The TAMI Show Award mock-up

In some ways, you’re right, though. Dad loved acronyms. In this case, it was mom’s idea to make sure only she and I knew what it meant. (Other than Dad, of course.) Since they died a month apart, it’s just me.

The more obvious “SEE” – Special Event Entertainment – didn’t need to be a secret. There were reasons with TAMI that didn’t apply to SEE. Copyright reasons – and the bullshit story warp we now are able to read as people die off. It appears “last man living” just takes all the credit. But the clock is ticking on that one.


BE_YOUR_OWN_HEROInstead of wanting to disappear and disappear and disappear, I want to appear, and appear, and appear; to take up all the space, all the oxygen, all the room, and all the righteousness that I have turned over to any other human being, alley-cat, tailgating car, or man who endlessly professes his dying love to me. I will take up the room I was denied.

Yes, and I will take up more than that.

With each breath I take I will be alive, and beyond ignoring, or dismissing; and you will gasp for breath as you try to breathe in the air that I’ve already turned into CO2.

TAMI: the fucking Stones, dude

My daddy can whoop your daddy and my daddy dead. My daddy done been dead.

It gots to be some kind of good luck to be named after anything with this shit in it:

My daddy did rock.

But I’m ’bout to rock harder.

Hide and watch.









A Rose By Any Other Name 

I did not begin when I was born, nor when I was conceived. I have been growing, developing, through incalculable myriads of millenniums. All my previous selves have their voices, echoes, promptings in me. Oh, incalculable times again shall I be born.”

—Jack London, The Star Rover


I was not always called Serene, although it is my legal name. For the first five years of my life I was Tami. This is the name I first heard myself called; it is the name I first learned to write. My parents had two different names chosen for me, like most parents in those near-medieval times before ultrasound’s obtrusive peering into the womb became commonplace. If I was a boy, I was to have been named Wendell Burton Sargent, after Wendell Cory and Richard Burton. (And with a name like that I suspect I would have learned to fight at a very young age.) My mother had no interest in boy’s names, however, because, according to her, she always knew that I was going to be a girl. As a young child she sat in a clearing in the woods, and somehow or another just “knew” that she would have a daughter one day. A daughter named Serene. There were no voices. No divine vision. Just a knowing.

Thirty years and six miscarriages later, she was pregnant with me, and Dad, of course, already had a name picked out for a girl, as well. It was the name of his rock ‘n’ roll film: The TAMI Show. I was to be Tami, but he was perfectly fine with Serene as a middle name. Tami Serene Sargent. This they agreed upon.

But it was only my mother in the hospital room when the lady from Vital Statistics came with the paper to take down my shiny new name, and so Mother – seeing her chance – wrote “Serene Tami” instead of “Tami Serene” on the paper that made me official as far as our government was concerned. Later, when Dad came back in, she innocently told him that at the last minute she had simply decided she liked the initials STS better than TSS; but we could still call me Tami. Dad said that he’d thought the initials T.S. – tough shit – complimented his, B.S., quite well, but Mother feigned offense, and that was that. As long as I was called Tami, what did it matter what was on the birth certificate? Mother reminded him that he  was “Bill” to everyone who knew him, and not Horace William, as his birth certificate proclaimed. So Dad was satisfied. I was a Tami.

A Tami with a Serene tucked carefully just below the surface. Hiding. Waiting to come out.