So what do you call a nostalgic gherkin?

May 27, 2011 at 1:35 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

I need a word.

Last night I came home, collar up against the icy rain, and found in my letterbox a plump little package. I sat on the floor of my lounge room and tore it open, and into my hands fell a book. When I scanned the index of stories I saw ‘Baskerville Old Face’ by Rijn Collins, a moment before a cheque fluttered out and landed in my lap.

I can’t find a word to describe that feeling.

In my last post I gave details of words in other languages that English doesn’t have a name for. Ever since then I’ve been thinking about other words we lack, and came up with these:

–          When you stumble in the street and then pretend you were just taking a jaunty step

–          The curious discomfort you can feel when a pet watches you shower

–          The two wisps of hair that stick out of your temples like antennae on stressful days

–          The feeling when you’re in a shop and people mistake you for a staff member, especially if it’s of the..ahem…lower end of the quality scale (this happened to me in Dimmey’s once, and perturbed me for days)

–          The deliciousness of walking the streets of a foreign city and realising that absolutely no-one in the world knows where you are at that precise moment

–          The exact sensation of having your head massaged by one of those amazing orgasmatrons you find in novelty shops

–          The face you make when you check yourself out in the mirror (everyone has one, and it’s always the same expression – take note next time you do it)

–          The shuffle you make from the bathroom to the bedroom, wrapped in a towel, trying to stay in your neighbour’s blind spot because you’re too lazy to pull down the blinds

–          The food you keep in your fridge that’s aeons past its use-by date but you can’t throw out because of nostalgic value (I still have a jar of gherkins that a Swiss boyfriend cooked me raclette with over two years ago)

–          The realisation that you’ve been calling your colleague the wrong name for the last two months and they’ve been too embarrassed to correct you

–          Saving the last skerrick of food on your plate because it’s the most delicious, only to have your partner take it because they think you don’t want it

–          The intense desire to spear someone with your fork because of the above

 And if I can add one more…sitting down at my computer, as I did this morning, to find another email from a publisher saying yes, yes, we found your story intriguing, we’d love to publish it  (check out the wonderful folks at Metazen and all their inky glory – my story is coming soon).

I can think of euphoric, blissful, thrilled, jubilant…but you know, I’m not sure any of them can quite capture this feeling.

If you’re a Douglas Adams fan (of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fame), take a look at his list of words that are missing from English in  The Meaning of Liff.

Permalink 6 Comments