Identity – Merriam-Webster defines it as 1: the fact or condition of being exactly alike : sameness 2: distinguishing character or personality : individuality.
Sameness and individuality. How ironic that the word itself seems to be confused about what it should be.
With the exception of a few close friends who would rather call me Martin in a kingly inflection, everyone I know calls me Marty. I like that name. I don’t know a lot of Marty’s, and I like to think that none of my friends do either. I like to think I’m some kind of rarity because of my possessively held five letters. Mine. In my world all other Marty’s are derivative and not as worthy of friendship.
I always remember a paragraph from Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five where he explains an inherent benefit from having a name that ends in an “ie” sound. Billy Pilgrim is his character. A man who opts to be called Billy and not William because Billy is subconsciously associated to a child’s name. It sounds innocent and likeable and as if you’re already friends with the person, as all “ie” sounding names do. I seem to remember it reading: “It makes people like you more.” Which I believe to an extent.