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THE RAVEN

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Dave is the name of a beefy football player with their hair cut too short and for some unknown reason always feels the need to shout “duude!” every 20 seconds. David is the name of a Jesus freak who carries an old tattered bible with them and always gives you a dirty look when you should “Jesus!” or “Oh My God!” I didn’t want to be either one of those guys. My neck wasn’t thick and I was too smart to pull off “jock”. and Jesus and I weren’t exactly on speaking terms at the moment. So I went by Jack. My father’s name isn’t Jack, nor my grandfather. My middle name is Hawkins so I didn’t get it from there. I just woke up one morning and decided my name was Jack. I looked in the mirror and said,

“Hello, Jack”

Because Jack could be who ever he wanted. He could climb beanstalks or jump over a candle stick. He could do what ever the f*** he wanted. And that fit me just fine.

But this isn’t about me. This is about her. Valerie. Valerie is a good name I guess. Sounds kind of pretentious to me though. So I called her Raven. I don’t know why. It might have been the hair. It fell in soft waves past her back, as dark as a ravens wing. She was beautiful. The first day we met I looked into her eyes and said,

“Hello, Raven”

She didn’t understand at first. To be honest I believe she thought I was crazy. Actually scratch that, I believe she still thinks I’m crazy. But it’s okay. She once told me that I wasn’t her type. She liked football players with short hair and big necks. Her words, not mine. Well, I may be summarizing. I retorted that Jack was not the name of a guy who threw touchdowns or goals or whatever. She thought I was talking in third person, but I was just talking about the name in general.

“Well, then maybe Jack should change his name” She patted my head and walked away. Back with all the other cheerleaders. What was a guy to do? I went to the bathroom, looked at myself in the mirror and said,

“Hello Dave, hey Dave! Hey dude, what’s up Dave!” nothing worked. After about 50 greetings, I gave up. I wasn’t a Dave. I walked back to the cheerleaders and sadly told my one true love, Raven, that I was not a Dave. Her friends laughed. She didn’t know how to respond. She didn’t know what I was talking about. So I took her by the shoulders. Kissed her hard on the lips, then walked away. I never talked to Valerie again.

Now I know what you’re thinking. But you’re wrong. No crazy hippie ever came up to be telling me that her only type were bible lovers. No one ever told me I had to be a David, thank God for that, no pun intended.

My name is Jack. As in the cheese. As in the guy from titanic. As in the bean stock. And nobody will ever change that. Not even true love.

I met this woman a few years ago. Her name was Della. No offense, but that’s a dumb name. So I called her Pip. I don’t know why. She was small with a high pitched voice. Pip seemed like a nice fit. The first time we met I looked her in the eye and said,

“God Pip, stop talking!” Not the best first impression, but she never shuts up!

The best thing about Pip was that she liked me for who I was. She didn’t care what my name was, whether it be Jack or Dave or whatever. She mostly just called my darling all the time anyway. That kind of got on my nerves actually. My name is not darling. It is Jack. Is that really too hard to comprehend? I thought she was crazy - scratch that, she’s still crazy.

A couple days ago Pip went through my journal without asking. I don’t really like keeping a journal, but it is something a guy named Jack would do, so I did. She found all my secret poems and inner thoughts in that journal. I did not tell her she could go through my journal. After she read through it all she looked me in the eye and said,

“Who’s Raven?” Oh dear Pip! Raven is the love of my life. But sadly I am not Dave. Silly women.
She didn’t like my answer.
She didn’t want me to think about Raven.
She told me I needed to move on.
She told me that she loved me.
She told me it was for my own good.
She told me Raven didn’t deserve me.

Now, I have no name at all. Now, I am laying down beneath the dirt. Jack is no more. If I would have known this to be Jack’s fate, I think I would have been a Dave. This wouldn’t have happened to a Dave. But at least now I know what Edgar Allen Poe is talking about,
Quoth the raven, “nevermore!”



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