Nathaniel Cornelius Greene.

My name is Nathaniel Cornelius Greene.

I love my name.

I've come to find that I love it quite a bit more than I originally did. Upon further reflection, I've discovered the myriad sensations and meanings my names evoke. As a whole, it is strong. It is sophisticated. It is intelligent and authoritative. But it is also kind, friendly, and evokes the remembrance of charitable people.

Nathaniel provides the greatest range, I think. On one hand, the full name of 'Nathaniel' can be used to intimidate. It is a bit longer than most Christian names, giving it a sort of...commanding air. When the name 'Nathaniel' is mentioned, those of appropriate status fall into line shortly, regardless of their will to do so. On the other hand, 'Nathaniel' is not a dictator or a power-hungry fiend that uses his underlings as stepping stones to greatness, as he has a softer side in 'Nathan.' 'Nathan' is one in the same as 'Nathaniel,' except the latter is used for work while the former for play. 'Nathan' is the boss on the weekends, the omniscient Kaiser at his summer home in the mountains. 'Nathan' is a name that friends will drink with, but it still strong enough to ask them to pay the tab. 'Nathan' is the stalwart flagship into the great unknown, surviving only with his subordinates to keep his spirits up. He is the alpha of the pack, taking the first bites from the downed hunt, but leaving plenty for his brothers and sisters.

Cornelius provides a great sense of accomplishment. The name reminds others of great explorers throughout time. It has as grand, antique, and weathered feel to it, as if it was found growing at the top of the highest mountain in the world, ripe for the picking by the intrepid explorer brave enough to face those odds. It's a name that warrants respect, but is intelligent enough to refuse worship. On the subject of nicknames, Cory is an entirely different situation. The name 'Cory' is homey and warm, composing thoughts of kindness personified by a modest, closed-mouth smile when thanked. When you need a helping hand, Cory is always there to lend it. When you need to be bailed out of jail or you lose your wallet and can't pay for dinner, Cory is always the one to pick up the slack and always refuse to be repayed. Cory is a kindhearted and noble friend.

Lastly is Greene, one of the few color-surnames. I've always found a profound fascination with the color-surnames. The common causation of a surname is to describe a person (or their ancestor, at any rate) by their traits and trade. Names such as Greene, Brown, Black, and etc. intrigue me to no end. What kind of person would be named after a color? Perhaps they had some strange fashion of dress and affinity to the color in question. Maybe, in the case of Black, they were ruthless killers and might as well have been a servant of the Black Hand of Death, descending upon his victims. Greene, fortunately, has not the qualities of a ruthless warrior, but reflects monetary success. It is a very mysterious name. Were I to go by Mr. Greene, I would undoubtedly receive inquisitive looks from all those within earshot. 'Mr. Greene?' they would ask themselves. 'What kind of a man calls himself Mr. Greene? What human being consents to leaving himself a stoic and thought-provoking figure of mystery and wonder as he glides through this world, unopposed and unafraid?'

Nathaniel Cornelius Greene.

I love my name.

Before me is a curiously innocuous mirror. A reflection can be barely seen through the dusted glass, though there is very little light to make out anything in this strange and empty place. The mirror is of a very old make, ornate enough to seem fragile, but well-constructed to the point of resistance to breakage if struck. It is hanging solidly from the stone wall. I know not whether it is hanging from a nail or bolted in place, but it looks too heavy to be moved, at any rate.

Inside the mirror is a reflection resembling a man. At first glance, this reflection appears to be a corpse, strung up in an uncanny resemblance to the living human form in some sort of macabre prank. Upon closer inspection, I find the reflection's withered and pale chest to be rising and falling rhythmically, albeit extremely shallow. Whoever this man is, he has not eaten in quite a long time and his stomach is clenched shut, sometimes fluttering with spasms of hunger pains.

His skin would be as pale as the moon had it not been smeared with grit and grime so entrenched in the pores of his skin that it may never come out. It also retained a yellow-green hue of obvious sickness, most likely malnutrition given the reflection's slim form. There was little hair on his bare chest. Whether it had fallen out or ever grown there at all, I don't know.

The curious thing about this specimen of the walking dead is its face. More specifically, the reflection's eyes. His face looks as if it had been a disrespectful vandalism upon a human skull, merely there to hold the bones in place. Scatterings of a beard are visible, but it is obvious that the reflection's hair is falling out at an alarming degree. What few bits of straw that are left on his head hang clinging to his skull with weakening resolve.

The reflection's eyes are what draw attention. While the rest of his face represents a cruel caricature of a human being, the eyes remain bright and shining in the gloom that surrounds him. They are piercing, intense, almost angry eyes that seem to rage at all they see. The light that reflects off of their pupils illuminates the entire retina, showing off the bright and vibrant green. Truly, it is these eyes that are keeping this reflection alive.

The reflection continues to stare at me with those sharp spheres of light. I feel a bit uneasy, as he does not seem to look at anything other than myself. Overcome, I can only ask

Who are you?

"I am you." The reflection said. His voice was hoarse and scratchy, mimicking his gritty appearance. It hurt his throat, as he had evidently not spoken anything in quite a long time.

