people i've known for decades, but not by their legal names. in this context, constantly trying to catch myself, make sure i don't slip. use initials, or nicknames. but in my head: the same names they gave me years ago. the names we give ourselves have heft.

but, since the group chat started, an admission. i prefer [redacted]. and so, i've changed. a new name (their actual name). getting used to someone as someone else. the online/irl separation crumbling, the label shifting, the person the same as the name. my oldest active friendship. twenty five years and counting. how i'd do anything for them.