What is a good “N” word that is easy to decipher as the “N” word, y’know when you’re spelling it out for someone on the phone?
I don’t know if anyone else has ever suffered from this, but I always get flummoxed when it comes to the “N” word.
Due to the social conditioning and heft embodied in the “N word,” I can’t help but think of the actual “N word” whenever I’m trying to come up with a word that is easy for the party on the other line to discern.
I had an incident today, where I was in the middle of spelling out a word, and I was like, “‘N’ as in… ” and I thought of Nigeria, and I loathed myself for being so predictable. Then I thought of “nail,” which sounded too close to “mail,” and thus accomplished nothing to distinguish an “N” word from an “M” word.
And then I thought of “Nordstrom,” which was like gah… ’cause in my OCD mind, I wanted to come up with a non-name of something. “Norway” and “Nagasaki” occurred to me as well. And then I thought of “nonstop,” but figured I could do better… ugh… then I came up with “naked,” which was also a loaded word… god I hate myself…
Finally the party on hold was like, “Nancy.”
The phone call ended shortly thereafter, but I still felt hung up by this n-ignmatic conundrum, plunging me into a rabbit hole that ended with “Nintendo,” “Ninja Turtle,” and “nothing.” The phonetic alphabet also ascribes “November.”
And I’m stunned to hear this come out of her transparent forehead. So stunned I forgot what prompted the blatant hatefulness out of her adorable lips, and yet finally understanding what she meant… after all this time.
Why couldn’t I feel that way when she was still within reach?
There’s no point in looking for her now. Barreleyes is out there, still out there, way out there, trapped in aqua space. Maybe somewhere, someday, I’ll come across her, emerge in my hot pink submarine and she’ll come aboard, treasured and enraptured, to fly away from the anti-gravitational cage of my infinite brain if she isn’t already a fish skull in an atmospheric diving suit by then.