That's impossible. I say. I know who I am. I am Nathaniel Cornelius Greene. I am the only Nathaniel Cornelius Greene I know. You must have me mistaken for someone else.

"But..." the reflection says, "I am Nathaniel Cornelius Greene."

As I said before, you are mistaken. There can only be one Nathaniel Cornelius Greene and I know for an irrefutable fact that I am he.

"But I know as a fact that I am Nathaniel Greene. I know that I can go as Nathan, Cory, and Mr. Greene without any damage to my identity."

As I said, three times now, there is only one Nathaniel Cornelius Greene. If you refuse to recant your statement, they I suppose we'll have to deduce who here is a liar.

"The answer is already evident." The reflection said defiantly. "I am he, and you are a reflection in a mirror. Nothing more."

I beg your pardon? I ask, astonished. I'm quite sure that you are the reflection here. Not I.

"That is another fact you seem unable to grasp. I am the man known as Nathaniel Cornelius Greene and you are a simple reflection in a dirty mirror. I suggest you abandon these pretenses so we may proceed in our conversation."

Alright. Have it your way. I was becoming agitated with this reflection. Let us assume that you are, indeed, who you claim to be. If you are Nathaniel Cornelius Greene, then who am I?

"You are nobody." The reflection says. "You are the finely detailed shadow of a person. Nothing more and nothing less."

But I exist. All things in this reality have existence through a name or title.

"That's preposterous. That would imply that ignorance renders objects nonexistent."

But, my confused friend, that raises the question of what existence is defined as.

"Existence is..." The reflection puts his hand to his chin, muscles straining from disuse. He tapped a finger to his cheek and thought for a moment. "Existence is the nature that something can be observed by the five senses."

But does this extend to all senses?

"Of course."

So if an object thwarts detection from all five of the senses, it ceases existing.

"Yes, I would assume so."

But what if an object evades detection from four senses and is willingly blocked from the fifth?

"Explain yourself."

Let us say that I keep silent. You can continue to see me, but you cannot hear, smell, touch, or taste me. By your definition, should you shut your eyes, I would be vanquished from existence.

"That's not what I meant."

I won't be perceived by the senses, will I? As long as you keep your eyes shut and do not move, you will achieve omniscience by erasing beings from reality.

"But you will still exist outside of my perceived reality."

Not by your definition.

"Fine." The reflection crossed his arms. "I have defended my statement, now you defend yours."

Gladly. I said. All objects in this existence may be attributed a name, title, description, or otherwise. It is a fundamental law of the universe and the final lynchpin that holds the self together.

"So you're saying that because I don't have a name, I'm not real?" The reflection asked. He put his hand against his bare chest. The skin was cold and clammy, with only the slightest hint of warmth lying beneath.

I believe you do have a name, just not one that is known yet.

"Will I exist once I have a name? Do I cease existence if I lose it?"

I believe so. The name of something unifies its essence as a part of the euclidean universe. A thing that cannot be assigned a name is a thing that should not be.

"Then...what am I?"

You are a reflection.

"A reflection of what? Who?"

Yourself, perhaps?

"Maybe..." The reflection fell silent. Through our debate, I felt an acute sense of pity for this lonely, nameless man. I felt that he had not spoken to anyone in a great deal of time and it must have been a relief to finally have a friend. If no man is an island unto himself, this man is a boat stranded at sea.

Something troubling you? I asked, hoping to snap him out of his depressed state.

"I'm wondering who's reflection I am." He said.

I told you. Yourself.

"But if I were my own reflection, then who are you?"

Who am I? I responded. I am Nathaniel Cornelius Greene.

"But until recently, so was I." The man jumped and stared forward, wide-eyed. "Is it possible that we both are Nathaniel Cornelius Greene?"

If so,I said, it would be a very strange coincidence.

"But could it be at all possible that we both exist as Nathaniel Cornelius Greene? That we both exist as a single entity?"

No! I said. I was becoming angry at the inane ramblings of this man in the mirror. He asked far too many questions and he was trying my patience. There is only one Nathaniel Cornelius Greene, and he is me!

"Exactly! We are both the same person! There is only a single Nathaniel Cornelius Greene and I am his reflection!"

You're a liar! I shouted. The reflection became inexplicably angry. He balled his fists together, then suddenly relaxed them.

"I'm not a liar! I can see past this thin sheet of glass into the world that you inhabit! If I am Nathaniel Cornelius Greene, then you are my reflection!"

Be quiet!

"There is no Nathaniel Greene in your world. You're just his broken mind floating through the ether. I am the only one with form, with shape, and with depth. I am the real man, but you are the instrument of my self-realization. Without you, I cannot exist. I can only manifest and when you look into this mirror. Together, we create Nathaniel Cornelius Greene. You the mind and soul, and I the flesh and blood."


The reflection backed away from the mirror. He crouched in the corner of the damp and dimly lit room and sobbed, his hands over his head, and said his name over and over again.

Nathaniel Cornelius Greene.

My name is Nathaniel Cornelius Greene.

I love my name.