Growing up, I always thought my name was unique. My biological father’s last name is “Lemon”, and my mother married while I was young, and became a “Havens”, my grandparents on both sides were the “Wolfs” and the “Wolvertons”, so in my household I was the only Eric or Malcolm, more specifically the only Eric Malcolm.
I began to meet other Eric’s once I started school. Maybe only three of four of them, but half of them used a “k”, so technically they didn’t even count, and none of them had my last name, so I still felt unique.
The world of Eric Malcolm’s began to widen (at least to me) with the advent of the internets. Years ago I attempted to register “firstname.lastname@example.org”. Upon entry, I was presented with a message from Yahoo, simply stating: “not available”. ‘What the fuck?’, I said to myself, as if I had just been wronged somehow. Surely Yahoo was mistaken, for I am the only Eric Malcolm, and I have not yet registered this e-mail address. But alas, I had to settle for something else. Pushed to the back of my mind, years later, I attempted to create “email@example.com” with Google, and once again I was told it was already in use. Bastards. In utter defeat I opted for “ericRmalcolm”, utilizing my middle initial, but to me, it will never be the same.
I registered the one and only facebook.com/ericmalcolm, and I am oddly proud of this fact, feeling I have snatched it from the other Eric Malcolm’s of the world, before they could get their dirty mittens on it. A quick search of “Eric Malcolm” on Facebook will yield you over forty results. Forty. About a dozen of them live in Canada, as Malcolm was my grandmother’s first-husband’s name, and he hailed from the great cold region up north. Of the forty, I am “friends” with one other, my black alter-ego whom I had found years ago but have never met, this Eric Malcolm lives in Philly with a wife and child (and he has an affinity for rap music and lots of gold necklaces).
I’ve since moved quickly to secure twitter.com/ericmalcolm, pinterest.com/ericmalcolm, and several others, knowing that there are just so many others out there, willing to snatch my claim from these social media, internet, and e-mail providers. Hell, ericmalcolm.wordpress.com was already taken, quasi-prompting this entry in the first place.
According to research online, Eric is the 107th most common first name, and Malcolm is the 3399th most common last name. The popularity of “Eric” spiked in the mid-seventies/early eighties (right dab where I was born), and since has dropped off significantly, meaning that as more and more of the great boom of Eric Malcolm’s die off, there should be less and less of us taking our places. But as I sit here and ponder, and technology advances, and scientists begin exploring more of outer space and alternate galaxies (and realities), I’m sure there are more Eric Malcolm’s still out there waiting to be discovered. Who will also be likely to steal future e-mail addresses from me. Those bastards.