Who's Who 9: Prologue

For a short time, the boy was simply happy. Or that’s certainly how it appeared from the outside. His birth hadn’t been easy. Later, he would tinker with the legend to make it noteworthy. Not that anyone apart from him was really taking note.

Granted, it’d been a mildly complicated procedure, but it was nothing for a doctor to write home about. No more pain than they witnessed elsewhere in the due course of their daily rounds. There’d been some concerns over breathing, but it was nothing life threatening.

Of course, this was long before he became the monster or the man who wore the monster in front of the cameras. Long before the stage and so many crushing auditions.

To look at him back then, you’d never have guessed his future. As with all babies, he was simply a writhing ball of potential. A seed person. His eyes furious with fascination. His fingers tricky to steer, occasionally managing to land a grab. He responded to the voice of his mother, to the shape of her. He would reach for her always.

As he grew from wriggling baby to crawling, curious boy he appeared delighted with the world around him. He took apart or chewed everything he could reach. He was fascinated by mirrors and radios. He only really became upset when teeth rose through virgin gums or when he got sick. And, of course, there were the laments following all inoculations.

In many ways, he was really no different to other children. Again, this was something he’d desperately try to dispute later on, when he claimed every part of his life was something original or important. A claim that only his truest followers ever really believed. He wanted us all thinking he was born as the answer to a prophetic, universal need. As if scholars should go back and mark the time and place of his birth for posterity.

In truth, as a child, he was small and unremarkable. As are many of the lucky ones. His parents loved him dearly. They cared for him, spoiled him. They got up in the night for him. They caught any bug he caught, as if it was an act of solidarity. They went without to make sure he got what he needed. There were no problems on the horizon, back then. At least, none that he was ever aware of. His childhood was peaceful.

The only oddity was the lack of a name. He went nameless for nearly the first four years of his life. Of course, later on, he would spin a lot of stories from this one little fact. He would say it explained the sense of anonymity that dogged his footsteps and the blankness that’d pushed him towards the fringes of society.

In truth, there was nothing sinister about the choice. Nothing beyond the fact that his parents just weren’t sure which name suited him best. They were careful. They refused to rush the process as friends and family nagged them to ‘name that damned baby already’.

If anything, the lack of a name gave the boy plenty of other names to live by. He collected aliases, some of which stuck for his entire life. A lot of people called him Junior. His maternal grandmother, all English Lavender and faux fur, would call him Babe. A name that was a fixture in his heart until she passed away, taking it with her to her grave. His father called him Son. The true act of lifelong engineer.

His mother called him Bluebird. The name came to her when she heard him seeming to sing to himself in his cot. As he grew older, the nickname was shortened to Blue, which suited him better throughout the long days of his life than any other name the world cared to give him. Perhaps proof, if any was needed, that a mother knows her son best of all.