ssǝɹddns ɹou ɹɐǝɟ ɹǝɥʇıǝu plnoʍ ʎʇǝıɔos ǝǝɹɟ ʎlnɹʇ ɐ ʇɐɥʇ ƃuıʇnɔolɯnɔɹıɔ suıɐʇuoɔ ǝʇıs sıɥʇ

Friday, July 5, 2013

Mark Marc Matthew Joseph Ugak Dumond-Cour: Put that on my headstone!

Today I received my birth certificate from the office of the New York State Vital Records department.

Silly as it may sound, I’m fifty-three years old and this delivery had me all excited and filled with anticipation.

Listed under “Full Name of Child” was Mark Cour. And I sat here staring down at it while thinking, “That’s it? No middle name?”

From the lips of my Bible-thumping mother came this story about how she wanted to give birth to two boys. And, if and when it all came to pass, those two boys would be named “Mark Matthew” and “Luke John.”
As far as I always knew, my name was Mark Mathew.

And due to the fact that my first step-father was a total prick all of the time, my brother’s decades-in-the-making predetermined name quickly went by the wayside while my mother was still recovering from a caesarian section birth.

Mark, Matthew, Ray & Leo. Not quite what my dear mother had in mind.

When I was old enough to register for kindergarten at Ferry School in Derby, CT, it was decided that my name would be Mark Dumond. And not being old enough to be trusted with a bottle of Flintstone’s vitamins, I don’t remember that being an issue for me.

But after years of physical and mental and still more physical abuse at the hands of the step-dad, I spurned his effort to legally adopt me. And in retrospect, I honestly believe that finger-in-the-eye spurning of mine signaled the end of their on-again, off-again marriage that then rapidly descended into chaos, violence, arrest, divorce and finally…rejoice-fully...relocation.

Feeling my feeble oats for the very first time, I cast off that Dumond surname. Overnight, I became Marc, not Mark…I was reborn as Marc Matthew Cour. I was done with all that I supposedly was. Take that!

Crazy as it might sound, when my mother begrudgingly answered some of the litany of questions I had about the kidnapping debacle (excellent recall to this day), she told me my father wanted to name me Ugak. Yes, that’s Ugak. That is not a typo. Ugak.

And then many years passed. A couple of decades, in fact. And then my daughter Peace launched into the wonderful world of genealogy, with one eye on the history of the surnames, and the other wide-open eye on the whereabouts of my father after I had long since abandoned the “Marc” thing. Sorry, but anger does funny things to some people.

Her early Internet successes got me all involved and worked up and when I discovered the lush riches that the Google News Archives contained, my name changed once again. Or did it?

In news report after news report from the kidnapping period, the newspapers reported my name as being Mark Joseph. Shock as it was, it made perfect sense to me since both my father and grandfather sported Joseph as a middle name.

So, even though we were dredging up oodles and oodles of answers after decades had passed with no answers, now it wasn’t Mark Matthew? Now it was Mark Joseph?

Anyway, clearly you can see why I was so excited about finally getting my grubby hands on my own birth certificate. In short, I wanted to know what my full, legal name is. And with the arrival of said document, as fate (that prick) would have it, my real name is just another one of the too-many-to-count unanswerable questions that suggest that my parents really made a complete mess of marital things.

So, is it any wonder that two of my three children have no middle names, and the third has a middle name only because the Catholic Church outright refused to baptize a child named Peace?

According to the do-as-we-say, centuries-in-the-muck Church, her middle name is Peace. According to me---her father---her middle name is Rebecca. Somehow, oddly enough, much to my dismay, the weirdness continued.

And still does.

So, obviously, in lieu of a full legal name, Markie will work just fine.

But know this: Being a welfare queen, a drug addict, a hopeless alcoholic, a deadbeat dad, an abusive step-assh*le, a nihilist, a self-centered jerk or one just unconcerned about finishing what one started can leave children yearning for illusive answers for decades on end. And in this bizarro-world case, for an entire lifetime.

For lack of a better plan, wear a condom.

What’s my name?

Markie in Parsons


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