When I was fifteen I went to get my working papers from the high school. I was happy to be able to make money doing something other than baby-sitting.
I applied at the local pharmacy, to be a cashier. I walked in, strangely feeling different than any of the other times I’d gone in. It wasn't my first time going alone or anything. It was my first time going because of me; for me. I walked by the cards, toiletries, tub chairs, aspirin bottles, zig-zagging from the entrance by the street, to the pharmacy counter, in the back of the building. I smelled the smells of medicine, paper and plastic, as I zigged. I smelled the fragrance counter and the elder ladies’ choices for that day, as I zagged.
I walked up to the counter. I waited. I watched. I waited some more.
Mr. Levy was popping his head up and down, counting, murmuring, swaying back and forth. On the phone and off he went. He looked at me; saw me. He almost smiled under his thick black mustache. He then came around the back counter, to the front counter.
He asked me my name. I said, “Veronica”. He asked if I have a nick name or something I like to be called. I replied, “Veronica; just, Veronica”. He questioned, “Just, Veronica”? “Just Veronica”, I said once more.
“Okay, Just Veronica, I’m Ed Levy, you start on Saturday”, he definitely smiled.
Every time someone asks me if I have a nick name I remember this day. I did have a nick name; Ronnie. I was called this when I was a little kid. I was a tomboy. I started calling myself Veronica to new people I met since I was eleven. It was still having difficulty sticking. I've gone into the pharmacy from time to time and when Mr. Levy wasn't in I’d leave a message that Just Veronica stopped, to say hello.
Do you have a nick name? Does this question bring up a significant memory as to when your full name became important, to you?