Day 3 (today) feels like the right day to delve into where exactly “Nellcro” came from. The name of this blog. Stay with me here. I didn’t just replace my name as the root word because it rhymes nicely. (That’s not to say that’d be out of character for me. My name rhymes with a ton of words. I was fascinated with it for a long time. I was a typical self-consumed teen and I’m a word nerd. That’s a deadly combo. What do you want from me?) Derailing this thought train.
Ok, onto the origins of “Nellcro”. Oh yeah, that’s what I was writing about.
It all started with my older brother, Keir. When I say older, I mean older. A whopping 14 years older, to be exact. (I know what you’re thinking. Just to be clear, I am continually reassured by both my parents that I was not a mistake. Continually reassured.) This age difference is in fact important to the story – I’m not just being a jerk by pointing this out. (Either way, sorry, Keir.)
So, as a child, I loved and adored Keir to no end, or “Keo” as I cooed. He was constantly entertaining me and teaching me valuable tricks like parroting “boosheet” in my highchair on cue when he drummed the table, snapped and pointed at me. (Kind of like his own Pavlovian experiment. Kids are great for those.) This was fabulous fodder for the dinner table. Our relationship was symbiotic, though – He taught me to swear and I helped him pick up unsuspecting ladies. He’d pop me in a front pack and no matter where we went trotting, the girls were drawn to him like bats to fly paper. I didn’t mind the attention. Yep, Keir was my first best buddy right out of the womb.
Here’s where the age difference comes into play.
I was only four when Keir left home for college. I remember the day he drove off into the sunset, headed to Duke in North Carolina in his crapbox of a car. Ehh, ok, so I don’t actually remember the day he left. I wish I remembered, but I was four, I don’t remember much from when I was that young as far as specific days. I do remember requesting to sleep in his bed after he left, though, pretending he wasn’t hundreds of miles away. I’d rifle through whatever Cool Older Brother Paraphernalia he left behind in the middle of the night, like The Joshua Tree U2 tape, nudie magazines and tattered-edge photos of ex-girlfriends with enviable shelf-like, feathered bangs.
When Keir returned home for holidays and breaks (the likes of which felt few and far between), I attached myself to him like a barnacle on a whale. I’m not insinuating that Keir gained the Freshman Fifteen or anything remotely whale-like, just needed a fun animal visual. He’d bend down to give me a bear hug and I’d cling around his neck (chest, legs, feet, ears, nose hairs, whatever I could get my adhesive arms around) like I was a baby bear on the edge of a branch about to fall out of a tree. I missed him. He brought out the cling-master in me.
So. That’s my Origin of Nellcro story. Keir coined that nickname for me back in the mid-80s and I’ve remained Nellcro-like with the ones (and things) I love ever since. And rather proud of it, as it turns out.