In last night’s dream, I was at the hospital, where I’d just delivered fraternal twins, one of each sex. In the preceding nine months it had not occurred to me to think of names — must have slipped my mind — so I was scrambling to come up with something. The doctor was standing at the bedside with a clipboard, impatient to write down the names.
First I came up with Lydia and Dylan, since these were near-anagrams, but I dismissed them for three reasons: the anagram thing was too cutesy; the name Dylan was too popular; and one of the Columbine killers was named Dylan.
(I recently read Dave Cullen’s book Columbine, a journalist’s investigation into the school shootings ten years after the fact. It is magnificent.)
I wound up naming the girl first. I called her Dahlia Sue, “Dahlia” because it sounded pretty (and because I apparently like the letters D and L and A) and “Sue” because I wanted a one-syllable name to act as a foil to the first. That’s how my own name works, Jessica Hope, which could explain why I’m fond of that cadence.
I named the boy Garth. I have no idea why. The doctor with the clipboard raised his eyebrow when I told him that, and then I felt kind of bad, since it is a strange sort of name, and since the kid might get picked on for sharing a name with the sidekick from Wayne’s World. So I gave him a middle name of Anthony, not only to balance the monosyllable with four syllables, but to give the kid the option of going by Anthony or Tony if he didn’t like his given name.
Though now that I’m awake, I’m remembering that Cassandra’s drummer in Wayne’s World was called Anthony. Oops.
Generally I find it excruciating when people feel it necessary to share the details of their dreams. I wouldn’t breach my own etiquette like this if it weren’t for the bit about how I did some anagramming in my sleep. I came up with a female name and a male name that shared four out of five characters. I did this while I was not, you know, conscious.
This is not dissimilar to the aponym dream I had about eight years ago. Then as now I achieved the same conclusion. On the one hand, doing intricate wordplay in my sleep makes me feel smart. On the other hand, if I were truly smart, I’d know how to earn a living wage.
I’m going to scratch out an article or two this afternoon, because income supplement is a mighty useful thing for people who don’t earn living wages. But before I go, a bit of good news: I have at least four living goldfish in the garden barrels. When last I wrote, I was only certain about two of the five fish, Canary and Anonymous. As of last night Mulder and Scully have been positively identified as living
and breathing and swimming. And if those two are alive, there’s a chance that Poirot is still with us. Only Hastings is known to be dead for sure.