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.”
That’s what her license plate says, but in all caps.
Everybody has a pet name and hers is maus.
I never ask her about her german pet name, even though it’s on her license plate. I’d rather not go there. Things are hyped up as it is. There’s no need to galvanize any more energy to the fact by probing into something as privy as a pet name. With anybody else, it would mean nothing, but it’s different with sky, because she dresses in stockings and miniskirts in the snow.
“In other words,” I go, “she’s unparagoned.”
And my dentist goes, “She sounds high-maintenance.”
“Anyway,” I go, “she’s married.”
And my dentist goes, “Her husband must be exhausted.”
We embrace goodbye, before I hand her the bag of Ketchup Garden, and she gets inside her car. The headlights flash and the window rolls down, and sky goes, “If I don’t hear back from you by christmas, then merry christmas.”
“And if I don’t hear back from you by christmas,” I go, “then merry christmas.”
And she pulls ahead, turning away her license plate, pixelating into the night.
And she says, “It’s these kids getting into trouble and ruining the city.”
“And JC,” she says. “JC runs this city.”
I say, “Who?”
She says, “Jerome Corp.”
I say, “Jereme Corp.”
She says, “Jerome Corp.”
She says, “They run this city. And they don’t do anything for the city.” And she says, “You know how it says you can’t park in the streets between 3 and 6 in the morning? That used to be for street cleaning, but they haven’t done that in years.”
I say, “That’s unfortunate.”
She says, “In years.”
I say, “That’s very unfortunate.”
She says, “In years.”
I say, “That’s very very unfortunate.”
She says, “But it’s getting better here.”
I say, “In what ways?”
She says, “It’s turning around.”
I say, “How is it turning around?”
She says, “It’s starting to come back.”
I say, “What makes you think that?”
She says, “It’s in the news.”
I say, “What’s in the news?”
She says, “They’re rebuilding golly hi.”
I say, “What’s that?”
She says, “It’s the hi school.”
I say, “Ah.”
She says, “It’ll be ready next year.”
I say, “Great.”
She says, “And I was appreciating not having to deal with kids.” She says, “Once they reopen the school, you’ll see kids everywhere, breaking into property and getting into fisticuffs.”
I say, “That’s not good.”
She says, “There was a donnybrook at the concert a couple months ago here at The Park. You know they throw concerts at The Park. Like do you know the Beatles?”
I say, “Yeah.”
She says, “The Beatles perform every year.”
I say, “Are the Beatles from gollyland?”
She says, “No.”
She says, “And the Spice Girls. Do you know the Spice Girls?”
I say, “Yes.”
She says, “What about Cognitive Descendants?”
I say, “No.”
She says, “Average boy band.”
I say, “Are they from gollyland?”
She says, “No, none of the performers that perform in gollyland are from gollyland.”
I say, “I see.” And I say, “I’ve been around to Los Angeles, Seattle, New York, Boston, Chicago, and other cities, and I have to say gollyland is like no other city.”
She says, “I’ve been in gollyland all my life because I can’t afford to get out of this hellhole.”
“Well,” I say, “I’m sorry to hear that.”
And she says, “I guess it’s a convenient location if you don’t drive. Everything you need is within walking distance.”
“Which works out for the environment,” I say.
“Fuck the environment,” she says, “I’m freezing my fingers off. The other day, I came home with the groceries and I literally took my mittens off like this,” and you could see her hands convulsing. “Anyway, I have to go to my next appointment.”
I say, “How much did you say I owed you?”
She says, “Twelve dollars.”
I produce my check book, and she says, “Can you make sure to put the suffix on it? My mom has the same name, and she might think it’s her check and cash it.”
I hand Snowblowergirl the check, and I say, “Maybe it’ll warm up before Christmas.”
“It won’t,” she says on her way out. “But you get used to it.”