Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More


A True Story

Preservation Park, Oakland, California, USA

April 3, 2006
Reposted October 10, 2020

This essay, Nametag: A True Story, is the companion piece to Making This Up As I Go Along.

It is also the sixth in an open group Encounters With A Friend:
  1. Showing Up
  2. Poet Laureate
  3. A Man In The Crowd
  4. Real Men Cry
  5. A Different Set Of Rules
  6. Nametag: A True Story
  7. Half-Life
  8. Waiting On You
  9. Erotica On Schedule
  10. A House On Franklin Street
  11. NeXT
  12. Reflection On A Window
  13. Here And There
  14. How To Enroll The World
  15. Demonstration
  16. Two Of Me II: Confirmation Not Correction
  17. Holiday Spectacular
  18. Hello! How Are Things Going For You?
  19. Regular Guy
  20. A Scholar And A Gentleman
  21. Images Of You
  22. With Nothing Going On
  23. Where No One Has Gone Before
  24. Attachment: Causeway Between Islands
  25. If You're Not Then Don't
  26. Images Of You II
  27. Living Where Life Is
  28. Create Me The Way I Am
  29. How Do You Spell The Sound A Ratchet Makes?
  30. You Don't Ask "Why Me?"  When It's Raining II
  31. The Stink Of Zen
  32. Sitting Quietly In A Room Alone
  33. Footsteps On Metal Stairs
so far, in that order.

It is also the prequel to
  1. Nametag II: An Optical Illusion
  2. Make It Up For Yourself
in that order.

I am indebted to Christine Arbor who contributed material for this conversation.

This is a story about a nametag. It's a true story.

It recreates an incident which really happened earlier this year. Specifically it recreates the conversation which occurred during the incident with total verbatim accuracy. It's the raw material from which legends are born and heroes are confirmed. It will speak to you, or it won't. However it lands, there'll be value in it for you, or not. It may preach to the choir, or be gotten by a much wider audience. I prefer to simply tell it like it happened without offering any more setup or explanation or comment.

She Said He Said

Collage by Laurence Platt

This graphic is perfectly level.

An optical illusion sets it atilt.
I watched him from the back of the room. Standing behind a table, my left hand casually in my slacks pocket, I had my right foot up on the table top, right elbow on my raised knee, chin resting on my fist, eyes locked on his, his speaking and my listening in a dance together, transformation by osmosis.

A bold sweeping gesture of his hands for emphasis ... and his nametag fell to the floor. He didn't seem to notice, continuing the conversation.

A girl closer to him than I was, bent down, picked it up, and handed it back to him. He acknowledged her with a smile but didn't reach out to take it.

She said "Werner, you dropped your nametag.".

He said "You keep it.".

She said "I can't, it's not my name.".

He said "That's OK, I made it up. You can too.".

She said "Are you kidding me?".

He said "Do you think I would lie to you?".

She said (slowly, incredulously)  "You mean ... your ... name's ... not ... Werner?".

He said "No, it's Jack.".

End Of Story

That's what really happened. That's what she said. That's what he said. End of story.

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