Doug

His name, purportedly, is Doug.

When you see this name, who do you think of? I think of old school Sunday morning comics, coffee, weird ties.

I think of bald men of indistinguishable age, pressed slacks, utilitarian watches and shiny shoes. I think of checked shirts, button downs, polos.

In a way, this man fits my image of a “Doug.” But there are small things about him that don’t make him quite “Doug”-like. A tightness in the corners of his eyes that draws them slightly upwards to make for a rather surly stare. An expressive forehead that is so different from the bland “Doug”. There’s something in his cheeks, too; that slight, too-full-ness of the apples of his cheeks that make his lips look slightly turtle-beak-ish.

He curses, too, unlike the soft-spoken, sweater-vest-wearing Doug that I have created in my head.

Perhaps that is why we give last names. Not only to remember the family we came from, but also to flesh out who we are as human beings. His last name has hard, sharp beginnings, reminiscent of the Catholic Calverts who immigrated to North America before the Revolution began to establish a place where they could worship without persecution.

His last name completes him, turns him into his own person. We’re not sure if he’s an existentialist, or simply a cynic, but as H. G. Wells said, “Cynicism is humour in ill health.” Perhaps this is why we continue to laugh at his jokes, and why we’re so enthralled by his teachings. He is fascinating, always one step ahead, mysterious, and more often than not forces us to look outside our safe little box and into a world of wild things, things that can never be fully rationalized.

“Human”–The Killers

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