A few of us use our real names as our handles, but most of us use something else, such as a nickname or a variation of our real name. What's yours? What does it mean to you?
Iiz2cool - It was not my nickname (I really don't think I'm all that cool), but that of an old friend named Mike Prezelj. I won't go into how he got the name, but it happened when we were all very high, and you had to be there to understand. We went to school together, dropped out together and shared many good times and bad together. We got drunk together, took acid together, rode our motorcycles together, went to jail together, shared food, girlfriends, and just about everything else. We were closer than brothers.
Mikey had some problems, and at times he was suicidal. Sometimes I got calls from the hospital after he had taken an overdose of pills, but he always survived those attempts. Once he tried to impale himself on a pitchfork. Luckily I was on hand to stop him, but the struggle left me sore as hell for an entire week. Any time he felt this way, people called me, because I was the only person who could get through to him.
Then I became a JW, in spite of his protestations, and I cut off all association with my former "worldly" friends, including Mike. Looking back now, I wish I listened to him.
One day, after a number of years as a dub, I got a voicemail from an old girlfriend named Margie. I hadn't heard from her in years. She asked me to call her and left her number. She said it was a very urgent matter, an emergency. I thought to myself, "Yeah, right! There's nothing she could say that I want to hear! I'm a witness now!"
I later learned that Mikey shot himself that night, and that the call was actually a cry for help.
I was very depressed for a long time after that. When elders asked me about it i told them what happened but what could they say? They tried to tell me that he was better off now since he had a better chance to have a resurrection, but somehow this didn't make me feel any better. Was this what bible study had finally brought me to? Resurrection or not, I had to live with the fact that I had failed my friend who was closer than a brother, and this resulted in his death. It's been nine years since his death, but time doesn't make it any easier. I don't even know where to find his grave, as his family has all moved.
So I use his nickname as my handle as a reminder that I should never turn my back on someone in need. I should never let anyone dictate who my associates should be. Religion may have it's place for some, but love and conscience go far beyond what any religion can do, and that's what I choose to listen to now.
So, enough about me. What do your handles mean to you?