My mother named me Ramsey Francis Venner after my father so she attached the sexy double I (or II) Roman numerals to give my dad his props. My dad’s Columbian pedigree or Spanish influences got my family to calling me “Papi” or Poppy because black folks change names just because. You know the drill, Tracy becomes Tracee or Tracie, Jason turns into Jaycen or Jaison, or sometimes we combine two or three names to make one. True story, I met a chick named De-la-shante and this chick named her baby Omarkavius. My people, my people.
The point is we identify by the titles our parents assign us at birth, and just as quick as we can take on nicknames or AKA’s for any number of reasons. Most out of love, or because they sound cute. Some out of hate, like my girl Nonosika that we called “Sneeze”. Some out of necessity, I’ve watched the Lifetime movies, sometimes shit gets real in a bad way. But I think something is lost in nicknames when our given names are what’s real.
With my Columbian roots I think I felt being anonymous was something that was bred in me. I blame movies like Scarface and the manhunt of Pablo Escobar. In 35 years I’ve racked up quite a few A.K.A’s…. Poppy, Francisco, Cisco, Zilla, Big Soop but underneath them all I’ve always been Ramsey. When I accepted awards, Ramsey. When my mother or women friends got pissed and started yelling I was RAMSEY!!!! Or sometimes Ramsey Francis. OUCH; Jobs, Ramsey; School, Ramsey. Everything real, Ramsey.
As life took this turn towards trouble, and I become familiar with lawyers and the judicial system, I was addressed as Ramsey and when it got bad only by my last name and an ID number. What I’ve noticed is, everything real and lasting, good or terrible in my life, has cut through all the cute and endearing that the various nick names conveyed. When it got real, credit score, medical records and even No Loose Ends, good or bad, the nick names and identities associated with them were worthless.
The music, rappin, trappin, club romances and one week stands, real and fake highs, fantasies and flights of grandiosity are all gone like the clownish way I behaved when I introduced myself with a stutter or stammer when it came to the name I referred to myself as.
I had to realize I am a grown man that no longer needs to hide behind an AKA. I have a ton of faults that I am happy to be working on, and I have done many things that I am extremely proud of. But that realization came with embracing the fact that who I am will never change no matter how I introduce myself and what I do, my actions, are who I am.
From birth to bad credit, outlaw, beast, father, new life, unsecured credit cards, and No Loose Ends, I am now and will always be Deloris & Ramsey Sr.’s only boy, Ramsey F. Venner II.