There was unrest at the University of Missouri this week. There were protests about the administration’s failure to address race issues. It had apparently been going on for years. And then there was this weird incident where a woman employed by the Journalism department at the school, threatened to use “muscle” against a student photographer documenting the goings on. It was kind of an unfortunate incident which detracted from the real message of the students and the outcome of their protest. The thing that got me, the thing that keeps me looking at the news stories of this and the photos is the name of the woman who caused the hubbub. Her name is Melissa Click. Click. Click, just like me. It is an unusual last name for sure.
I have never met another. Unless they were related to me. And that was a very small circle of my dad and grandparents. Apparently when the Polish side of the family came over, there was that crazy misspelling that took place where people’s names were spelled out phonetically. I think that the family name was supposed to be Klik or something of the like but instead we got Click. Just like it sounds. Made sense.
When I saw this Melissa Click, I wondered if she was related to me. Then I was thinking, is that me? Is this random woman, part of me too? I keep looking at the pictures. Too much timey-wimey stuff? Perhaps. The talk of madness. Maybe.
That name, the father’s name, always so important to some. Less to me. At one point I considered changing it. After my grandparents passed, there has always been less contact. A relationship more fraught. It is hard to say how it will turn out. Tomorrow is my dad’s birthday. Always easy to remember since it is Veteran’s Day. Like the name. Click. Distinctive.
I wonder if these other Clicks have lives that are similar to mine in any way. Is there a thread? Is there a connection? Just through the name. Thinking about my own family, I suppose that can’t be the case. The name solely creating a connection. If that were the case. It would all be different. So Melissa Click’s connection to me, even if related, is likely tenuous and easily breakable. Amorphous and transparent, if there at all. Because there has to be more than just the name. There has to be substance. But sometimes there is only the name. And the name is not enough.