In my lifetime I have had a series of nicknames. I suppose most people have. Nicknames are like watches, given as gifts from friends and relations. You wear them for awhile, and then they go out of style, only to get a new watch from someone else. Once in awhile you find one of them, tucked away in the sock drawer. You don’t wear it anymore but it is nice to see it and remember.

When I was a wee nipper, Uncle Edward christened me “Iron Mike”. I never learned where he got the name, or ‘why’.  All the same, I liked it. I certainly did not feel ‘iron’ like; the name made me feel good. I imagined he saw me as something strong and remarkable.  I felt like “Iron Man’. Interestingly when the “Iron Man” movies came out, a few people told me I resembled Mr. Downey Jr.  Maybe there was something there after all. Alas, that Uncle is gone, and no one calls me “Iron Mike” anymore. It was my favorite.

In contrast, Father called me “Mouse”.  It was a play on my first name, which begins with “M”.  Once in awhile, when I pick up the phone, I will hear ‘Hey, Mouse!” and know it is Father who is calling.  No – he never read the “Tales of the City” novels.  It is synchronicity.

At some point Brother #2 decided to call me “Mick”, not Mike. He has done so for so long I can not remember at time when he called me by my formal name.

My first nickname of a communal nature was “Rocky”.  This nickname, a derivative of the family name. was used by the boys in my elementary school. That is until the movie of the same name arrived. I no way resembled Mr. Stallone , and the other boys knew it. My explanation “I was here first” was not met with reason.  The “Rocky” movies deprived me of that nickname forever.

Later in life I had another communal nickname, used by my brothers, as a sort of poetic revenge for having lorded over them until they all grew up bigger than I.   Sorry, there ain’t no way I am going to tell you this one !

Sometimes gay men give each other feminine names, but I never had one. In my set, we were trying to suppress, not express, our gay side. No ‘girl names” for us!    I never had a drag name either, although I came up with Amanda Reckinwiff.

Someone and I don’t usually call each other by pet or nicknames. Sometimes when Someone is in a cheerful mood he calls me by my formal title.   I better not broadcast what I call him, or there will be no fruit cup tonight with dinner.

And finally there is my current nickname of “Spo”. A few Spo-fans admit to me they can not think of me in other way but “Spo”. I feel in league with my writer-ideal Mr. Dickens, who was known as “Boz”.   How delightful.

Nicknames come and go, and are never consciously created.  Goodness knows what new nickname will come my way.

I vote for “God Emperor” but this is more of a title than a nickname.

Just don’t call me “Stinky”

or “Late for Dinner”.