Even as I am spun around in the vortex of work, my mind wanders off at the oddest of moments. As I walk across the street to a waiting taxi, I think woefully about how lately, things, instead of taking on clarity or a more defined quality as I grow older, seem to be shedding identity, becoming unfamiliar, becoming less and less describable.
I’m beginning to lose definitions for things.
What do you call, for example, the awful waking up in the middle of the night, throat dry, eyes unfocused, the mind unaware but frightened? What is the name for that moment when you say “yes” when you actually mean “hell no fucking way, no?” What do you call the twist to the ankle that tumbles you out into the street, the momentary look you catch in a stranger’s gaze before he turns away? What is the name for that little hollow at your back where your child’s head always seems to find itself, even deep in sleep? What do you call that little strip of lit up flesh on your finger where a ring used to be? What do you call the blank pages at the end of books? What do you call the soft fuzz that covers the back of a boy’s neck? What is that emotion that comes after anger but before defeat? What do you call the act of forgetting to do something on purpose? What is the specific name for that stirring in the gut that impels you to flee, to race inside and shut all doors hurriedly even when you know there is no one out there?
What is it, what?