Why must I always be Gary? I haven’t known very many Garys in my life. Except for the Gary that started a small pharmaceutical company years ago. That was before you could buy his mixtures in stores, and instead had to buy them out of his briefcase. It wasn’t even a particularly nice briefcase. There was another Gary I knew once, but I didn’t really know him. I just knew his name was Gary. It’s like that with a lot of the Garys I think I know. Who would have ever, for a second, thought that people would buy homemade pill mixtures out of a cheap briefcase?
Maybe if my name was Gary that sort of thing would happen. Maybe things would be different then. I don’t ever remember disliking my own name. David. It’s a nice name. A friendly name, but not too friendly, like Skip or Chip or Buddy. It’s a serious name, but approachable. Gary probably has way more friends than me. I used to have more friends, back in grade school. Joey and John and Mike and Jeremiah and Matthew, now those are some friend names. I’ve never, ever had a friend named Gary.
But what if I did? Would anyone care? If Garys surrounded me and I called them by their first name, would it really matter? And who are these people that accuse me of being named Gary? Why do they email me so often? Do they have nothing to do but assume most men of Irish descent are named Gary? Who ever said Irish parents name their kids Gary. Do they know that I’m only part Irish, not entirely Irish. I doubt that knowledge would dissuade them from emailing me anyway. If I weren’t so stubborn and didn’t have such an attachment to the name David, maybe things could change. As Gary, I’d command a team comprised of my internet legions. They would fetch this and move that. They would do as I desire, and they would know that I am indeed Gary. Their devotion to Gary would be unwavering, and enduring.
I delete these emails, the ones for Gary. I talked about all this out loud once, but I figured it was just a stroke of strange luck that I kept getting emails for Gary, much in the same way that a friend of mine named John keeps getting phone calls for a guy named Henry. But that’s because when he bought a cell phone his new number happened to be the old number for a man named Henry. Henry’s friends call John often. They ask for him, and John tells them Henry isn’t around. Maybe later he will be, but certainly not now. Even if he were around, he wouldn’t want to talk to that girl who calls late on Wednesday nights.
Maybe more people would call if Henry’s name was Gary. Then they’d call John and ask for Gary, much in the same way that people email me and ask for him. I can’t figure out who this Gary is, and why people want me to be him. I know a Gary from the Grand Geneva. He swims there. I should ask him for his email, so I can forward the Gary requests to an actual Gary. Lisa just emailed me, looking for Gary. It seems as thought he needs to verify some information on his policy.
When Gary the pill salesman opens his email, I’ll bet people inside of it aren’t greedily asking for David. If people, whoever they are, wanted to email a man named David I’ll bet they’d just email me. But maybe not. Maybe people email other people with the hope that if they write Gary in the subject line someone named Gary will actually think the email was written for them. Oh look, says Gary, an email specifically for me! Are there really that many Garys out there? I only know those few that I mentioned, and that’s pretty much it. That briefcase of Gary’s is probably packed with printed emails, not pills. When he gets home at night, I’ll bet he reads them, like a baseball player might read fan mail. If I was Gary, I know I’d read them. And things would be all right.
Sometimes, I must write things because I feel like it. Today is one such day.